Not quite out with the old…but definitely in with the new.

As many of you will be aware, we at Dakin-Flathers like to help students wherever possible to gain new experience and try out what they’ve learnt in the classroom in real life situations.

This role has previously been undertaken by our current engineering student Daniel Wood, who although he has very nearly finished his industrial placement, has decided to stay on over the summer months.  I’m sure all at Dakin-Flathers will be sad to see Dan go, as he is definitely one of the family now, and has assisted not only the engineering department but others throughout the factory with a number of tasks and challenges.

But now, (insert drum roll here) we, well engineering to be precise, have not one but two new bodies to fill the expected void. (You would think Dan would have big shoes to fill being a 6’ 4” basket ball enthusiast yet strangely this is not the case. So it must be the hypothetical space that will be left that Engineering are trying to fill)

The new recruits are Kyle Hinchliffe and John Halpin who are both engineering students from Huddersfield University. I’ve taken this opportunity, as they’ve already completed the two weeks familiarising themselves with the factory (and are still here), to grab a quick word with the guys so you, our adoring public, get to know a little more of what’s happening day to day.

We’ll start with Kyle, not alphabetically I know but what can I say, I’m a maverick. Like John, Kyle is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Huddersfield, unlike John though he is a semi-local character who enjoys taking his life, or rather his face, in his hands by getting involved in Thai kickboxing. Even going to the extent of finding a training course for a month’s training in Thailand- he is now informing me that this is on hold whilst he works at Dakin-Flathers.

This aside, I asked Kyle what drew him to Dakin-Flathers for his Industrial Placement year. He said when he came for his interview he was impressed with the diverse number of activities that are carried out in the factory, as well as the friendliness of the personnel in general. After completing his induction period Kyle is already involved in a number of projects including the hardening and setting departments, improving our quality standards even further and making the process more efficient for production operators.

John on the other hand, could almost be classed as a foreigner; he is from the dark side of the Pennines, Lancashire, well Manchester to be more precise. This does allow him some leeway when we come to the question of his passions- football supporting being one of them. He does of course support his local team, something we can commend, they just happen to be Manchester United (but we won’t hold that against him).

When I asked John what his previous experience was and why he came to Dakin-Flathers, he informed me he had previously worked in a construction capacity in the building trade. He also appreciated the different challenges which could arise from working in such a varied, and in some respects cutting edge (no pun intended) business. As I’m sure many of you are aware we have recently introduced new materials on to the market, primarily Ripper37, which has been very successful and spurred us on to looking at other possible improvements to our product range.

But now back to the business at hand, John’s first challenge was quick to materialise in the form of the relocation of the flexback and bandknife welding departments into the new factory extension.  A challenging endeavour in the best of times, but when the departments are in use 24/7 it becomes an exercise in patience as well as spatial awareness! This is one of the major moves for the factory and will have a big effect on increasing our capacity and improving the lead times for orders. Something I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear.

So, although we’ve not quite lost Dan we’ve gained two great recruits who I’m sure you will join me in welcoming to the Dakin-Flathers organisation.

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