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K8 Manufacturing fuels success for Fluid Transfer International

Discrete Manufacturing


Fluid Transfer International


Customer: Fluid Transfer International

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Lean principles

Based in Gloucestershire, Fluid Transfer International is a market leader in the design, development and manufacture of aviation and naval refuelling equipment – a major supplier to the Ministry of Defence and UK airports.

Implementing K8 Manufacturing in 2001–the system provides the company with complete process control from sales order through to delivery. Richard Iles-Caine, Finance Director said, “We aim to use just-in-time principles to keep inventory investment to a minimum but at the same time any delays in production can have huge implications. A refuelling truck, one of our core products, typically comprises more than 1,000 items, but only 50 or so cost more than £100. Because every order is bespoke to customer requirements, we work K8 Manufacturing hard to support the whole cycle from quotation to completion.”

The company also has to manage relatively long lead times and with vehicle chassis taking up to nine weeks to arrive from the manufacturer, a large order can take several months to deliver. “We support a combination of new and existing customers, some of whom have programmed replacement or refurbishment cycles. We also have the capability to respond quickly - a significant export order for a customer in Indonesia being delivered in just 10 weeks.”

Meeting customer needs

With such a mix of customer demands, the management team make very effective use of K8 Manufacturing and use its workflow tools to manage situations as they arise. “Manufacturing around 50 vehicle refuellers annually, as well as our other products, we appreciate the system’s versatility in being able to handle all types of purchased parts, assemblies and kits. With each order based on standard labour times and material costs, we use the system for contract reviews to compare actual data and then make any necessary changes for future orders.”

Gains and benefits

  • Complete process control for parts, assemblies and kits
  • Job bar-coding saves time
  • Accurate contract reviews
  • Dashboards aid decision making
  • Monthly accounts produced fast
  • Quick quotations boosts service
  • Configurator tool saves time
  • Fully-managed quality issues
  • Stage payments = better cash flow

Read the full story here.


In the final analysis, keeping our finger on the pulse of company performance is key. It’s a real plus that the system enables us to publish the management accounts just three days after month end.

- Richard Iles-Caine, Finance Director


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