Stephen Redman-Windsor: Service Contracts and Facilities Coordinator

Stephen wears several hats at work, but his main job is to schedule calibration services with multiple UK and Ireland customers in the time slot they want, synchronising with ARBURG’s engineers, and find new customers for calibration services

Essential role to keep ARBURG fleet working optimally

You may meet Stephen Redman-Windsor at ARBURG Ltd. soon because his job is becoming increasingly important. Stephen is responsible for booking and scheduling all the calibration and preventative maintenance services for customers in the UK and Ireland. Machine calibration is becoming more and more popular, as some customers want to keep their capex running for longer, possibly reflecting trickier business conditions in the last two or three years.

“Yes, customers want new machines, but it also seems like more people are looking after their machines for longer,” says Stephen. “Last year that was very apparent. Some people are spending money refurbishing machines, who have not always done to this extent in previous years.”

Calibration is essential for keeping a moulding machine working at near-factory settings and tolerances, to maintain part accuracy, high productivity and extend machine life. Regular calibration provided by ARBURG – part of preventative maintenance – can identify problems with the machine the customer may not be aware of. Once corrected, this could improve the machine’s performance and potentially cuts scrap rates. One of Stephen’s main jobs is to schedule these calibration services with customers in the time slot they want, with ARBURG’s engineers, and find new customers for calibration services.

Starting in 2004, Stephen completed a maintenance apprenticeship at Plastic Engineering Leamington Spa (PELS), an ARBURG customer located just a mile away. Many of the machines were ARBURGs so, between 2004 and 2010, he learned the technology inside-out.

In 2011 he joined ARBURG as a service engineer. “I was on the road assessing and fixing machines like our field engineers do now”. He left ARBURG in 2013 and pursued other career avenues for two years, including working in the paint shop of a moulding company. “After a time, I didn't like the travel in service engineering. It was the unpredictability of not knowing where you will be, day-to-day.”

Stephen contacted then service manager Robin Hambrook about vacancies. Later, Robin called to discuss a new position in the service department, reflecting growing demand for servicing machines. Stephen applied and got the job. Joining as Customer Service Contract & Support Administrator, he became Service Contracts and Facilities Coordinator in 2023.

The job

Stephen’s job means juggling several balls. As well as managing and pricing all the calibration contracts and preventative maintenance jobs with customers in the UK and Ireland, he shares scheduling the engineers’ time with Roger Talbot, ARBURG Ltd.’s service controller. He also assists the service team with all enquiries and faults, as needed. Customer training is also important. “I also run some of the training courses in-house, for customers’ engineers who want to do a maintenance training course. We run these two or three times a year.” In addition, Stephen helps with contractor visits on site.

Is calibration becoming more popular?

“Yes, it is more popular. During covid, understandably things were quieter, but now it is picking up a lot. Last year (2023) was the busiest yet for calibration. We’re pushing it more but, as I said, people seem to be looking after what they have more and seeing the benefit of calibration. Typically if a customer has calibration one year, they'll tend to have it year on year on year from that. We have a really busy calibration schedule at our biggest UK customer in the Southeast, making six or seven visits a year due to the number of machines they have.”

The future

Looking to his future, Stephen says: “For the service department, inherently there will be changes in the next five to 10 years because of retirement and the natural cycle, so there may be opportunities. Maybe my role within service will change, as machine requirements change. If we increased turnover of calibration services, we’ll have more engineers doing the work and therefore have a bigger service department – I can see this could happen.” Outside work, Stephen has another full-time job: he is married with two children, aged five and two.  When time allows, he enjoys road cycling and mountain biking, and in 2017 he and his wife cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats – over 870 miles. “We used to do get away nearly every weekend in the converted camper van / day van, but now with small children it has to be fair weather camping.” More travel is certainly on the wish list.