Servo-feeders aid shift to 4-day week

A UK manufacturer of scaffold board end bands has posted an impressive 12% increase in volumes thanks to a timely investment in ancillary equipment and a switch to a 4-day working week. Chilwell Products, which is now under third-generation family ownership, has invested nearly £100,000 in equipping 11 of its power presses with the latest servo-feed technology from Bruderer UK.

Located at Stanton by Dale, the company was originally looking to continue using air feeds, but was convinced by experts from the high-speed press specialist to trial its MF-2P servo feeders and the results have been astonishing. Volumes have gone from 15.6 million to 17.5 million over the past 12 months and, better still, the firm has managed to achieve this in just four days, making Friday a permanent day off as a thank you (while all staff still maintain full pay).

“We always thought that using servo feeds would mean the material would slip when oily, but these initial concerns were quickly blown away once we put the equipment through a supported trial,” explains Laura Clarke, managing director of Chilwell Products and the granddaughter of company founder Derrick Telford. “Through experience we found set-up times were far quicker and the servo-feeds run the material significantly more efficiently than our incumbent air feeds: less jams, less downtime, and less material rejected and wasted. All making for much more efficient production.”

She adds: “With this in mind, we began to roll-out the feeders across every press in our factory and are now up to 11, with a 12th on order. Working 39 hours per week and overtime at multiple points throughout the year is now a thing of the past.”

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