What we do
Delivering products to the highest standard
Our customers are making the breakthroughs that keep them at the front of their fields. Together, we offer them the tools they need to increase efficiency and precision, so that they can focus on what they do best. Our operations teams are made up of skilled professionals working across a range of production and supply chain roles. We work closely with our technical and commercial colleagues to ensure that our high-tech products are built to spec, manufacturing standards remain high and our instruments are the best on the market.
history of manufacturing in the uk
uk and us manufacturing facilities
employees have completed accredited yellow, green or black belt training
TRAINING & SUPPORT
Growing your expertise
Learning and developing new skills is crucial when you’re constantly being challenged to adapt and innovate. We can support you through apprenticeships, degrees and professional qualifications in engineering, supply chain and manufacturing. Whether you want to take on new skills and responsibility in production or specialise in Operational Excellence and earn your Black Belt, we have a range of internal and external training for you to expand your skillset.
Life at Oxford Instruments
I’ve been working for Asylum Research in Santa Barbara, California for about three and a half years. I studied Engineering Physics at college and then gained some experience working with Atomic Force Microscopes, before applying for a role here. I started in the testing department where I worked on the test protocols for Cypher VRS. After the project had finished I had the opportunity to apply for a Manufacturing Engineer role.
My role now involves a lot of different things. I’m sort of the bridge between Research & Development (R&D) and Operations, and that involves working with loads of different people from different areas. I make sure that everything’s up-to-date with a product, for example that there aren’t any manufacturing problems or issues with the timeline. I’m also part of a team who are creating a brand new system.
In my spare time I’m doing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Oxford Instruments have a Tuition Reimbursement Programme which helps with the cost. I’m able to be quite flexible around work for it. I have a class for my degree in the mornings and go to work after this.
It’s pretty relaxed and open here, and everybody gets along which is really nice. If you ever have an idea you can talk to people who will listen and explore the possibility, they’re really receptive.
While I was at school I was a motorsports mechanic part time, then I studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering at university and I worked in software for a bit. I’d read good things about Andor; the products they were making and the impact they were having on the world, so I always thought they’d be a company I’d like to work for.
I joined the Microscopy team who helped to train me on everything I needed to know. Now, I’m the production team leader for Microscopy Systems, which means I make sure the team has everything they need to build our products. That means organising support, involving people from other departments, and looking at what we need to anticipate for future orders. My role involves the factory floor space too, making sure it’s right for what we need both now and going forward, for example if we need to build any new labs or increase the size of the packing area.
Within the factory, we have core hours for Operations staff, with flexibility around those to make up your required hours whenever the factory is open. So if I need to finish at a certain time to go and look at schools for my daughter, then it’s not a problem. It's actually a very straightforward, honest company to work for. People are really friendly and everybody knows everyone else, so if you need something you just ask.
I’m actually in my 16th year now at Oxford Instruments, and I’ve had five different roles here so far. After sixth-form, I joined the company as an Apprentice, learning to build our products. Once I finished my apprenticeship, I became a Manufacturing Engineer and after a few more moves and sponsorship for my Master’s, I’m now an Operational Excellence Leader.
My role is to understand why things take the amount of time they take and then to try and find opportunities to become more efficient. For example, looking at how efficient we are in the three to four weeks of testing and two weeks of installation, and then understanding what kind of underlying changes we could make to improve efficiency. I‘ll work with a range of teams across the shop floor, customer support and in data to understand where our information is coming from and what we can do with it.
Innovation happens almost daily here. We have to constantly develop new products to enable our customers to carry out the experiments that they want to perform. For our customers, being the first to find new materials or announce a new process is hugely beneficial and we provide the tools that enable them to do this. So as they continually adapt their experiments, we have to continually adapt our products.
When I first started here I was quite a reserved person, but I think that Oxford Instruments has brought me out of myself. I’ve got to know so many people, and gained so much knowledge and experience from those around me. This has given me the confidence to manage my role, and make a valuable contribution to the company.
I have worked here for 19 years now; planning and coordinating the international shipment for NanoAnalysis worldwide. Day-to-day, my role involves the movement of our products to customer sites. This means liaising with a variety of people including Customers, Vendors, Chambers of Commerce, Shipping lines, Forwarding Agents and Receiving Agents, both in the UK and overseas. It’s a very varied role, and I have the freedom and control to develop entirely new and improved processes to meet rapidly changing customer demands.
For me, the best part is the people – I work with and speak to a lot of different people in many different countries every day. Oxford Instruments itself is like a family. Our team is really close-knit and supportive, and my manager trusts me to produce a high quality of work. This keeps me engaged and excited about my role.
I joined Oxford Instruments in the technical team, but I recently moved into a role where I test the tools instead of build them. Now it’s my job to take a tool and run through all the benchmark tests that are needed to make sure it’s working properly before going to the customer. When I became a test engineer, I had a week of classroom training which was essentially field engineer training, to help us along with the testing. Then I had on-the-job training with other test engineers.
There’s a lot of training on offer if we want it. I've just been on a short afternoon course about striking plasma safely and generally, if training is needed for a certain job role, the company will quite happily give that to you. I’ve done training on manual handling, crane operating and gas safety.
There are a really good bunch of people here and there’s a lot of variety in the work that we do in testing. It’s a really good atmosphere to work in, there’s a bit of pressure but it’s quite relaxed, so you can always have a joke and a laugh as long as you get the job done.
Creating your own path
Operational Excellence is at the heart of our success. A role in Operations can be a great starting point for moving in to another job family where problem-solving skills and a disciplined approach to quality improvements and cost savings are key. If you prefer to stay in Operations, then our grading structure creates promotion opportunities as you develop new capabilities and take on increasing levels of responsibility.