Thursday, 13 June 2013
Manufacturer Focus: A.J Wells - Charnwood
Opened in the '70s by the Wells family, A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd. Back then, no one then could have guessed that one day a small company could become one of the most important sources of income on the Isle of Wight. However, as the times changes the workshop expanded its business for the sale of free-standing stoves. And so it began.Alfred Wells, father of the current director, John Wells and now retired Alister Wells (director of production), founded the workshop on 16 February 1972, located in the village of Niton, on the above-mentioned, the picturesque Isle of Wight. In addition to auto repair, workshop dealt with agricultural equipment repairs, manufacturing, gates, balustrades and handrails, and emergency exits.In the seventies Britain facing a crisis, as a consequence there has been a rise in oil prices. Then its toll also met Dutch elm disease, which has caused wither about 25 million trees across the country. These two economic factors contributed to the fact that the family, interested in free-standing stoves and soon began selling them.Offered by heating devices have one significant drawback weakening sales - too large size. Customers wanted to have a smaller furnace and it was at their request, Alfred and his sons - a trained engineers - they decided to design the stove. And that was Beacon - The first Charnwood.The device is selling well, which contributed to the development of the company. It took the new manpower and greater accommodation. For this reason, the company, located just on the surface of 139 m2, in 1980, changed its office in Newport - where there was a slightly larger plant.In the 80s Most enamel finishing was carried out by local businesses. However, it was difficult for reliable subcontractors, so the company decided to invest in their own enamelling equipment. Quite unfortunately happened that shortly after this investment, another crisis hit Britain and sales plummeted furnaces. The Wells family was forced to look for new jobs. In this way, managed to win a tender for the London Underground, for which today produces enamel signboards and various characters (a division Specialists Signage & VE).In 1997, the factory moved to the seat, which is today, a company has 4645 m2 area. Although a greater number of employees, A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd still remains a family business. Currently, the company manages the second and third generation of Wells family members. In the past, for 16 members of the family were all working at A.J Wells at the same time. There are differences of opinion between them. Fortunately, on matters of opinion there is no difference. Undoubtedly, the great advantage of a family business is that it is composed person can fully trust each other. In addition, the management of large plant requires the involvement of staff at various levels and levels, and the family atmosphere fostered by. Although not all of today associate the name A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd - in turn Charnwood brand is well known in the global market.Wells factory is located in three buildings: the largest, single-storey production hall is Charnwood stoves, with office space on the first floor. The second building is a warehouse, which stored up to 6000 devices. In the last formed enamel and metal department, and at the floor, in the so-called. studio houses a permanent exhibition of products and training room. In addition to study is quite interesting room where you can see the imitation of the London Underground station (called by most workers - station Wight).The company A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd, in addition to Charnwood and enamel, consists of two divisions dealing with the import and sale of chimney systems, and Fair Trade products Bodjani. The business operates in this manner supports small family company in Cambodia, since the terracotta tiles and hand-woven baskets Bodjani manufactured in Asia.The production process begins with the body sheet metal with laser cutting machines. Then cut elements are formed using presses and welding. Welding line is divided into several stations, where each welder combines certain elements. This increases efficiency and allows fine control of the quality of the product, in the case of any errors - also respond quickly. Some welding is done using modern robots. After initial purification reach the sand bodies, which are for a period of 3 - 7 minutes. Metal shot gives them a specific finish (the so-called. Peel oranges). After this step, the body reaches the paint, and then into the tunnel, where it is pre-dried. As in the case of welding, the assembly line is equipped with special rollers. The body is moved and gradually increases are the other elements. Before the oven is completely folded, it is re-coated and dried. Are installed at the end of the other internal components and windows, and the furnace is given a serial number, confirming compliance with the quality standards. Then, the machine goes to the store.Currently branch Signage & VE Specialists, in addition to furnaces, enamelling deals with stoves, bathtubs, but most of all the panels and characters. Performs order companies and individual clients. This sector is also working with a group of artists who perform a very interesting project: an example could be the work of a well-known Laura Boswell and Michael Forrest. Among the customers, but the London Transport Company (London Metro), include, for example National Railway, ABB - an international working group including in the automation industry and energy, BAM Nuttall - a company in the construction and engineering.Using the highest quality materials piecom Charnwood provides high strength, attractive appearance, and above all, excellent heating properties. Selected raw materials come from local UK market. Most parts of the furnaces and basic accessories are manufactured in the factory on the Isle of Wight. The exceptions are the elements iron, which comes down from the middle of England (Birmingham), and glass - Schott shipped from the factory in Germany. With this independence, we can fully control the production process and the quality of equipment.Charnwood has won numerous awards. In 2009, the company has received, from the hands of the same Elizabeth II, The Queen's Award - for excellence in the field of international trade. The prize entitles the winner to use the royal logo in all promotional materials for the next 5 years.The Company continues to invest and modernize its plant. Over the past three years paved the capital nearly 4 million pounds of modern, high-tech machines (presses, welding robots, laser cutting) and the modernization of the production line, making almost double increase in performance.Annually, A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd sells about 20,000 stoves Charnwood, which represents 80% of company revenue. The remainder of the budget is income from enamel and - to a lesser extent - with branches importing chimney systems and products Bodjani Trade.This year is a special time of up to five reasons. First, the company celebrated the 40th anniversary of their business. Secondly, family-owned company has been recognized by an independent bimonthly "Sublime Magazine" as "Outstanding Company 2012". Third activity A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd was awarded The Print & Design Awards 2012 - the directory Charnwood, who won in the category "Best use of recycled paper." Fourth, August 13, 2012, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip visited the headquarters of Charnwood. Finally, the two branches of the fifth - Charnwood and enamel Signage & VE Specialists - were invited to participate in an exhibition at London's Science Museum, which promotes British manufacturing industry. The company was among 39 exhibitors (including next brand Rolls-Royce, Jaguar, Land Rover).Charnwood also won numerous local awards in the field of ecology. The Company does not underestimate the impact of their activities on the environment. Therefore, the factory has introduced an integrated management system that focuses on two aspects: quality control and nature conservation. It is based on the international standards ISO 9001 and the environmental impact of ISO 14001.The company helps local businesses using their services, and supports initiatives rustic - Charnwood is a local sponsor for the club rugby. In addition, factory A.J. Wells & Sons Ltd cooperates with the Department of Production Engineering, University of Cambridge. Almost every year, students come here to carry out on-site projects and work on the heating technique.Charnwood products are sold in 80% of the local market - in the UK and Ireland. In addition, the device is exported to many European countries, mainly France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and now also to the Polish market. Outside Europe - also arrive in South Africa, Canada, Japan and the Middle East.The idea was to create a founder of the company providing maintenance Wells family. After 40 years of working here for about 180 people, which means that the company is one of the major employers in the Isle of Wight and almost a recognizable global brand furnaces.