Best Factory Awards Countdown
Best Factory Awards 2014
Best Factory Awards Gala Lunch Date: 25/09/2015

19 March 2015

Meet the sponsors - Dirk Villé

Answers from Dirk Villé, general manager, Atlas Copco Compressors

Q Why is Atlas Copco backing the Best Factory Awards 2015?
Atlas Copco has a historic association with the Best Factory Awards going back to its early years and we were very pleased to resume that relationship in 2014.
It was a very good event and the calibre of companies included on the shortlist gave clear evidence of the high esteem in which these awards are held. What is also very impressive is the challenging nature of the judging process.
The way in which the finalists in each category at the Best Factory Awards are examined is extremely rigorous and challenging.
It is not just another awards ceremony in a long line of awards ceremonies. Rather, it is a celebration of British manufacturing that has a huge amount of integrity, with winners that have earned recognition through sheer hard work and enthusiasm.

Q What should manufacturers know about Atlas Copco?
The most important thing for manufacturers to understand about Atlas Copco is our dedication to sustainable productivity. This philosophy runs through everything we do, and sums up our aim of helping to maximise production in the most efficient and sustainable manner.
Our compressed air solutions are designed and built with this in mind, but it applies equally to our service and care programmes, which are designed to ensure our customers continue to get the best from their compressed air system over the long term.
Compressed air is often referred to as the fourth utility in industrial circles and, if it is optimised in the right way, it can make a significant contribution to efficient and productive manufacturing.

Q What's your favourite UK-manufactured product and why?
There are many great British products that I could name, but the one that stands out for me is the Henry Hoover vacuum cleaner. It is authentically British in the way it is designed and manufactured and a great example of this country's unique capabilities.
I had the pleasure recently of visiting the Henry Hoover factory and I must say it was very impressive from an operational perspective. It is not a large company, but it is a very successful one.

Q If you could bestow one gift on UK manufacturing, what would that be?
If I could bestow one gift upon UK manufacturing it would be a greater appreciation of proactive maintenance as an essential component of best practice.
The implementation of proactive maintenance is very well established in mainland Europe where manufacturers recognise it as an important way of protecting their assets and investments to ensure the best possible productivity over the long term.
There's also a strong culture in other countries of working with trusted partners and using genuine spare parts as an assurance of quality, rather than cutting corners to save some money in the short term, which is all too common here in the UK. I'd like to see that long-term approach become better embedded in the UK.

Q What makes British manufacturing great?
I cannot think of another country that has such a rich history of engineering innovation, from the steam engine to the jet engine. There have been so many important inventions born in Great Britain and I think that spirit is still alive today.
It must be nurtured and encouraged. As an example, our custom engineering workshop, Systems Hemel Hempstead, was recently expanded to help meet growing demand from customers all over the world, who value the expertise and quality of our work.

Q What is the best business advice you've ever received?
The best business advice I have ever received is also one of the core philosophies of the Atlas Copco Group. It is simply that there is always a better way. I believe that understanding this is integral to helping us all continually to improve what we do and the way in which we do it.



Atlas Copco Compressors

Do you have any comments about this article?

Add your comments




Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Headline Sponsor

Sponsored By

Organised By