Brafe Engineering joined NSAN with a desire to maximise business opportunities in the nuclear sector. Brafe have found the NSAN developed Triple Bar Nuclear Manufacturing (TBNM) of particular benefit to their organisation as they work towards achieving their business strategy.
What was the need – how did you identify that the TBNM course was the correct course?
We joined NSAN initially for support with Nuclear training courses and resources to support our strategic direction in becoming an ASME approved Quality Systems Certificate (QSC).
With this strategic vision we had a need to change our company culture, awareness and focus on not only Nuclear business but general quality throughout our comprehensive production processes.
We believed the products and services NSAN offer to their members met this need and we decided to put some of our people through the Triple Bar Nuclear Manufacturing programme in the first instance.
How did you decide who went on the course initially?
We elected an approach of having a spread of personnel across departments and organisation levels. The expectation was, and still is, to roll out varying courses supplied by NSAN to all our staff, as we see the value in having a third party providing such training.
What was the reason behind the decison to further roll out the course to your workforce?
Following the overall satisfaction of the first course attended, along with its relevance to what we are aiming to achieve, it was suggested that further groups of small teams would benefit from attending the same course.
We worked with NSAN to set up ‘in-house’ courses at our site and to date, 33% of our workforce have attended this course with expectations of a further roll out as we continue the implementation of our nuclear quality culture and qualification.
What has been the impact on your company’s culture?
There has been and continues to be a huge impact on the culture, shortly after the NSAN courses ‘Nuclear’ became the hot topic through the business, particularly as we begin the procedural and operational changes required to meet the QSC requirements for ASME, a
process which we are still working through now.
Culture is such a vital part of our approach to Nuclear; it is the way we do things and the way we want things to be done. Cultural change takes time but focusing on a long-term change to people’s behaviours and attitudes will ensure long term success and benefits to both quality and safety. Benefits which will trickle down to all our customers and employees.
Was there an increase on quality and productivity?
Certainly quality, but moreover the awareness of quality and expectations of the Nuclear industry. There was an immediate improved approach to Nuclear orders, general quality and overall awareness of the strategic direction of the business.
The messages from the TBNM course certainly helped focus people’s minds in terms of quality and how their performance affects the overall product.
We have also set particularly high-quality standard and we pride ourselves in the quality of the product we are able to ship to our global customer base. One further benefit of implementing our nuclear quality program is the trickle-down effect of improved quality for all
customers across all departmental functions.
Has the course helped Brafe to increase nuclear orders both at home and abroad?
Our current customer base is aware of our strategicdirection in becoming an ASME QSC, and we are confident that this course and the additional courses offered by NSAN will help to support us to achieve the quality standards required.
We also have a target list of customers who are very interested in developing us as a Nuclear supplier once we have gained the necessary qualification from ASME. We have also attracted further customers recently qualifying us as a Nuclear supplier through their own ASME qualification for supply of varying products from UK Naval to power generation applications.
Naturally we are actively interested in the nuclear new build developments taking place at Hinckley C to which we are currently in supply discussions with a number of current customers. In turn this leaves us particularly interested in the opportunities which the Sizewell C development may offer us in years to come. Particularly as we are currently an approved third tier to Sizewell B.
We are also keen to ensure that we have momentum in culture change that we are currently implementing and will be working with NSAN, looking at bespoke courses for the remainder of our staff to attend in due course.
Brafe Engineering is a world leading UK manufacturer of high specification alloy castings. Supporting our global customers with an end-to end, single service solution. Brafe Engineering offers a unique and unrivalled breadth of material knowledge
and engineering support.
From prototyping through to serial volume production, our cutting edge, state of the art facility and highly trained staff position us perfectly to accommodate our customers challenges today and in the future.
We continue to strive to be at the forefront of foundry and materials engineering, investing heavily in 3D scanning, Shelling robotics and 3D printing. Continuing to offer our customers a unique solution for engineered metal products.
Adam Dalby, Business Development Manager, Brafe said;
“Our focus as a business has been to look for market opportunities which allow us to utilise the full range of skill and expertise within our single service solution offering, whilst allowing us to capture increased value creation. Our nuclear focus has been a key part of this business strategy.
Supporting the Nuclear sector is all about confidence, hard work and developing key relationships throughout the industry. Naturally there is a lot to learn, develop and there are challenges along the way which we encounter daily. One thing is for sure though, that the rewards from entering this sector far outweigh all of that effort and dedication”