Thomas Dudley has been trading for more than 100 years across several generations, supplying merchants and wholesalers not only in the UK, but as far away as Africa and the Caribbean.
Under its umbrella are six companies working in different areas of manufacturing: TDF Foundry, McDonald Diecasting, Waterfit, Rugby Plastics, Thomas Dudley Works, and TYDE.
It was in TYDE’s production facility – which specialises in the production of over 6,000 plumbing products made from various materials – where an opportunity to increasing was first spotted.
They identified that if there were any problems with its plastic injection moulding machines, they would not know about it straight away as performance data could not be collected in real time.
Instead, workers would have to inspect the machines manually and extract performance data that was often old – meaning issues could be left undetected, negatively affecting the production line.
Peter realised that a modern MES would likely be the way to solve the problem.
Through the Black Country Growth Hub, Peter and Martin Dudley, CEO of Thomas Dudley,
heard about Made Smarter and the support it offered in helping businesses adopt solutions like an MES.
Peter contacted Made Smarter through its website and was put in touch with Jit Gatcha, Made Smarter’s Digital Transformation specialist for the Black Country. Jit organised a meeting with Peter and Martin alongside Tomas Novais, Senior Research Engineer at Made Smarter strategic partner, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).
Peter said: “We knew the issues we were facing, but we needed reassurance that we were making the right decision and the grant money that Made Smarter offered was very attractive. “If we could remove this bottleneck, it would allow us to be significantly more productive and reliably fulfil orders much faster for our customers.”