Before COVID-19 was a thing, Innomech had been supporting the automation of manufacturing processes for 30 years, changing and adapting over time. During the pandemic, we’ve had to adapt even more. Over the last few months, the Innomech team has tried their best to overcome obstacles and provide our clients with the best service possible during this time.

Innomech aren’t alone. New safety regulations and furloughed staff meant many businesses were either put on hold or their output dropped. However, despite these challenges, the manufacturing industry is proving just how resilient it truly is.

Take a look below at some of the things we’ve achieved over the lockdown and ways we are ensuring safety moving forward with the ‘new normal’.

 

Just like everyone else, when COVID-19 hit, our teams were affected.

Immediately, we reduced our site operations which included furloughing staff and having as many working from home as possible. This reduced the risk of transmission, followed government guidelines and helped us to further plan how we would move forward as a business.

We knew customer service would be tough when our teams were remote working, so we upgraded our phone system. Calls were now diverted to the appropriate person who would have the ability to provide the service from their home. To keep customers as safe as possible, we also reduced the onsite visits in-line with UK Government regulations and customer requirements. In this respect, we continued providing remote support for clients to be able to help whenever help is needed.

 

BUT we adapted and began consulting on how best to move forward and help our community.

We’ve been proud of the work our team has done and so are our clients; we sent staff cakes during lockdown as well as seeds to grow vegetables as a thank you for the hard work they’ve done and to offer support in ways we could during the situation.

 

Health and Safety

To protect staff, we implemented new safety measures in our buildings. First and foremost, we carried out a risk assessment. This includes our building, travel and even home working to make sure staff would remain comfortable and as practically safe as possible. We also provided personnel remaining in work during quarantine, and those returning from furlough, with additional PPE.

Hand sanitisers were made available at all site entry/exit points for staff and visitors to use. For visitors, we carried out safety assessments of all clients pre-site visit. This includes cleaning meeting rooms as soon as possible after visits and creating a safe working area within the workshop with natural ventilation of the workshop where appropriate.

Our main goal has been to implement safe working practices for all staff and ensuring clients/visitors aren’t put at risk from COVID-19 when they come to see us.

 

Returning to Work

Keeping our staff safe and happy has been a goal of ours throughout this pandemic. Slowly, we had been returning workers from furlough to get them back into supporting with projects and clients.

We also recruited two new members of staff and contracted engineers to support ongoing projects. This reduced workload for our current engineers so that they don’t become stressed and overwhelmed coming back to work.

Community

Lastly, we can’t forget how tough this situation has been for the community. Medical centres and care homes have been suffering from a lack of PPE and equipment needed to treat those fallen sick with COVID-19.

We felt it was part of our duty to help out as much as possible. We provided face visors to care homes during lockdown, protecting not only carers but the vulnerable elderly that they were taking care of. In addition, we also supported the Government’s call to provide more ventilators.

We also supported the government calls for UK Manufacturing support for medical device equipment such as ventilators, 3D printing and the Digital Government scheme.

Uniting the community was an important step on social media which is why we engaged with UKMFGUnite and Make UK to support the industry and keep up to date with the latest news.

 

Where do we go from here?

As the lockdown eased, we continued remote working as much as possible. For example, our design team has remained working from home with design review meetings carried out remotely.

Our sales team has been meeting with clients via MS Teams. We’ve also increased our project update meetings to ensure client communications are kept consistent and clients aren’t left in the dark.

We are still providing our services to clients looking to upgrade their manufacturing with automation.

  • Our Automation Consultancy Services, including feasibility studies and proof of concept engineering studies.
  • Our Automation Machine Design and Build, including bespoke automation, special purpose machinery, jigs and fixtures, and laboratory automation.
  • Systems Integration, including robotics and vision systems.
  • System upgrade and refurbishment.

 

This lockdown has proven to be tough for a lot of us. It is important going forward that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of all of our staff and customers. At Innomech, we are proud of the work the team has done and the achievements they’ve made despite their own stresses and concerns. We will continue ensuring safety is a top priority and support clients to the best of our ability.