£100,000 investment in new press line

A specialist in precision pressed parts and machined components has invested more than £100,000 in the installation of a new high-speed press line to boost capacity ahead of a raft of new opportunities. Source Engineering, which employs 32 people across its two divisions in Plympton, has leveraged the expertise of Bruderer UK for a machine to carry out the work of four conventional HME power presses.

Established in 1992, the company has gone from strength to strength, building and maintaining experience and knowledge across all aspects of its business. Source Engineering is continuing to develop that knowledge by training the next generation of engineering and toolmaking apprentices, ensuring that the company continues to thrive into the future.

Source Engineering is always looking to move forward and continually improve, whether it is product improvement or developing production processes. The firm stays competitive and improves quality by developing new production techniques, automating processes and investing in the best equipment – from EDM wire erosion machines for the tool room, through to Swiss-made high-speed/high-precision presses for the press shop.

The BSTA 200M 20 tonne stamping press from Bruderer was identified as the ideal solution for the company’s latest requirements and is now up and running at Source Engineering’s Langage Business Park facility, achieving 300 strokes per minute. This rate represents a 200% increase in production output across a range of products destined for the automotive, electrical wholesale and oil and gas markets.

Engineers at the firm have freed up an additional 500 sq ft of production space to use for the introduction of new projects, and to help Source Engineering cope with an increase in demand for its range of automation solutions.

Andy Dunkerley, chairman at Source Engineering, says: “Buying a Bruderer is like buying the Swiss watch of machines; you get unrivalled precision, speed and repeatable quality, all wrapped up in a relatively small footprint. We already had one in another part of the factory and were fully aware of its capabilities. So when it came to looking at how we optimised the factory floor space by replacing four machines with one high-speed line, we called in Bruderer’s technical experts to review the options.”

He continues: “They really understood what we were looking to achieve in space utilisation without giving up the versatility and the volumes, which basically meant we needed one machine to do the work of four.”

The Bruderer BSTA 200M high-precision, high-performance stamping press was identified as the preferred option and was fitted with a high-speed servo feeder and pallet de-coiler to help achieve precision control of material de-coiling and pinpoint pitch through the progression press tool.

Specified with a tool area of 510 x 400 mm, the machine can deliver up to 1800 strokes per minute, and is capable of handling a maximum material thickness of up to 2 mm and material width of 100 mm. The Bruderer BSTA 200M has also been equipped with ‘Press Force Monitor’, a feature which ensures protection of the press from overload. In addition, this technology limits tool damage if any stray material is pulled back up into the process – stopping the machine within a stroke, even at high speed.

Pablo Gutierrez, technical director at Source Engineering, goes on to add: “Sales are now back to pre-pandemic levels and we are looking to grow, with our ability to provide design, tooling and manufacturing all in one place driving the need for more production space. Our long-standing relationship with Bruderer UK has been pivotal in giving us a faster and more flexible machine, while also delivering capacity to install different types of presses or a dedicated assembly area to support bespoke automation work.

“There are lots of new opportunities domestically and overseas, and we are hoping to turn some of this potential into contracts that will see turnover rise by 20% over the next 12 months,” he continues.

Adrian Haller, managing director of Bruderer UK, says: “This is a perfect example of how the technical expertise of our team and the power of our presses can be combined to find a solution that does the work of four machines in one. Tolerances of manufactured process speed have improved significantly, while the ability to achieve fast press-tool changeover has been achieved due to the in-built Bruderer application of SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies).

He adds: “We’ve been working with Andy and Pablo for nearly a decade and have got an excellent relationship with the technical team at Source Engineering. This was a project that really excited us as we could use our technology to provide an immediate operational solution and, importantly, a way of supporting the company with its ambitious expansion plans.”

Source Engineering, which is approaching 30 years in business, has developed new control boxes that help monitor the part as it goes through production. The company has already supplied a number of models to Bruderer UK for installation on its machines and is looking to expand its offer further over the coming year.

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