|The Rushden Echo, 27th July 1962, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Plans to Speed Output
Two Rushden footwear factories are adopting the new conveyor-belt system to speed up output and streamline production. Another manufacturer has already reported encouraging success after introducing a conveyor into the closing room.
This news comes shortly after a recent “Echo” disclosure that young people about to enter the boot and shoe industry have not been influenced by reports of a recession, and suggests not only better prospects for them, but possibility some years ahead of a new look production methods in the industry.
C. W. Horrell Ltd, and John White Ltd, will shortly be following the lead set by George Selwood and Co. the first Rushden firm to install a conveyor when they carry out factory modernisation plans.
Horrells, who have a working conveyor belt of their own design, intend to introduce a track system in their cementing department so that the work will flow more easily. It is hoped that the whole factory will be working on a conveyor belt system by the end of next year.
The object, as at White's, is to increase production and efficiency.
At their Fitzwilliam Street factory Horrells now have electricians working on the track system which will eliminate the need for the conventional racks.
Said a spokesman: “This will enable us to make the best possible use of the space we have, and it will keep things flowing in a steady stream helping us increase productivity and efficiency.”
The installation of a transporter is also scheduled, and this will involve the redesigning of their floor layout so that it can cover the whole area. This will mean that only the minimum amount of work will be on the floor.
The conveyor belt now connecting the finishing and shoe rooms was designed at Easter by the firm and will act as a prototype for others, which will help to overcome the problem of establishing a vital link between departments.
It came into use four weeks ago and until now has been working without a hitch, Selwoods, in Harborough Road, who pioneered the idea in Rushden, have found the conveyor in their closing room has met with similar success.
To date it has accounted for greater output as well as attracting additional girls to work in pleasant surroundings. But Selwoods do not contemplate extending belts to their other departments until an almost perfect type has been invented for they now feel a lot of experimenting has still to be done.
Although there was a “fair outlay” on the scheme the firm find from the results that it was more than justified.
During the August holiday period John White’s will start altering their Lime Street factory, bringing it up-to-date with conveyors in the lasting and composing rooms.
Mr. P. A. G. Wilson, managing director, told the “Echo”: “We hope to make better shoes more efficiently.” It was expected that the alterations would be completed by August 20, he said.