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Marcelo Da Silva, Operational Excellence Engineer at BD in Swindon, UK

Marcelo Da Silva

Operational Excellence Engineer
Swindon, UK

We are the manufacturers of possible: Continuous Improvement devotee. Violin Player. Bookworm.

Marcelo Da Silva is naturally curious.  And that curiosity and need to understand how and why something works the way it does has led him to a fruitful career as an Operational Excellence Engineer at the Swindon, UK manufacturing/operations site.

“I actually started at the company as a Production Setter Operator for the BD PreventisTM Needle Shielding System assembly lines. After some time, I felt the need to learn more about the coiler machines and kept asking the technicians’ team leader on shift to give me more training on them,” he explained.

Keep growing, learning and thriving at BD

When the BD Production System was established in FY19, (which has evolved into BD Excellence), Marcelo was invited to be part of the Daily Team Maintenance (DTM) at the plant. According to Marcelo, the project supported reducing machine short-stops and engaging associates to conduct proactive maintenance (cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, and tightening).

He enjoyed being part of the team, but as more time went on, Marcelo questioned the need to stop the machine every shift for 20 minutes to clean critical-to-quality areas, it sounded counter-intuitive to him – he did not believe that it would help produce more.  He was skeptical but at the same time open-minded, and over time, this activity proved him wrong: these standard cleanings improved machine output overall.

“This experience became a turning point in my life because I realized that there was a scientific methodology behind it. It worked and I wanted to learn more about it, and that quickly converted me into a DTM practitioner/evangelist. The next thing I did was buy tons of books about Lean Manufacturing and enrolled in several Continuous Improvement online courses, which led me to something I love to do,” he emphasized.

As a result, in 2018 Marcelo became the DTM deputy leader and in 2019 the Component Leader in the plant.  As his knowledge and experience of the DTM role evolved, he was further promoted to Continuous Improvement Technician in 2019. At that time, Marcelo decided to go back to University – a six-year part-time Business Management (Leadership focused) degree, which he is still pursuing.

Sharing his passion for Continuous Improvement

Marcelo was promoted again in 2021 to his current role of Operational Excellence Engineer and started leading the 5S component – A Japanese workplace methodology to eliminate waste and non-value-added activities. Over the past two years, he has also been able to lead 5S Kaizen Events, restoration (back to basic activities) and DMAIC projects. he has also advocated, trained, and coached production team members on BD Excellence.

“I really enjoy being able to make a difference by improving people’s way of working.  The fact that my role is people-process-centric, makes me excited to come to work! That and the fact that no two days are alike. I like to think I have a strong work ethic and commitment, after working for BD for nearly seven years, I am proud of having never missed a day of work.  And I think it’s because I love what I do and that makes me eager to get up and come to work every day – educating and engaging individuals about the importance of continuous improvement,” said Marcelo.

BD Truly Values Diversity and a Growth Mindset

Marcelo is grateful that when he began at BD, he did not have all the educational background or experience to do what he does today. However, through his dedication and commitment to learning about all the facets of continuous improvement, he has been able to build a fulfilling career.

“BD is a company that valued my ambition and opened the doors for me to do what I think I do best: Be creative and interact with people.  My strong accent (Brazilian Portuguese is my native language) and my lack of experience were not a disadvantage when I first joined the company. I was given the opportunity to build a career even though I was 38 years old when I started - BD saw my potential and invested in me. “The company really bet on me, and I feel grateful for the opportunities I have been given,” he noted.   

When not focused on elevating the manufacturing/operations processes within the Swindon site, Marcelo is usually reading, spending time with his son, travelling, or playing the violin.

“I love to get lost in books. I have a special interest in self-education, technology, innovation, and minimalism. I’ve been a violin player since I was 11 years old and I like to consider myself a ‘serial reader’ – either for research or pleasure,” concluded Marcelo.

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