Weir Group PLC has announced senior appointments at three of its major subsidiaries to strengthen its existing management teams.

Laurie West has been appointed as managing director of Weir Pumps Ltd, in Glasgow. Scot Smith has become head of Weir Slurry Division based at Madison in the USA and Warren H. Martin has joined as President of Weir Slurry Group Inc.,(formerly Warman International). He is also based in Madison. Joseph W. Roark has also joined as President of Weir Specialty Pumps in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Laurie West, Managing Director, Weir Pumps Ltd.

Laurie West joins Weir Pumps from the automotive industry. A chartered engineer, with an MBA from Portsmouth Polytechnic, he has worked with leading companies including Ford Motor Company Ltd., Wadham Stringer Ltd., BTR Plc, and Britax International PLC.

As managing director for Britax's European factories, the manufacturing efficiency and excellence of his sites achieved world class third party accreditation and were recognised with a number of business awards including a DTI Insider UK Enterprise Award and Nissan Most Improved Supplier 1997.

However, the highest recognition was in 1999 when the Portchester plant received the accolades of UK Factory of the Year and Best Engineering Factory from Management Today and Cranfield University.

A fervent advocate of lean thinking, Laurie and his team worked closely with Nissan and Toyota to develop world class best practice. He was also a Toyota production system trainer for his company throughout the UK.

Scot Smith, Divisional Director, Weir Slurry Division

Scot Smith also joins from the automotive industry where he has worked for 18 years. His early career was at Van Dresser Corporation as a production superintendent and industrial engineer. In 1989 he moved to General Motors as an Engineering Program Manager, responsible for interior development for automobiles.

In 1992 he became director of manufacturing for Britax in Michigan, where he saw this business grow from $20million to $180million in three years, capturing 32% of the US market in rear view mirror systems.

Further experience as marketing director in 1995 prepared him for the managing dierctor's role at the company's Geco factory in France, where a reorganisation programme resulted in profitability after two years, following six years of losses.

The success of this turnaround culminated in the factory winning "European Factory of the Year" recognition in 1998 from L'Insead. Other achievements included the factory becoming the first in the company to achieve ISO 14001 (1998) and the first European company to win QS 9000 designation in 1999.

This work led Scot to build a greenfield plant in Valencia Spain which opened in 1999.

In January 2000, he returned to America as regional managing director, responsible for factories in Michigan, Tennessee and greenfield site development in South America.

He holds a business degree and a masters degree in Business Administration with a specialisation in international business. He has studied extensively in the areas of lean manufacturing and has worked directly with Toyota Motor Corporation.

Warren Martin, President, Weir Slurry Group, Madison

Warren Martin joins from internal combustion engine manufacturers, Fairbanks Morse Engine, a component of the Engineered Products Division of Goodrich Corporation

He has had extensive experience in industrial manufacturing environments, including the marketing of parts, quality control and in inventory management. His experience in general management includes the position of Vice President and General Manager of Alco, a manufacturer of engines; President of the domestic operations of Garlock Sealing Technologies; and President of Fairbanks Morse Engine.

More recently at Fairbanks Morse, he has been involved in planning and leading the implementation of a comprehensive lean manufacturing program across all core functional areas.

Warren received an undergraduate degree in biology in 1978, and in 1982 earned an MBA degree from the University of Dayton.

Joseph W. Roark, President, Weir Specialty Pumps

Joseph W. Roark who has become President of Weir Specialty Pumps in Salt Lake City, Utah, is responsible for the all of the Salt Lake City operations. Joe succeeds Peter Krumm who retires at the end of the year after 35 years with EnviroTech Pumpsystems, now Weir Specialty Pumps.

Joe was previously President of Current Technology Inc., who manufacture surge suppression units. The parent company of Current Technology is the Danaher Corporation, a company well known for the implementation of lean management philosophy and practice. Prior to joining Current Technologies Inc. Joe was Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Aermotor Pump Company and GSW Pump Company who are units of GSW Inc. He was also involved in managing a turnaround situation in the heating and ventilation industry.

Joe has developed strong expertise and hands on experience in the transformation of a traditional manufacturing environment to one driven by lean manufacturing programs. He is an advocate of lean manufacturing particularly the Toyota Production System and Six Sigma design and tactical programs.

He received an undergraduate degree in business administration in 1980, and, in 1983 earned an MBA degree from Michigan State University.

Speaking about the new appointments, Group Chief Executive Mark Selway said: "I am delighted that Laurie, Scot, Warren and Joe have accepted these posts. I want to see all the Weir Group companies at world class level with leading edge techniques and strategy. We need to create good value for our customers through improving our supply chain from raw materials to on-time delivery.

"All have extensive experience of implementing lean thinking processes. Linking that thinking to the strong heritage of innovation and engineering excellence already existing throughout the Weir Group will give us the strengths to ensure we achieve world class recognition among our customers, and competitors."

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