Booth Welsh and iTech recently exhibited at the Scotland Manufacturing and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition at the SEC in Glasgow. Below, we hear from Andrew Brittan, Head of Technology Development and Digitalisation, as he reflects on his panel discussion and the main points he wants the audience to take from the session:

“I had the opportunity to participate in a lively panel session for “Continuous Improvement in Action: A View from The Floor”. Moderated by our partner David MacGregor at CeeD and joined by Paul McDonagh at Woodward Aircraft Engine Systems, John Craig Savage at Volvo Motherwell and Dr Colin Andrews, Teaching Fellow at University of Strathclyde. We discussed the role that innovation, technology and workforce engagement have in creating a lean manufacturing process that is fit for today’s business environment.  

Now, I’m going to get “techy” for a minute, but bear with me. I want to talk about Kaizen (meaning good change or improvement). Kaizen is an approach to creating continuous improvement. It operates on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes will realise significant improvements. It’s relevance to our conversation is that it relies on cooperation and commitment from a workforce instead of a command and control, top-down management style to drive improvements and transformation. 

For a number of years, Booth Welsh has been investing in its people, empowering them to take the lead on initiatives across our strategy spheres that will help us achieve our people and planet positive goals. This investment in our people has led to our impeccable safety record, low staff turnover and high value customer relationships spanning many years. But we are not complacent. We know we have to keep innovating, keep improving and that’s one of the key principles of lean manufacturing.  

While lean manufacturing had its origins in profitability and efficiency, we don’t believe there must be a trade-off between addressing the environment and delivering measurable business results. In fact, it led us to update our lean manufacturing principles to reflect the crucial role in being environmentally and socially responsible. This is what we call Environment 4.0.”


Energy Efficient Process design is good for business and the planet 

Applying the principles of Environment 4.0, is where smart and energy efficient process design make a real difference to the bottom line in both cost and carbon emissions. 

For example, there are two ways to design a process for 3D printing, one that is efficiently produced and one that is not.  That can be the difference between a 3D printing job taking 10 or 12 hours to complete, which at today’s energy prices are considerable, not to mention the associated emissions.  


  • A People Positive Culture Boosts Productivity, Safety and Profitability  
  • Intelligent process design significantly impacts the bottom line 
  • Low carbon operations are more efficient and reduce exposure to spiralling energy prices and excessive green house gas emissions