Productivity boosted 30% at Alvan Blanch

Wiltshire-based Alvan Blanch, a specialist in the design and manufacture of machines and integrated systems for the processing of agricultural produce and waste materials, has installed two of the UK’s highest specification E-Brakes from SafanDarley. The purchase was prompted by a bottleneck in the company’s press bay following investment in automation for its laser-cutting and punching machines.

“Due to our growth and the acceleration of other processes on site, we had little choice but to invest in new press brakes,” explains production manager Neil Connor. “We looked at suitable machines across the market, including those from our existing supplier. However, the E-Brake 200-4100 NS machines from SafanDarley were the most advanced, not just in terms of their servo-electronic technology, but the user-friendly CNC. We’re based in a small village, so finding skilled labour is really difficult. If we lose a skilled operator through sickness, for example, we sometimes need to assign a replacement who isn’t necessarily familiar with the technology.”
The ability to program the SafanDarley E-Brakes offline allows Alvan Blanch to assign unskilled labour to the machines, safe in the knowledge that they simply have to follow on-screen instructions to complete the task successfully.
“To emphasise this point, we have recently recruited two brand new operators who have never used press brakes before,” says Connor. “However, they’ve taken to the E-Brakes really well and are working away quite happily now – after just four weeks in the job!”
Alvan Blanch traded-in two of its four previous press brakes as part of the investment, so there are still four machines in total on site. However, despite this, the two new E-Brakes have boosted productivity by 30% to relieve the previous bottleneck.
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