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Mazak strengthens operations team with new Production Director

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Yamazaki Mazak has promoted Stuart Astley to Production Director, where he has assumed responsibility for the running of the company’s European Manufacturing Plant in Worcester.

Having joined the company in 2007 as European Service Manager, Mr Astley was previously responsible for Mazak’s Spindle Service Centre, as well as its European Parts Centre in Belgium. During this time, he also oversaw the manufacturer’s European Service Network, as well as improvements to Mazak’s Quality Assurance protocol and the implementation of Lean Six Sigma problem solving techniques.

In his new role, Mr Astley now manages the introduction of all new models into production at Mazak’s 29,000m² advanced manufacturing facility. He is also introducing a number of workforce improvement initiatives, including dedicated ‘Kaizen teams’, to ensure Mazak’s 450 production staff are able to work in as productive a working environment as possible.

With a set target to increase output by 40 per cent this year, Mr Astley is also working on a lean manufacturing strategy to improve productivity and the flow of material through the entire supply chain. It will coincide with wider factory improvements to facilitate the full implantation of Mazak’s suite of Industry 4.0 infrastructure solutions, to further reduce manufacturing lead times and improve productivity.

Richard Smith, European Group Managing Director at Yamazaki Mazak, commented: “Stuart has a proven track record of delivering continuous improvement during his time with Mazak. Our European Manufacturing Plant in Worcester is central to both Mazak’s European and global supply chains. We have every confidence that Stuart will deliver significant productivity and efficiency improvements, which will enable us to supply machine tools to customers across the world with the shortest possible lead times.”

Mr Astley confirmed: “Having spent much of my career in an operations role, I’m looking forward to building on what is already a very efficient factory, and taking Mazak’s European machine tool productivity to new heights. With a series of recent investments, and a full order book, it’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved in the running of the European Manufacturing Plant, and I am looking forward to focusing my attention on increasing production volumes and reducing lead-times to provide the best level of service to our customers in the UK, Europe and beyond.”

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