Members of the course usually working in pairs, undertake four company projects each lasting two weeks. The projects improve analytic, communication and team working-skills, providing an excellent preparation for the working environment.
Each project deals with a live issue relevant to the company. At the start of the course you will be asked to express a preference for the projects you want to work on and, as far as possible, your preferences will be accommodated.
The work is supervised by the host company and you are treated as if you are a company employee. The projects involve framing the problem, understanding the issues, developing ideas for improvement and making recommendations to the company. The final deliverable of the project is a presentation to senior management followed by a technical report.
Projects are completed across the full spectrum of manufacturing, including automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, lifting and excavating, FMCG, food and beverages. Project titles are varied and cover areas of operational improvement, strategic decision-making and organisational management. A typical project will analyse and improve one of the following areas:
- Production planning, scheduling and inventory optimisation
- Capacity utilisation
- Lead time reduction
- Quality improvement and control
- Make/buy decisions
- New product development process
- Effective maintenance
- Energy usage
- Layout floor planning
- Inter-departmental effectiveness
- Feasibility study in to a new technology
As well as the three operational improvement projects, you will undertake a marketing project following the sales, marketing and business strategy taught module. Typical projects consider new markets, products, company strategies, competitors and routes to market. The marketing project gives a wider context to the placement projects and provides essential skills for industry.