Derbyshire-based sliding head lathe supplier, Star Micronics GB Ltd, reinforced its commitment to customer support by retaining all of its staff and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Star GB is the only dedicated supplier of sliding headstock technology throughout the UK & Ireland and supports over 1,500 Star machine installations nationwide. As lockdown measures became imposed in March, the lathe supplier committed its support for all customers who chose to continue their manufacturing operations, with a primary focus on assisting those involved in the manufacture of critical medical parts.
To achieve this, the company pledged to keep each of its 28 staff members in duty and chose not to utilise the government’s furlough support scheme. While many employees were temporarily transitioned to a home-working arrangement, remote systems allowed for synergy between departments and enabled the company to maintain its supply of machinery, spare parts, software, servicing and applications support.
In association with the HVMC (High Value Manufacturing Catapult), a significant number of Star users dedicated their machining capacity to help with the production of urgent ventilator components. In a momentous collaborative effort, over 250,000 parts were manufactured in record time from drawings to dispatch.
In support of these efforts, a skeleton staff at Star GB’s Technology Centre in Derby ran several machines around the clock, whilst its site and remote teams joined together to provide technical assistance with program development, preparation of tooling layouts, procurement of cutting tools and other requests as required.
The outstanding commitment of these teams alongside a healthy on-site stock of Star machinery, FMB bar feeders and ancillary equipment made it possible for Star GB to achieve its quickest ever turnaround on the supply of a new machine. At the peak of the pandemic, Qualiturn Products Ltd invested in an additional SR-32JII Type B with high-pressure coolant which was ordered, delivered, installed and producing critical medical parts within 48 hours.
Stephen Totty, Managing Director of Star GB said: “We have built our reputation on leading support and it was paramount that as a company we joined together to assist our customers in these challenging times. I believe that retaining our staff throughout the lockdown was pivotal and each team went above and beyond to overcome the various obstacles presented by COVID-19.
“I continue to be amazed by what our customers have achieved using our technology and can say with confidence that the efforts from everyone involved has saved lives and united our industry. We look forward to embracing the challenges ahead and I would like to thank our staff, customers and suppliers for their ongoing support as we transition into a new normal.”
As restrictions continue to ease, most of Star GB’s staff have now transitioned back to on-site working with social distancing and safety procedures in place. The company is also looking to expand its team in the coming months to further enhance its customer support.