We sit down with Sam Bowden, Production Manager at Waysafe, to learn more about his role, the company, and him.
Thank you for talking with us today. Tell us about your role as Production Manager at Waysafe; what does an average day involve? How long have you worked at Waysafe and what was your first role with the company? What drew you to that role?
I joined the company in 2017 working in an apprentice role, familiarising myself with the company’s product line, as well as cutting and fabricating the raw materials so they were ready to be used by our experienced staff in our assembly room. Gradually, I expanded my abilities to assembling and designing products until I arrived at the position I am at today.
I have always been a hands-on, creative guy and this combination has been fulfilled here at Solotec and is the reason why I am passionate about what I do.
What do you think sets Waysafe apart from its competition?
Our reputable brand Waysafe occupies a niche in the operator protection market with our plug and play style of safety enclosure. Installation is as quick and easy as lift out of the box, place on the benchtop, plug in and go.
On our filtration enclosures, air is filtered and recirculated back into the room’s atmosphere. This is a favoured solution for many as the alternative requires the addition of expensive fixed installations hooked up to extraction systems, which is unnecessary for many of our customer’s requirements.
In addition to that we have great relationships with all our customers and we are proud of the high-quality of our handmade cabinets that we build to order in our factory here in Greater Manchester.
Waysafe designs and manufactures a range of benchtop safety enclosures, including bespoke solutions. What has been your favourite bespoke Waysafe enclosure to work on and why?
For me, the newly released SE600 testing enclosure has been a great summary of what we do and can do here at Solotec. It encapsulates our tried and tested material pallet, but also incorporates new components, materials and 3D printed parts.
What started off as a customer enquiry has now become an end product and it has been satisfying to see it continuously improve as a design until we arrived at the reliable standard it is at today. I am looking forward to seeing where this new product takes us and who it can help as we step into another industry market.
The Waysafe SE600 began its life as a bespoke enclosure, before being added to the line of off-the-shelf benchtop enclosures. Tell us more about the journey from a bespoke product to an off-the-shelf solution.
Many of our now standard offerings in the product line began as bespoke enclosures so this custom service is not just valuable to the customer but to us too. After recurring enquiries and subsequent designs for a safety enclosure aimed at containing potentially hazardous tests using high voltages or high pressures, we settled on the simple and effective design interface that you see today in the SE600, using the appropriate materials for maximising operator protection, ease of use, and product longevity.
Now a tried and tested solution, we have since sold many of these ‘SE Series’ enclosures to a broad variety of well-known manufacturers of consumer electronics, formula one powertrains, electric vehicle battery systems, transport and transmission specialists, and more. With new customers coming back to order more, we are able to build a positive working relationship with them. Our bespoke service enables us to easily adjust the dimensions, add safety interlocks, and more to suit the customer’s needs.
Lastly, what do you enjoy most about your role as Production Manager at Waysafe?
Starting work in a small business gave me a lot of freedom to use my initiative and be creative. In turn, this enabled my role progression as I was able to branch out and spot areas that could be improved upon. My suggestions are always taken into consideration and this made me feel valued from the get go. Now I have experience in these other roles, I can relate to the staff on the assembly line and also fill in for them if need be. This means no two days are ever really the same and the feeling amongst the staff is always that everything is a real team effort.
My role now revolves mainly around our bespoke service, which keeps things fresh and innovative and we love tackling new challenges brought to us by customers. I have been taking on 3D design as the industry starts to view it as a standard, which I enjoy being a part of. We now utilise multiple 3D-Printed components, sometimes printed in house in our product line thanks to this venture.
About Solotec Scientific
The Waysafe range of safety enclosures is manufactured by Solotec Scientific delivering high-quality laboratory safety equipment to customers both within the UK and internationally. Solotec Scientific has been designing and manufacturing bench top safety enclosures since 1991, offering a wide range of products from its facilities in Greater Manchester.
Waysafe products are made to order in the UK by a team of skilled and experienced engineers, helping to deliver bespoke enclosures to meet your unique specifications at highly competitive prices.
Waysafe safety enclosures are used in a variety of research and hospital applications across a range of industries including the food, asbestos, chemical, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. Waysafe also maintains a comprehensive stock of replacement filters, motors, and accessories for a range of models, which can be ordered from our online store and are ready for immediate dispatch.
The team at Waysafe is always available to discuss your specific requirements and is committed to providing the best in bench-top safety enclosures.
If you would like to find out more about our range of safety enclosures, contact a member of the team on 0161 339 6187.