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Gordon Ramsey, head of manufacturing at robotics pioneer, Tharsus, gives an insight into his role, the importance of developing a great team and why they have joined the Advanced Manufacturing Forum business network.

I have been in my role at Tharsus in Blyth for nine years. There is never a time when I am not extremely busy, but I have to say that the pandemic took this to another level.

Like many other manufacturers, we had to adapt extremely quickly to the crisis and adhere to social distancing. The health and safety of our staff was uppermost in our minds and we’ve learned a lot especially in terms of supporting social distancing and developing new wellbeing and mental health practices.

We worked closely with our customers, providing unique solutions to help them during the pandemic. This included the development and deployment of BUMP, our own complete social distancing system which both helps people maintain distance but has track and trace capability to accurately identify those affected in the event of a positive case.  BUMP has kept Tharsus and our customers operational throughout the pandemic.

At the same time, we continued to innovate, launch new products and grow our service offer into new sectors.  We have extensive skills across our team.  Whatever the challenge, we will deliver to the highest quality and at exceptional speed to ensure we meet our customers’ needs.

We’ve two principal customer offers.  Both use our expertise in taking first of kind products into scale manufacture. They differ in the stage at which the customer comes to us.

In the first, the customer usually comes with a market disruptive idea and little clarity around what tech needs to be created to achieve it.  In the first instance they’re relying on our in-depth knowledge of commercial and technology strategy in new product development to understand whether their idea is viable.  And after that, our multi-disciplinary approach to design, prototyping and supply chain management to resolve a solution and get it into scale manufacture.

The second differs in that the customer comes to us having resolved viability for their product and created a prototype or near prototype.  They’re looking for a manufacturer with deep experience of getting first of kind products into accurate manufacture quickly. This is something we’re doing more and more as the offer is attractive to a wide range of customers who appreciate the value a level of technical competence above standard contract manufacturing can deliver into their product.

We’re at an important next stage in our growth.  As new members of the senior leadership team join -including new Group CEO Joni Rautavuori who joins with a wealth of experience in the global robotics and automation industry- it becomes all the more important that we look outwards, collaborate and share best practice.

I believe the Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF) is a natural fit. It provides a unique opportunity to network with other organisations within the North East with whom we share common interests.  In particular, the attraction and retention of really great people.

We want to engage with members, so we learn new processes and practices.  Likewise, share what we’ve learned.  Explore fresh thinking and new ideas.  Joining the AMF will play a key part of the important next phase in our journey.

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