Filtermist moves Kerstar production to Telford as part of new expansion plans

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One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of industrial vacuum cleaners has relocated production to Filtermist International Limited’s state-of-the-art HQ in Telford.

Kerstar, which sells the hugely popular Type H and Atex rated models, was purchased by the oil mist and filtration specialist in 2019 and, following an extensive lean manufacturing project, has taken the decision to centralise operations to Shropshire in a bid to deliver increased efficiencies to customers.

It has also appointed a dedicated product manager to help it maximise the new brand refresh and make the most of opportunities with its network of approved UK resellers and distributors throughout Europe, India, Singapore and Australasia.

“We originally instigated the Lean project at Kerstar to help us identify potential improvements in how the team in Northampton was working. With the help of MCPG Management Consultants it quickly became clear that being located across multiple sites was causing various challenges for production,” explained James Stansfield, CEO at Filtermist.

“Consolidating all of our manufacturing operations in one location allows us to have better sight of production at all times. It also enables us to share expertise and resources amongst our teams and gives us better control on the quality of our products.”

He continued: “We are fortunate in that we have two sites at Telford - one for manufacturing, and one for assembly and dispatch. The majority of Kerstar production is assembly and testing so we re-designed the floorspace to accommodate a new line specifically for its products and invested in new high-level racking to ensure we have enough storage for components.

“With the help of MCPG, we devised a comprehensive 14-month project plan to ensure the move went as smoothly as possible.”

Work began in October 2020 with the intention of ramping up to full production in Telford by December 2021, an objective that has been successfully achieved.

This included documenting all procedures to support knowledge transfer from the existing Kerstar staff to new team members.

Ben Kimpton, the new Product Manager at Kerstar, added his support: “Having successfully completed the transition form Northampton to Telford, we are now in a position to really start building our presence in new markets.

“We will be exhibiting at the Interclean show in Amsterdam in May and are looking forward to finally being able to meet our existing European distributors face-to-face as the pandemic has so far prevented us from being able to do this.”