Supporting role: Craig Bell and Darren Hammond

June 2, 2016

Darren Hammond joined Mecaplast – which provides plastic injection moulding services for the automotive industry – as a temporary operator in 2004. Thanks to the support from plant engineering manager Craig Bell, he soon realised that he could build a career at the Peterlee plant

Darren Hammond (pictured)
Plant Engineer

I began working at Mecaplast in Peterlee in 2004. I initially started on a temporary basis, over the Christmas period, but I’m still here 12 years later.

I met Craig on my first shift when I asked him about how a part was made and he took the time to explain the basics of how the injection moulding machine worked and the process for moulding the part. Over the years, I have progressed from an operator to a team leader and robot programmer and with the training I have received from Mecaplast and the guidance and support from Craig as my mentor, I am now a plant engineer. I now want to go on to do a HND in manufacturing engineering as I believe this would be of benefit to myself and the company.

Craig Bell
Plant Engineering Manager

I have been at the Peterlee plant for 20 years in various roles. I am now the plant engineering manager and also support group activities around Europe. When I first started, Mecaplast was a small moulding business and we have developed the plant using local skills. I see the development of apprentices and people around the North East as crucial for the success, not only of the plant, but of the area in general.

My first impression of Darren was that he was young man with potential and a thirst to develop. Even before he was in a factory environment, he was showing an interest in how and what the various roles at the plant involved.

Darren started off as an operator and has been developed in all aspects of machine programming, basic injection tooling knowledge and project planning ergonomic study, Crono analysis, value stream mapping and many more tools. His next step is to complete his HNC in manufacturing engineering, and I know he will continue to develop within the site or the group.

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