Petford Group LTD

Improves OEE by 16% and increases availability by 15%

Petford Group is a leading engineering solutions company based in the UK’s Black Country region. With a long history dating back to 1971, Petford has established itself as one of the country’s premier mould toolmakers and plastic injection moulders.

With a highly skilled workforce and ongoing investment in skills training, Petford is able to offer straightforward and practical solutions to even the most complex client needs.

Petford Group improves OEE by 15%

Petford Group were looking to further modernise their manufacturing operations, so in September 2021, they chose to implement Intouch across their machines which include 9 injection moulding machines, a welder, and a robot cutting saw. Petford Group were looking for a system that could specifically help them improve OEE, reduce scrap, streamline reporting and remove manual record keeping, which is both time consuming and prone to human error. additionally, Petford were looking for a solution that would reduce the workload of operators and reduce waste.

Following a review of the options, Petford felt that the Intouch production monitoring functionality would not only help them overcome their primary operational needs and challenges but would also integrate with their ERP system and help them streamline their data processes. The ability to ‘try before you buy’ with a 60 day free trial made the decision easy. Petford felt fully supported by the Intouch training team and the ability to tailor dashboards to their specific needs in order to maximise the benefits and value from the system.

Fully understand what is happening on their shop floor 

Petford have been able to totally eliminate manual record keeping and switch to digital reporting. Live data and reporting 24/7 has enabled the production team to take action immediately to mitigate and reduce downtime.

The company is committed to quality and customer satisfaction, and works to ISO 9001 and IATF16949:2016 standards at their two UK sites. Utilising the Intouch Production monitoring system they have streamlined their operations further and can actively monitor quality and efficiency across their production process 24/7.

Visibility has made a significantly positive impact to the operations, and they feel confident that they now fully understand what is happening on the shop floor at any moment “you can’t hide from reality, with live, real-time data”.

Petford Group struggled with accurate reporting and lacked the visibility they wanted of their manufacturing processes. Now, they have much better scrap recording and using OEE reporting can build a picture of their main issues. This allows them to deal with challenges more effectively.

Petford Group improved their OEE by 16% in just 12 months!
  • Their OEE in January 2022 was 73.98% and by January 2023, it was an outstanding 90.05%
  • 15% improvement in availability from 73.94% to 88.70%
  • Increased their FTQ by 1% from 95.8% to 97.2%

From manual, inaccurate and late record keeping to real-time visibility

Prior to implementing Intouch, operators had to fill in manual sheets with information on production, scrap rates, and scrap codes. However, the reports were prone to human error, which made them inaccurate. This meant they lacked ‘a single source of truth’ with their data. Assessing efficiency and improvements was always using historical data, rather than understanding what is happening right now.

‘The operators on the presses used to have to fill in a sheet every hour on what parts they've made and what scrap they’d had. Before Intouch, we really struggled with accurate reporting, and it wasn't live. There was a lot of miscounting and misremembering. So, we lacked visibility.'
Richard Parkes, M P & L Analyst.

Petford Group struggled with accurate reporting and lacked visibility into their manufacturing processes. Now, they have much better scrap codes and using OEE reporting can build a picture of their main issues. This allows them to deal with challenges more effectively.

Petford Group also struggled with tool changes because of a high number of short running jobs with low volume and a limited number of cranes. With Intouch, they can see if tool changes are happening on time and spread them out more easily.

‘Now we can see if they’re happening on time, and if it doesn’t happen on one of the presses, we can change the plan.’


Petford Group decided to invest in Intouch when the i4 Cloud system became available as it became financially accessible and they could see the value and immediately measure their ROI from using the Intouch system.

Lucy and Andy from Intouch worked closely with Petford to understand their unique requirements and customise the system accordingly. The team was trained on the production monitoring, scheduling, and OEE analytics tools, and shown how to access dashboards on-site or remotely and modify settings as needed.

With Intouch, the reports are live and available anywhere, giving Petford greater visibility and it has in effect halved the operators’ workload:

The system can also be accessed from any device, on site or remotely: “The fact that it’s live and you can see it anywhere on your phone at home is a big plus for me.”

Intouch has alerts in place to warn Petford of issues, such as high levels of scrap. This allows them to address issues quickly, “nipping them in the bud early.”

‘We have alerts set in place warning us if, for example, the scrap rate goes above 2%. It flashes red and then we can stop the job and take a look and find out what the problem is.’

The support desk at Intouch was praised for being efficient and helpful in resolving any issues.

The system is user-friendly and operators found it easy to learn, as noted by Richard who stated, “The system is fairly simple to use and learn, especially from an operator point of view.” 


Petford Group has seen significant improvements in efficiency and visibility since implementing Intouch. The manual and error-prone data entry process has been eliminated, giving the company a clear, real-time picture of their operations from the shop-floor to management. With OEE reporting, Petford Group has gained deeper insights into their production, furthering their commitment to quality and operational excellence.

Petford Group found the integration of Intouch with their ERP system particularly beneficial, as it streamlined their data input process. By having the ability to transfer parts data directly from their ERP system into Intouch, they save time and reduce the risk of human error. This feature has proven to be extremely useful for the team and has eliminated the need for manual data entry.

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