Forterra joins MTC to boost technology in building products industry

Left to right: James Jeffcott, process engineering manager, Forterra, George Stewart, operations director, Forterra and Clive Hickman, chief executive of the MTC

The Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry has welcomed Forterra (formerly Hanson Building Products) as its latest member, in a bid to drive forward productivity and technology improvements in the building products industry.

Forterra has become the first member of the MTC from this sector and aims to support its ambition to develop new processes and introduce new technology. Forterra is a leading manufacturer of a diverse range of clay and concrete building products and is one of the largest brick makers in the UK, producing around 10 million bricks per week.

The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of pioneering manufacturing solutions. MTC’s chief executive, Dr Clive Hickman, said that the addition of Forterra as a member would boost the centre’s capabilities in the building products sector.

“Forterra has invested extensively in modern automated brickworks, making the whole process more efficient. Having made the capital investment, Forterra now wants to identify opportunities to deploy more innovative technology and make overall improvements to quality and productivity.”

He added “Areas we are looking at with Forterra include investigating re-manufacturing opportunities for equipment which would previously have been scrapped, looking at the potential for implementing intelligent automation and demonstrating and embedding a lean culture across all processes.”

Experts from Forterra will work alongside the MTC’s Manufacturing and Operational Efficiency team. They will also team up with MTC engineers working in simulation and modelling.

George Stewart, operations director at Forterra, said; “We’re looking forward to working with MTC, and bringing new ways of manufacturing to the building products industry. Forterra are leaders in the field, and we want our experience to benefit the sector as a whole.”