The People of CastAlum – New Product Introduction Manager Interview – Richard Blythe
This month we have an interview with one of our longest-serving employees: Richard Blythe. Read on to learn about his experience with developing die casting solutions!
Richard has been with CastAlum for 22 years now. Here’s what he has to say about his time say about his progress here over the years:
Early Days at CastAlum
“When I joined in 2001, the facility here in Welshpool was still under construction…and basically a building site! At that time, we were part of an American company called SPX, set up primarily as a manufacturing hub supplying automotive steering gears into Europe.
I was already working as a Process Engineer in another UK foundry, so when SPX started their recruitment drive I attended an open day to find out more. I was immediately impressed by their technical resource, especially the materials and science aspect. They were also looking to introduce a new die casting process called ‘Squeeze casting’ that was new in Europe. Along with the training potential and promise of overseas travel, it was a ‘no brainer’ decision to join them.
Moving into Management
I initially started as a Process Engineer, progressing to Process Supervisor then Process Manager. For the last 7 years I have been the company’s New Production Introduction Manager, looking after program launches and focusing on casting and manufacturing development.
I am fortunate to have a wide-reaching role that covers many bases. I’m involved in the initial customer enquiries, through to component design for manufacture, then implementation of this casting design into a full production environment – a cycle that can take several years. It is the engineering challenges that this process brings that I enjoy the most.
I am very proud of the team’s achievements in those initial start-up years. We went from a ‘muddy field’ to a fully functioning manufacturing facility in a very short period of time. This is credit to a great team, many of whom I still work with today. I’m also proud of my achievements with regards to the implementation of automation, I think I have been a catalyst in this respect and have been involved with much of the automated equipment currently in use.
My advice for new starters is to keep asking questions and keep an open mind. The casting process is complex and we’re all still learning – even the old timers!”
Find out more
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New Product Information Manager