Nuclear component manufacturing improvements at Pryme Group

A CNC machine in the process of manufacturing a metal component

Pryme Group awarded Fit for Nuclear (F4N) status again at precision engineering facility GA North West

After a recent audit by Nuclear AMRC we can announce that GA Northwest in Morecambe has been granted a ‘Fit for Nuclear’ status (F4N) again.

As an established subcontract manufacturer of nuclear components, GA North West first entered the programme in April 2016. The aim was to support operational enhancements that improved the processes of component manufacturing for the nuclear supply chain. Following a reassessment by Nuclear AMRC in late 2019 it is confirmed that the GA North West facility can continue in its position as a ‘Fit for Nuclear’ company, giving confidence to nuclear manufacturers in the companies capabilities.

Addressing the improvements that the programme has instigated, John Friel, Managing Director of GA North West stated, “Retaining our Fit for Nuclear status was never going to be an exercise in box-ticking. Our processes and working methodologies were closely scrutinised. It speaks volumes of our team that we’ve been awarded Fit for Nuclear status again. It’s easy to rest on your laurels once you meet a standard, but we’ve been able to keep a firm focus on the standards that the industry will demand in the future. Continuous improvement is a value that we hold dear. We’re always looking to improve our workflow, processes and output quality.”

Improving component manufacturing for Nuclear Supply Chain

A local F4N mentor was on hand to guide the company through the process of reaching the highest nuclear manufacturing standards. Their expertise and knowledge of nuclear supply chain requirements provided key insights into where GA North West could make positive improvements.

“Working with Nuclear AMRC gave us a valuable, expert, third-party insight and highlighted improvements that we could make to maximise our capabilities. A lot of the changes focused on upgrading our working environment to improve safety and productivity. A good example would be the new cleaning stations that we’ve built; cleaning equipment is clearly visible and ready to use. It’s such a simple change, but we’ve decreased cleaning times and subsequently given machine operators more time on the machines. Any spillages they can be attended to immediately and everyone knows exactly where the cleaning equipment is.”

Four cleaning stations which allow cleaning equipment to be displayed and on hand

Cleaning stations – One of the many small changes implemented by GA North WestOther actions include assessing the culture at GA North West through employee questionnaires and improving internal auditing by implementing Process Effectiveness Assessment Reports (PEAR’s).

“We made sure to involve our entire team in the improvement process because it gives us the best understanding of any potential issues. Mapping out our entire workflow on a process map with the team helped us to identify any bottlenecks or enhancement opportunities. We’ve also installed a ‘Continuous Sustained Improvement Plan’ (CSIP) noticeboard which we update with our goals and associated actions. This way we all know which direction we’re pulling in, and how we’re going to get results together.”

Display boards showing a continuous improvement plan which aims to improve the manufacture of nuclear components
CSIP Boards – The company’s strategy for continuous improvement is communicated to all staff

“We’ve always shown a strong commitment to the nuclear industry. Our continued work with our F4N Industrial Advisors is a clear indication of that. Working together with Nuclear AMRC helped us craft a clear action plan. With continuous sustainable improvement planned out, we can continue in our role as a valued supplier to the nuclear supply chain.”

Commenting on his work with GA Engineering, Nigel Goodrich, F4N & F4OR Industrial Advisor for Nuclear AMRC said “I’ve enjoyed working with GA Engineering, seeing them respond positively to the challenges to improve both their culture and process, and seeing the benefits from this approach realised, as all are engaged in moving the business forwards.”

Precision engineering components for nuclear applications

As specialists in CNC machining, GA North West have been suppliers to some of the world’s leading industrial corporations for over 20 years. During this time they have cemented a reputation for manufacturing reliable, high-quality components. Entering the F4N programme in 2016 allowed the company to provide a better service to the nuclear sector. GA North West joined Pryme Group in 2015 which allowed for further growth and investment. The current GA North West ‘Fit for Nuclear’ award will be valid until 2023.

If you are looking for a manufacturer of nuclear components, then please submit your RFQ and our team of experts will provide you with a no-obligation quotation.

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