Hartlepool brake firm gets a grip on two global awards

Hartlepool vehicle brake pad firm TMD Friction has taken a grip on two global awards.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 12:50 pm

The firm, based on the town’s Oakesway industrial estate, beat off competition from manufacturing plants around the world to win two awards for continuous improvement.

The annual TMD Friction Group Kaizen Awards aim to celebrate the success of projects implemented at the world-wide firm – with the Hartlepool plant winning two for the Best Use of Tools and the top award for Best Kaizen Project.

The project submitted was for a multi-employee led programme to improve overall equipment effectiveness – which generated a six per cent rise in productivity.

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Michael Findlay, left, with members of the TMD Friction team
Michael Findlay, left, with members of the TMD Friction team

It is the second time in four years that a Hartlepool project team has walked away with the top award.

Michael Findlay, the firm’s UK engineering excellence manager, said: “It’s a real honour for the team to have received the top award and for me, it demonstrates how much everyone is working together to improve production levels and create a better, more efficient, working environment.

“It was certainly a team effort, with around 30 staff playing a part in the project.

“Our success has given us such a good foundation to build on, and since winning we have put a further 70 people through Kaizen training programmes to improve various areas of the plant, including the shop floor and office.”

The team that developed the winning project was led by Matthew Price and consisted of Mark Wylie, Ste Rudd, Chris Grindley, Dave Metcalf, Jonny Robson, and Mark English.

The past 12 months have seen 52 new products introduced at Hartlepool and the firm employs almost 450 people in the area.

TMD Friction is one of two UK production facilities in Hartlepool and has been making parts for the passenger car aftermarket since 1974.

The company manufactures brake pads for 95 per cent of cars and moved to its base in the town in 1998.

Tom Russell, UK operations manager, said: “This award win demonstrates that the plant is leading the way in the successful implementation of improvement techniques, which are playing a significant part in the facility’s continuous growth and ambition to become the best performing site in the TMD Friction Group portfolio.”