Focus on… Alan Forrest, Production Manager at Weld and Metal Craft

Alan, 24, has been working at Weld and Metal Craft for the last 8 years, the first 4 of which while he was completing an apprenticeship towards his NVQ Level 3 in Fabrication and Welding 100/2949/7 at Eastleigh College, after leaving Alderman and Quilley School, now known as Quilley School of Engineering, based in Hampshire.

During this time, Alan was able to gain a sound understanding of the industry, and a skill set including welding, CNC punching and sheet metal guillotine work.

Alan was selected to visit our American partners, Priceless Aviation, in Lawrenceville, Georgia, for three weeks to learn about the aircraft tug manufacturing side of the business. The aim of the trip was to enable The Red Box Group to bring the manufacturing of our tugs to the UK. Alan said, ‘I enjoyed learning and being involved with the process from start to finish, and helping to identify parts that needed improving and changes to be made.’

Alan learnt the assembly process from Edwin Ortiz, who heads up the team that builds the aircraft tugs in the US. He was able to learn the differences between the tugs, and the components involved in building them. Whilst working at the US office, Alan stayed at the home of Ronnie Ford, CFO of Atlanta Attachment Company, and his wife Nancy, who were excellent hosts. ‘I was able to visit the local attractions during my free time, including watching a baseball game, visiting the Atlanta Aquarium, meeting all Ronnie’s family, and spending time at their house by the pool.’

Alan lives with his fiancée in Southampton, and their 18 month old son, Jake. They plan to marry in 2015.

Back in the UK, Weld and Metal Craft have completed the manufacture and assembly of six 701 tugs, with four more produced by the end of November, as well as four 709’s.’

Red Box International can be contacted on – +44 (0) 1794 518888.