Monthly Archives: May 2015

BAMA member Crown Aerosols engineers success through its UK Apprentice Scheme

With an increasing number of employers welcoming apprentices as well as Government support for apprentice schemes, there are more opportunities to get inside some of the most exciting and innovative companies in the country.

One of our member companies, CROWN Aerosols UK, has run a successful Apprenticeship Scheme for the past six years. The objective is to attract highly motivated and capable candidates, encourage ‘home-grown’ expertise and retain talented engineering staff.

Tony Birch (left) Danny Lewis (right)

Tony Birch (left) Danny Lewis (right)

The programme is open to new employees as well as existing Crown staff who are trained in-house to expand basic engineering skills as well as enhance the application of those skills in the workplace. To ensure a well-rounded programme, Crown combines the skills and experience of its own staff along with support from local partner colleges.
Crown Apprentices: Danny Lewis (Aged 24) and Tony Birch (aged 48) both took part in the scheme improving their job prospects and benefiting the company.
Danny’s apprenticeship has run for three and a half years and has included day-release to local colleges to complete external Level 1 and 2 and 3 EAL Diploma in Mechanical Engineering exams. During the apprenticeship, Danny has worked with every department to learn the different skills needed at the Sutton plant. He has recently taken on the role of Can Line Engineer where he is responsible for the smooth running and maintenance of the aerosol line.

Tony Birch applied to be a Crown Apprentice after working with the company for sixteen years. It was a major decision for Tony to apply for the apprenticeship in 2010, as he had a young family and it meant that he leaving his full-time, paid production line job and taking a drop in salary in order to complete the four year course with weekly study leave at College.

Tony was such a good student that he completed the four year course in two and a half years and won the ‘Metals Apprentice of the Year Award’ in 2013 from The Worshipful Company of Tinplate Workers alias Wire Workers. His job now entails making sure the production line runs smoothly: from the welding to checking the quality of the cans, right through to the seams; side striping; cured lacquer and high pressure testing. Completing the apprenticeship has paid off financially as it enabled Tony to earn a higher salary than in his former production line role.

In 2010 Crown won the Social Responsibility category for its Apprentice scheme in the BAMA Awards. These Awards highlight success stories in the aerosols industry, and were created to recognise innovation and continuous improvement in the aerosol sector. For more information on the 2015 Awards visit http://www.bama.co.uk/forum.

BAMA is currently working with Cogent Skills, a training provider, offering BAMA members the expertise in setting up a training/apprenticeship scheme to address your skills shortage. Government funding is available and Cogent can help you access it!

If you are a BAMA member and would like more information, contact Amy Falvey.

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Inclusive design already in evidence for aerosols

Packaging that requires seals to be so tight that they prevent spilling can have the problem that they are hard to open. This is especially true for an ageing population of course, but delivering goods in packaging that is easy for everyone is a valuable goal.

This is where aerosols as a packaging format are so admirable. Aerosols prevent spill and waste yet for most people are easy and quick to operate and deliver just the right amount.

Research by the consumer organisation Which? found that one in five consumers will switch brands if packaging makes it hard to access the contents. So it is incumbent on brand owners to avoid annoyance at best and brand switching at worst.

The European and International Standards for packaging seek to protect the consumer from pack design that is less than perfect. Inclusive Design (ID) where designers build in accessibility and usability without the need for special adaptation or specialised design is now top of the agenda for many FMCG manufacturers and for those who design packaging for them. The British Standards Institute is doing much to encourage packaging design to comply with ease of opening as well as optimal readability of labels.

A good example of this thinking is one of BAMA’s members, Aptar Beauty + Home, which won the Innovation category of the 2014 BAMA Awards for its Runway actuator. So clever is this aerosol trigger accessory that the judges claimed it was: “bordering on revolutionary,” adding: “This brings ease of use for people with restricted movement and for dispensing product in hard-to-reach areas such as one’s back. We foresee a lot of applications.”

Aerosol packaging manufacturers are always considering new means of improvement in this way for what is already a very easy-to-use pack format.

Every 6 months, BAMA publishes a collection of stories about excellence and innovation in aerosol pack design called AEROdynamics. To download the latest copy, click here.

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