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Meet Adam Thompson, Quality Engineer at Pyroguard

Having joined us in August 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, Adam soon found his feet and has settled in quickly. Responsible for the quality of products that leave our factory, we caught up with him to learn more about his role and the importance of quality at Pyroguard.

Adam Thompson

Can you tell us about your role?

As a Quality Engineer, I am responsible for supporting operations in ensuring the overall quality of products across the two Pyroguard UK manufacturing sites, while constantly looking for ways to improve our production and process standards.

I carry out risk analysis, FMEA analysis, manage internal auditing and external certifications – such as ISO 9001 – and create documentation and reports. I am also regularly present in the factory, overseeing floor activities and working closely with operators on the production line. In order to achieve the standards that we do, it is my job to ensure that the technical data is communicated to those on the front line and any queries or issues are dealt with quickly and effectively.

What are your skills and experiences?

My background is in quality assurance. I have always had a good knack for developing and improving things “If we did this or this, then we could make it better” – that has always been my mindset. I enjoy sharing my ideas and looking at the bigger picture, whether that is in my own job role or across the wider business.

I would say that my main skill is Root Cause Analysis, using problem solving tools such as 5Y’s and 8D to find the exact root cause of any problem. This involves building good relationships with different departments and understanding the ins and outs of how things work and making the necessary changes. Good communication is therefore key.

In my previous role, I was involved in Lean Manufacturing, which is all about improving efficiency by removing non-value-added processes. At Pyroguard, we focus on continuous improvement. I recently worked with an independent consultant to assess our current processes and identify how we can improve. We have now set out a long-term action plan to move forwards with for both of our manufacturing sites.

Having in depth technical knowledge of certification is also a vital skill. With external certifications, such as CE Mark and Certifire, it is my job to ensure compliance, taking assessors through the process and making sure that we’re compliant at every stage; from raw material through to point of sale.

Why is quality important to Pyroguard and what does your role mean to the business?

The products that we manufacture are high performance and safety critical, so this means that all boxes need to be ticked before it goes out of the door. We strive to set the bar in terms of quality and look to excel in industry standards. I look at production data and analyse trends to identify any potential problems and put preventative measures in place in order to guarantee quality first time around. I am also regularly devising quality reports in order to monitor continuous improvement, which I share with the management team. There is always room for improvement, even if you’re at the highest level. My priority is to give our customers the best possible experience.

Are you working on any current projects or have you got anything exciting in the pipeline?

We are currently working to achieve ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental management systems. I am responsible for the auditing, taking assessors through our production process and procedures, and ensuring the right documentation is drawn up. There are also a few other exciting projects that we are working on so keep your eyes peeled!

And what do you get up to outside of work?

Outside of work, I run the 6th Ashton-under-Lyne Scout Group. It is a group of around 40 children, we take them camping, climbing and rafting. I think it’s really important to encourage kids to explore and learn new skills these days, so that their heads aren’t constantly stuck in computer games. As a child, I was part of Beaver Scouts before then moving up to Explorer Scouts so it’s always something I have been involved in and been passionate about.

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