Meet the Team – Jake Lowe

A strong logistics team is crucial to any business – ensuring that the impressive products and parts we produce get to our customers and that our stock arrives safely and securely.

Our logistics team is filled with passionate, dedicated employees, and we are excited to welcome the latest member of the team – our new Logistics Manager, Jake Lowe.

Jake Lowe - Logistics Manager

Jake joined us in June 2023 to take on the role of overseeing Alpha Manufacturing’s logistics department. With over 12 years of experience, Jake is the perfect person for the job.

Speaking about the importance of the role, Jake Lowe said:

“As a logistics manager, it’s down to me to ensure that everything coming in and going out of Alpha Manufacturing runs smoothly. With such a big operation here, being on top of the organisation of our logistics is key to maintaining such a high standard of reliability.”

Before joining Alpha Manufacturing, Jake’s logistic career began on the shop floor as a forklift driver. His strong work ethic, understanding of the bigger picture and management skills led Jake to progress from his role as a forklift driver to the general manager over 10 years, responsible for around 130 employees over five departments.

During his career, some of Jake’s proudest moments were being involved in an incredible project to deliver one of the first aid deliveries to Ukraine – providing much-needed support to those in need. Jake has also been involved in several impressive projects, including managing logistics for shipping aerospace equipment internationally.

Jake is an advocate for the opportunities within logistics; he explains:

“Logistics has something for everyone. There are so many different routes that you can go down, from management, delivery, preparation and much more. It’s a massively diverse area, with plenty of room for progression and growth.”

Though reaching the general manager level in his previous role, Jake decided to take on a new challenge at Alpha Manufacturing, allowing him a better work-life balance.

Here at Alpha Manufacturing and across The HEX Group, our family values are important, and we understand that spending quality time with your family is a top priority. We’re delighted that since joining, Jake’s already feeling a happier balance between work and his personal life.

In his downtime, Jake likes to get out into nature. He’s a keen angler who regularly goes fishing and keeps active by playing cricket. Jake also has a camper van he loves travelling in with his family.

Welcome to the Alpha Manufacturing team, Jake – we’re excited to see what the future holds for you within The HEX Group.

Craig Gadsby celebrates 20 years’ service

In July 2003, Craig Gadsby joined Alpha Manufacturing as a Punch Operator whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at college one day a week.

Craig’s career began when the business was based on the Hixon Airfield estate, but due to expansion in 2006, Craig played a crucial role in the business re-location when they moved to their current location on Pasturefields Lane. Alpha Manufacturing is a division of The HEX Group, employing over 500 people.

Congratulations to our longest-serving Punch Operator, Craig Gadsby, for 20 years’ service at Alpha Manufacturing

Twenty years later, Craig is the longest-serving Punch Operator with a mound of punch and lasering knowledge on some of the world’s best-known punch machines, including Amada, Pull Max and Trumpf. His knowledge of these machines is second to none, and Craig is instrumental in training colleagues.

In 2017, Alpha Manufacturing invested in its first STOPA large-scale storage system, which Craig remembers well, commenting, “The STOPA system was a significant investment to the company and made a massive impact on the punching process. We now have an automated system for part-picking material in and out of the machines instead of manual feeding. This took our manufacturing capabilities to another level and improved efficiencies massively. It was an exciting project to be involved in”.

Over the years, Craig Gadsby has been at the forefront of witnessing the business grow and grow with it. Craig comments, “With every new work contract obtained you automatically adapt – the development in machine technology, the progressive training and the additional responsibility. Sometimes, until you stop and step back, you do not realise how far the business has come”.

Craig works on a continental shift pattern, four on, four off, 6 am – 6 pm but has worked various shift patterns over the years.

Outside work, Craig enjoys 5-a-side football once or twice a week when he’s not on shift! Socialising with friends and family is also at the top of the list for Craig.

Congratulations on your 20 years of service, and we look forward to celebrating the next 20!

A family business – Alpha Manufacturing

At Alpha Manufacturing and The HEX Group, family values are integral to who we are.

As a family business, we’re so proud to have built an environment where multiple members from the same family often work within The HEX Group.

One family duo within Alpha Manufacturing is Sam and Charlie, a mother-and-daughter team who work side by side to help assemble our premium-quality, luxury garden furniture.

Sam and Charlie, mother and daughter who are employed by our family business

To see how they work together at The HEX Group, we asked them a few questions…

How long have you both worked for Alpha Manufacturing?

We joined Alpha Manufacturing in February 2022, so around 17 months now.

We both applied and came for our job interviews at the same time.

Are you in the same job as when you first started?

No, we were initially employed to work in a different assembly area.

When the group started the HEX Living brand, our role focused solely on supporting HEX Living as it grew.

What does your average day look like?

Typically, our day includes everything from picking, packing, building, assembling, and sorting the labels and paperwork out for delivery of HEX Living garden products. This role has a lot of variety, and all days are different. It’s very fast-paced, which suits both of us down to the ground.

How did you both apply/get the job?

We applied online and heard back quickly, and we both started on permanent contracts.

How do you find working with each other?

We love it. We are like best friends, so joining a family business really works well for us. We have loads of fun and really enjoy working together. We know how to work with each other, and we can pick up where the other left off, so it does work like clockwork for us.

Is there much opportunity for progression with Alpha Manufacturing and The HEX Group?

Absolutely, there is plenty of opportunities for career progression. Right now, though, we’re enjoying the role we have.

There are so many different exciting projects going on. When prototypes for new products get approved, we are usually the first ones to build and assemble them, which is loads of fun and quite satisfying getting things right the first time.

What did you do before joining Alpha Manufacturing?

Sam: I’ve worked in many different sectors, including other factory and assembly work, logistics, and office work, including sales and cleaning jobs.

Charlie: I am fully qualified as a nursery nurse. After college, I spent many years in this setting. I have done factory work too.  

Is quality important in your role?

Very important, as we are building and assembling, if we get anything wrong it can lead to delays for the customer – we’re very quality focused and give everything a pre-check before it goes to inspection.

We also have to pay attention to checking the paperwork is correct and labels are correctly put on the packaged parts, or it could cause a huge issue which is very time-consuming to fix. We take great pride in our work, which is reflected in the finished product. 

Any advice for others tempted to join Alpha Manufacturing and The HEX Group?

Working with family suits us; we get on well and enjoy our job, so if that sounds like you, we recommend it. The HEX Group is a great family business and it offers many job roles across its divisions to suit everyone, and it’s straightforward to apply.

Battery Storage Solutions – UK manufactured supplier

The demand for battery storage solution has experienced a remarkable surge in recent years, driven by the global shift towards sustainable energy solutions.

For battery storage manufacturers seeking reliable and efficient suppliers, we are geared up to help.

With our cutting-edge technology, extensive expertise, and commitment to quality, Alpha Manufacturing is well-placed to meet the demands of battery storage manufacturers.

Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities

Alpha Manufacturing boasts state-of-the-art facilities with cutting-edge technology and machinery in our 24/7 capable facility. This allows us to produce high-quality, precision-engineered components at scale. Battery storage manufacturers require components that meet strict specifications and tolerances for optimal performance and safety. Our advanced capabilities enable us to consistently deliver components that not only meet but exceed industry standards.

Expertise in Custom Solutions

Recognising that every battery storage solution has unique requirements, we offer expertise in developing custom solutions. Our highly skilled engineers and designers collaborate closely with battery storage manufacturers to create components that precisely align with their specifications. This approach ensures that the final products seamlessly integrate into the battery storage systems, enhancing overall efficiency and performance.

Quality Assurance and Compliance

Adhering to stringent quality standards and industry regulations is vital for battery storage solution. Alpha Manufacturing strongly emphasises quality assurance and implements rigorous testing procedures throughout the manufacturing process. Our established, robust quality management system guarantees consistent product excellence. We’re well-versed in the battery storage industry’s regulatory requirements, ensuring that all components are compliant and safe for use.

Commitment to Sustainability

In an era of heightened environmental awareness, sustainability is a critical consideration for battery storage manufacturers. Alpha Manufacturing, part of The HEX Group, shares this commitment and actively promotes sustainable practices with a target to hit carbon neutrality by 2037. We prioritise using eco-friendly materials and production processes that minimise waste and reduce environmental impact. By partnering with Alpha Manufacturing, battery storage manufacturers can align their supply chain with sustainable principles, thereby enhancing the overall sustainability of their products.

Reliability and Timely Delivery

In the fast-paced battery storage industry, timely delivery is paramount to meet market demands. We understand the importance of reliable and efficient supply chain management. Through streamlined processes, efficient logistics, and an excellent track record, they ensure that battery storage manufacturers receive their components on time without compromising quality.

TIG Welding – Meet the team – Scott Urquhart

Tig Welding - Scott - standing outside of workshop

How long have you worked in Tig Welding at Alpha Manufacturing?

I have worked at Alpha Manufacturing for around 15 months now. 

Have you always worked in Tig Welding?

Pretty much, yes! I have been Tig Welding for over 14 years. 

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I actually wanted to be an archaeologist; I have always been fascinated by it and the elements associated with Egyptian pyramids. 

What are your daily responsibilities?

Mainly reporting where the team is at in the fabrication shop to management, producing high-quality work and checking it’s all fit for purpose before it leaves the shop. We are responsible for our quality checks, so this is one of my main focuses. 

Also, when a new staff member or another pair of hands comes in to help, I train them and ensure they are confident with the task in what they’re doing. 

Any other career experiences?

When I left school, I was an engineer’s shop labourer. I did a bit of mechanical engineering, and eventually, I was working with a guy who had been in the welding fabrication trade all his life, where I did a 6-year apprenticeship. 

Is quality important in your job role?

Yes, it’s so important. Currently, we are focusing on HEX Living furniture, and I take great pride in ensuring every piece is perfect. I always take a step back from anything I have welded and think, ‘Would I be happy to receive this as a paying customer’; that should be at the front of everyone’s minds when they are building something. 

What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

I’ve been fortunate to have previously worked on Ministry Of Defence and aerospace projects. I have made machines for various cleaning products – including ultrasonic sterilising units for satellite lens cleaning. 

Is there any progress in your job?

Yes, there’s definitely the opportunity to progress, whether it be skill-wise or professionally. I am currently changing from lead Tig Welder to team leader, which I am thrilled with. I love the responsibility and can manage a team of people quite well. 

Is there anything you’re proud of working on?

In the past, I have worked on sensory booths for children with ADHD, autism and other problems, which I am pretty proud of. To think something I took part in creating has helped a young child be more familiar with their senses is a good feeling to have. 

Any advice for anyone wanting to be a Tig welder?

Remember your ABCs. Always be comfortable. And also hand agility ability, you need to move your hand and wrist in certain movements hundreds of times some days depending on work orders, so muscle memory is quite important and takes some getting used to. 

Laser Operator: Meet Josh Boothroyd

Laser Operator

How long did it take you to learn the skills of a laser operator?

It takes a couple of weeks to learn the basic process of using the laser machine, and over time you pick up more advanced and effective ways of being a laser operator.

Is there any progression in this area?

Yes, there’s lots of progression. You can start off as a machine operator and then learn maintenance on the machine. And then finally, learning to programme the machines with all different settings. My personal experience of progressing is working on the machines, then into the bend cell working on the Salvagnini panel bender, then to the laser and training new people or apprentices.

What fascinates you about the laser?

The range of parts that the machine can cut. Also, the range of materials it works really well with. Just the whole general function of the machine is really fascinating.

What’s the thickest material you have worked with on this machine?

I have worked with materials up to 20ml thickness; the thinnest material it can accurately work with is 0.5ml.

What did you want to do as a job when you left school/college?

My first job leaving school was in a factory; I have always wanted to work in something to do with engineering as there’s so much choice.

What other experience do you have?

I did my work experience in a machine shop on various things. But generally, I have a machining background, and I’m happy to stay in it and progress as much as possible.

What is one fact about your job?

The laser I work with, Bystronic Bysprint fibre 4020, produces up to 4000 watts, making cutting through the most challenging materials easy.

How long have you worked here, and how did you start?

I started off at Alpha Manufacturing as an apprentice nearly 7 years ago now. I had to work in each area to gain my on-the-job knowledge and experience, and I was happy to accept a job in the machine operative area as that’s my background.

What are your daily responsibilities?

To make sure the machine is running as it should be. Operate and maintain the machine to prolong its life span, it’s used 24 hours a day, so it needs regular checking and maintenance to ensure it’s working at 100% efficiency.

Alpha Integrated Solutions – Expert Sheet Metal Assembly Service

Alpha Integrated Solutions

With a dedicated assembly facility called Alpha Integrated Solutions in Hixon, Staffordshire, we have an experienced and knowledgeable team that can complete your fully assembled finished products.

Alpha Integrated Solutions works closely with new and existing customers to develop complete products that combine components manufactured by Alpha Manufacturing and other suppliers.

Complex assembly is an increasingly popular service across many industries today, and we’ve certainly seen an increase in demand for fully assembled products to fine tolerances and finishes. This approach to fabricating products brings the customer high cost and efficiency savings.

Paul Clews, Alpha Manufacturing MD, comments, “Since the business was launched in the late 80s, we’ve always had a robust assembly offering. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced customers to consider supply chain efficiencies and product handling, resulting in many more customers choosing Alpha Manufacturing to fabricate the entire product, eliminating the need for multiple suppliers to ‘touch’ the product. With our metal design skills, customers increasingly turn to us to design and fabricate the entire product utilizing components from other suppliers to achieve a complete solution.”

With a wealth of experience across a broad range of product types, from simple assemblies to large-scale, complex builds, our assembly team is confident working with various components and products, working to technical drawings, SOP’s and stringent quality standards.

Some product assemblies we’ve worked on include commercial server cabinets, modular off-site packaged units for the construction industry, heating systems, medical equipment, gaming units, retail fixtures and industrial load banks.

Spotlight on Atlas Coating – Powder Coating Loading

Cheryelle - powder coating

The Atlas Coating facility uses the most advanced powder coating technology available in the world and as a result works with customers to deliver finished products that can withstand the rigours of every environment including heavy engineering and construction.

As a Track Loader at Atlas Coating, Cherelle Woodward plays a pivitol role in setting up products on the track for spraying. Failure to hang parts correctly could result in products not being sprayed as required, and resulting in parts that may be unprotected. From small, intricate parts, up to large parts used for machinery, the number of items she hangs varies from day to day.

It’s also critical that Cherelle and the team load the paint plant as efficiently as possible. With energy prices at a record high its more important than ever to maximise the number of parts we put through the plant every hour in order to give our customers a competitive price.

Cherelle says “I really enjoy working at Atlas Coatings, part of The HEX Group. The team I work in are great. I find it really interesting seeing the variety of different parts that we paint every day for our customers, we never know what we will be doing next!”

Cherelle joined Atlas Coating as a temp doing night shifts, becoming a permanent member of staff in March 2022. Before joining the business, Cherelle worked in goods in and as a quality inspector. Living in the local Hixon village, Staffordshire, she’s right on the doorstep of The HEX Group, and is proud to work for the ever-expanding company.

In her spare time Cherelle enjoys walking, watching films – The Lord of the Rings is a favourite of hers, and reading crime novels.

To find out more about our Atlas Coating and our powder coating technology, click here.

Meet the Alpha Manufacturing Planning Team

Planning Team - Alpha Manufacturing

Meet the Alpha Manufacturing Planning team, which plays a crucial part in the smooth running of the business, and working closely with other divisions within The HEX Group to make sure customer orders are processed accurately and on time.

Promoted to Planning Manager in September 2022, Joanna Sitek leads the team, and they’re a force to be reckoned with. Initially joining the business in 2007 as a CNC Machinist, she has tackled many roles, from operating machines on the shop floor to working in the planning department.

Now responsible for planning all of the Alpha Manufacturing order book, including external sub-contract work and inter-company orders for the Bri-Stor Systems division, Joanna has to work closely with several other teams internally to ensure required deadlines are met. Alongside estimating and planning orders, she sets up bill of materials and routings as per technical drawings and releases works orders ready for production. She’s also working on few projects at the moment, which should automate some of the current manual processes and hopefully significantly improve on time efficiency.

Joanna says, “I am really enjoying my role as Planning Manager, but it can sometimes be challenging. Now responsible for a team, I have to ensure I’m supporting them while completing my work.”

In her spare time, Joanna loves to travel. Born in Poland, Joanna returns home five or six times per year to visit family. She looks forward to holidays in Italy and Cyprus later this year. Also big into her fitness, Joanna loves to train when she has the time.

Ancuta Bosioc is Planning Production Assistant. Initially joining the business in 2019, Anca worked in product assembly on the shop floor before moving into the Alpha Manufacturing office and working in Planning. Her role includes placing orders on the system, creating part numbers, scheduling jobs and releasing paperwork for production.

Born in Romania, Anca came to the UK in 2015 to work as a strawberry picker. She fell in love with the country and has never looked back. She loves hiking with friends and is currently studying for a Business Management degree, attending Bedfordshire University every week.

Also, part of the team is Lizzy Graham, Data Entry Clerk/Planning Admin. She came into the business via an agency in January 2021 before taking a permanent contract in April 2021. Responsible for entering purchase orders, setting up parts and updating the order book, she ensures that admin duties are conducted accurately and efficiently.

Lizzie says, “I really enjoy my job, especially setting up multi-component assemblies which I find very interesting.”

With a love for creative writing, Lizzie has written three adult fiction books and currently working on number four. Published herself on Kindle Direct, you can check out Lizzie’s books called Survival. In her spare time, she also loves to listen to music and designing houses and clothes.

And finally, we have Charlotte Allen, a Level 3 Support Technician Apprentice who is supporting the team with a special project to improve processes and automation within the function. Primarily helping with administration, Charlotte is working closely with the rest of the team and learning a lot about the planning operation along the way.

Charlotte joined The HEX Group in 2021 after spending one year at JCB Academy doing an apprenticeship. She says, “Being at The HEX Group feels like a family. There is always someone to help and support me.”

Charlotte has a keen interest in moving into sales or marketing upon completion of her Level 3 apprenticeship and would love to study for a degree in one of these disciplines.

In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys spending time with her friends, listening to Indie music and travelling. She has a few holidays planned already but is excited about a Christmas trip to New York with her family.

Meet the Team – Micheal Howells

From Quality to Costing, we recently caught up with Micheal Howells to understand his career journey so far and how his new role as Costing Engineer in Alpha Manufacturing is going.

Leaving college, Micheal had a passion for Quality and secured his first job as Quality Inspector at Alpha Manufacturing in 2016. Enjoying the role but finding working shifts a challenge, Micheal left and spent the following number of years working within Construction, volunteering as a Special Constable, and gaining a degree in Professional Policing. Micheal comments, “Quality was my first employment, and although I didn’t want to leave, it allowed me to experience a number of different avenues.”

Luckily for us, Micheal returned to his roots and re-joined the Quality Team at Alpha Manufacturing, and in June last year, he accepted the new challenge of Costing Engineer. Micheal adds, “the experience of working within Quality has given me the understanding of processes and customer requirements, which I can implement within this new role. I think it is important to learn the groundwork of any job to enable career progression, which is what I aim for now.”

During his spare time, Micheal likes to keep fit by playing squash and hiking, socialising with friends and music, with a particular interest in the guitar.

New Operations Manager appointed at Alpha Chemical Technologies site in Stafford

Operation Manager Will Johnson

Alpha Manufacturing has recently appointed Will Johnson as the new Operations Manager for the Chemical Technologies site in Stafford.

With over 25 years of experience in manufacturing, Will has a vast amount of knowledge and understanding of production, shop floor layouts and getting as much as possible out of the plant. His time as a quality engineer in a previous role also stands him in good stead, as manufacturing high-quality products is at the heart of the Alpha Manufacturing strategy.

Coming from a bespoke giftware company in Stoke-on-Trent, Will is used to a fast-paced operation and ensuring that orders are out of the door quickly and efficiently. At peak times, from October to December, up to 10,000 products would go through the facility every day.

Will joins the Group at an exciting time, when the Chemical Technologies facility is growing, allowing him to put his own stamp on things and implement processes and systems to ensure the plant runs efficiently and meets its daily targets.

Will says, “It’s exciting coming into an established environment, with support around me to help me develop and progress. There are challenges, but I’m really looking forward to growing a skilled team and learning alongside them to improve and grow this fantastic facility.”

In his spare time, Will enjoys socialising with friends, eating out and weekends away.

We’re delighted to have Will on board as our new Operations Manager and look forward to seeing him grow personally and professionally with the Group.

We’re currently recruiting for TIG Welders to join the team at the Stafford facility. If you have the experience and are looking for a new challenge, check out the job description and how to apply here TIG Welder – The Hex Group

The heat pump revolution is underway and we’re here to help you make the most of it

We are a UK-based company dedicated to helping businesses across various industries thrive. One area where we excel is in providing support to companies that manufacture heat pumps.

Heat pumps are an essential technology in the journey towards more sustainable and efficient heating systems. These systems use electricity to transfer heat from the air or ground to provide efficient heating and cooling for buildings. In doing this, they can be used as an alternative to traditional fossil fuel-based heating systems, which can help to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Our advanced sheet metal fabrication facility is well-equipped to tackle the unique demands of heat pump manufacturing. With the latest technology and talented professionals, we can deliver high-quality parts and components that meet the precise needs of our clients.

In addition to our fabrication capabilities, we offer various services to support heat pump manufacturers. These include prototyping, design support, and project management. We know that the heat pump market is constantly evolving, and we are passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.

At Alpha Manufacturing, we are thrilled to be a trusted partner for companies in the heat pump industry. Whether you are a small start-up or a large corporation, we have the resources and experience to support your manufacturing goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive.


Meet the team – Rafal

Joining Alpha Manufacturing over nine years ago, Rafal Laczkowski has become crucial in ensuring our products get to our customers in pristine condition as quickly as possible.

Rafal joined the business in the dispatch department. After just one year of working within the team, Rafal’s hard work and commitment were recognised – earning him a promotion to supervisor level.

Despite his love for his team and drive to ensure his job was done to a high standard, Rafal had always dreamed of a different career path.

After eight years within Alpha Manufacturing, seeing the opportunities through training and growth available, Rafal decided it was time to talk to Paul Clews, Managing Director of Alpha Manufacturing, about his childhood dream.

Rafal said, “To be a driver, it was my dream. A proper dream. After eight years working for Alpha Manufacturing, I approached Paul Clews and asked him if there were any opportunities to become a HGV driver.”

Alpha Manufacturing is dedicated to supporting apprentices and staff to achieve their best. This case was no different. The Alpha management team agreed to cover all costs of Raf’s training and guarantee him a role as a delivery driver upon completion.

Paul Clews, Managing Director of Alpha Manufacturing, said, “I’m so proud that we were able to help Raf get to where he wanted to be. It’s important to us as a business to know our staff are happy and fulfilled.”

“A major focus of The HEX Group is to ensure our team has the training opportunities to reach their goals.”

Reflecting on the transition to his new dream role, Rafal said, “I’ve been driving for just over a year now. This job is perfect – from start to finish.”

“My typical day begins with vehicle inspections, ensuring the vehicle is safe on the road. Then, it’s time to supervise the product loads ensuring that everything is secured properly to avoid damage.”

“I can be doing a couple of deliveries a day or doing one longer delivery to places such as Southampton. When I’m driving, you can find me listening to the likes of Michael Jackson, the Pet Shop Boys, and other pop classics to pass the time.”

Rafal’s commitment to ensuring that Alpha Manufacturing’s products get to our customers is second to none. We look forward to sharing more about his role here soon.

Keeping emergency blood supplies safe on blood bikes

Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire Blood Bikes deliver urgent supplies to medical settings across the three counties and beyond.

Often relied on in times of emergency, they can provide anything from breast milk for neonatal units to urgent supplies of blood or platelets when hospitals are running low. The service is entirely manned by volunteers, and the team’s 16 motorbikes are a lifeline for its users, covering 350,000 miles a year to support people in need.

Unique solution 

When the charity updated their fleet, they needed help to configure a specialist tray which could be fitted to the back of each bike to transport the much-needed blood boxes and containers needed for deliveries.

Alpha Manufacturing designed a specialist modular tray with various fixing kits to fit multiple styles of bike, including the charity’s new BMW and Moto Guzzi models.

“It really has made a difference”, says Fleet Manager Nigel Howells. “We now have a system that can work with any bike we choose. It can be adapted and remodelled as needed to provide a simple solution which can even transport two different products at the same time.”

Collaborative approach

The HEX Group’s expertise in graphics meant they were also able to source and apply specialist motorbike livery that perfectly fit the charity’s new BMW and Moto Guzzi models.

Having clear signage on their fleet of motorbikes is essential in making sure riders are visible on the road and can be safely identified.

“Our 160 volunteer riders rely on clear signage on the Blood Bikes to keep them safe and make them visible on the road,” adds Nigel.

“When we had to change bike models, it was difficult to find a supplier who could provide the livery required. Working with HEX Graphics has made the whole process simpler, and we can now quickly and easily brand up new bikes so our riders can continue to get out on the roads providing the much-needed support to the NHS.”

Updating eight new bikes and with another three in the pipeline, the Group is hoping the idea will become best practice in helping other Blood Bike teams across the country providing a simple solution to keep volunteer riders safe on the road.

Meet the Team – Libby Mellor, Trainee Quality Engineer

Twelve months after joining Alpha Manufacturing, after attending the Company’s first recruitment open day, Libby Mellor, a former Mechanical Engineering apprentice, has implemented the iAuditor quality control processes at the new 35,000sq ft Alpha Manufacturing Chemical Technologies site in Stafford.

Libby joined the business as a Trainee Quality Engineer and explains how she established an interest in Quality Control from her Engineering Apprenticeship Programme: “Spending time in various departments gave me a real insight into Engineering. Quality was the one area that particularly captured my interest, realising the importance of inspecting and monitoring operations to ensure they meet production standards.”

Not long into her role, Libby embarked on the challenge of implementing the iAuditor quality inspection system at our new Stafford site in conjunction with INEOS Electrochemical Solutions. Working in a brand-new factory, Libby explains how she tackled the challenge head-on:

“It was great that Alpha saw my potential and gave me this opportunity. In the beginning, the integration of the INEOS control plan into iAuditor was a priority, continually highlighting potential changes and addressing them along the way. Manufacturing of the product had not yet begun, which meant working closely with INEOS was crucial, and ISIRs (Initial Sample Inspection Reports) were key to ensuring quality standards were met. Before production commenced, the quality control process of regular inspections was imperative to achieving such high-precision engineering.

“We have come a long way, and my day-to-day routine focuses primarily on operator training and ensuring all the quality controls we have put in place are adhered to. The iAuditor software is tablet-based and keeps inspections accurate and up-to-date, and the process is simple and quick.”

Once the new site is fully commissioned and handed over, Libby will return to the Quality Department at Alpha, where she has recently been accepted onto the Group’s new Leadership Programme, alongside a Quality Management and Auditing course. Libby’s commitment and enthusiasm for her role and the business are unquestionable, and her future at Alpha is exciting.