Benjamin (left) and Guillaume (right) spent the summer gaining practical experience.

In 2018, Broanmain Plastics hosted two young students from France, providing the interns with valuable insight to plastics processing and lean manufacturing techniques.

For three months, 23-year-old Guillaume Bouvier, studying an engineering degree in plastics processing at the Institut Superieur de Plasturgie d’Alencon (ISPA), was assigned a project in Broanmain’s tool storage area to oversee a relocation and introduce process improvements. Two years ago, Guillaume completed an internship at the Dorking family firm whilst completing a technician diploma in plastics processing.

Benjamin Boitout completed a two-month programme. The team assigned Benjamin, who is studying Mechanical Lean Manufacturing at Ecole Centrale in Nantes, a Value Stream Mapping project across the whole factory, with the objective to improve production efficiencies and reduce waste.

Commenting on the summer work programme, part-funded by Broanmain, Guillaume said: “It’s been a great experience and good cultural exchange. As part of a bigger operational move around within the injection moulding workshop, my project has involved me organising and relocating the tool storage area. I’ve been able to simplify and update how equipment is stored within the tooling area and we are now going through the process of seeking approval to scrap obsolete tools.”

Guillaume’s internship forms part of his plastics engineering degree. His long term ambition is to source work in continuous improvement. Benjamin meanwhile has focused on lean manufacturing, analysing processes, workloads, plastic materials and productivity using the Value Stream Mapping methodology. “I am very interested in asset care and the Kaizen-inspired 5S pillars and how different factors like having an organised and clean workshop can result in better Overall Equipment Effectiveness, higher performance and output and reduced waste,” said Benjamin.

Operations Manager Thomas Catinat, who also studied at ISPA and maintains contact with the specialist college via social media and other channels, has overseen both interns. He said: “Given the current skills shortages in plastic moulding, it’s important to give interns a real taste of the work environment and allocate major projects that push their skills and help them develop.”