Workers recognised at Samlesbury aerospace firm BAE Systems

2:00pm Thursday 26th December 2013

LANCASTRIAN workers at Samlesbury aerospace giant BAE have had their projects recognised as one of the best.

The Air and Information (MAI) business of BAE Systems, which operates its sites at Samlesbury and Warton, collected four gold awards at the company’s Chairman’s Awards, which recognises the achievements of its 100,000-strong global workforce.

The teams picked up prizes for a range of projects including a restoration carried by a team of its apprentices on a vintage carousel owned by a Blackpool children’s hospice which was hit by an arson attack through to advanced manufacturing techniques.

Sally Topping, a business support engineer who completed her apprenticeship in June, said the charity told the team it could not afford to repair the carousel until 2015 at the earliest.

She said: “By the time we got it from Donna’s Dream House to the hangar in Samlesbury where we were working on it, it quickly became apparent that what we thought was a two-week restoration job was more like a five-month one.

“The only original parts were some of the toys and a few pieces of metalwork, the rest had to be replaced.”

Employees who worked on boosting production rates from one-a-month to one-a-day on BAE’s F-35 Assembly Production System were also honoured, as was the team behind ‘adaptive machining on sticky fixture’.

The idea, known as ‘sticky fixtures’, allows for a part to be held in place while it is machined and was used on the nozzle bay door for the F-35 fighter jet.

A working group made up of employees, management, and trade unions, was also established to tackle the mental health taboo, which is estimated to cost the MAI business around £9.3m a year.

The Chairman’s Awards was set up in 1996 with the aim of recognising ‘people whose ideas, actions and behaviours make BAE Systems a more competitive company and help us live our values.’

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