In a new four-part blog series, we will be introducing you to some of the key people in Broder Metals Group who keep the business running on a day-to-day basis and enable us to deliver an excellent service for our customers. Today, we’d like you to meet Andy, who carries out a variety of roles in our warehouse.

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What Is Your Background And How Did You Come To Start Working For Broder Metals Group?

Before starting at Broder, I ran my own business for a while, supplying a variety of products to the general public. I’d heard good things about Broder, so when a job came up that fitted my skills I put in my application – and here I am!

Can You Describe Your Role And What A Typical Day Entails?

I work in the Broder Metals Group warehouse as a sawman primarily, mainly the cutting itself but also doing monthly services of our machines to keep everything running smoothly. When I’m not busy with all of that, I also help with forklift driving (I have a forklift licence), and assist with other elements of warehouse management, such as picking and packing orders. My hours are 9-to-5 with a lunch break around 1 o’clock depending on how busy we are. There is a sandwich shop close by that does bacon, sausage, and egg sandwich deliveries – that’s my favourite but sometimes I have to make do with a microwave meal!

By the time I arrive in the morning, Liam the Warehouse Manager has my day’s cutting job information sheets ready, separated into cutting and other work, and sorted by grade, material, size, and cast, and where the material is located in the warehouse. My first job, once I’ve checked the sheets, is to find the bars that are needed, using our combi-lift forklift or counterbalance forklift. Once I’ve driven the material to the cutting area, we take each bar or bundle and put it on the scale to confirm the weight, then select a saw depending on the diameter and material type. Then I’m ready to start cutting!

Tell Me More About The Cutting/Sawing Aspect Of Your Role

We choose which saw blade is best to make the cut, then we measure the length of material required, and input the size and cut measurements into the CNC bandsaw control panel. Our saws have both manual and automatic settings depending on how many cuts we are making – we might cut eight or nine pieces from one bar and can program the saw, so it does this automatically. The saw’s control unit automatically fills in the grade, number of cuts, diameters, and how many bars are put in at once, and also shows how much each cut costs.

What Is The Most Important Aspect Of Cutting To Get The Best Quality And Most Accurate Measurements?

Getting the right speed on the saw blade is essential. There are two types of saw motion: rotate speed, which depends on the material being cut, and down speed, which is how quickly the saw descends. Getting the speed wrong with harder materials could break the blade. The computer gives recommended speeds for each job, but we always verify and confirm these manually.

What Happens After The Pieces Have Been Cut?

Once the cuts have been made, we inspect our work for accuracy and quality. We take each piece off the saw, move it onto the scale to verify the weight, and replace the remaining bar end back into stock. We account for any differences between starting and end weights to see if any material was lost when cutting. The saw blade is about 2 mm thick, and you lose a bit of material where the blade goes through, so you add 3mm onto each cut calculation to make up for this loss. With each cut you might lose 5mm of material.

Once material use and cutting losses are accounted for, we mark the cut as complete on the computer system to update stock records.

How Are The Cuts Prepared For Storage Or Shipping To Customers?

Our orders are cut on demand, so once the cut is completed the pieces are wrapped as required. If it’s for export outside the UK we wrap it in hessian first, then it needs labelling and wrapping in external packaging. Heavier pieces may need to bits of wood adding at either end as feet to make it easier to lift by forklift. UK orders are packaged in a similar way, but they don’t need as much labelling or paperwork.

It’s important that the products are wrapped securely for transport, and some packages require metal straps to prevent movement in transit. Once all the day’s jobs are completed, I sometimes help colleagues secure the packages and tie them down ready for the logistics team. I’m responsible for locking up the workshop at the end of the day.

How Do You Find Working With Your Teammates?

I get on really well with the other guys in the warehouse and we do have a laugh, chatting about football and winding each other up. It’s also a good balance because we all get to work independently on our jobs without interruption, so we get more done and then link up on our breaks.

More Information

Our team at Broder Metals Group includes men and women from all walks of life and backgrounds, and we are proud to include a wide variety of skills and accreditations. These help us provide a diverse and cost-effective service to our customers, with accuracy, quality, and assurance checks built into every element of the process, from warehouse to delivery. To find out more about our services and how we can help your business, please get in touch today.

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