Smart Manufacturing invests over £1m

Bideford-based sheet metal fabrication specialist Smart Manufacturing Ltd is taking its manufacturing operations to the next level by investing more than £1m in a number of Amada machines and building an additional factory in which to run them 24-7. The company says the new machines, which include a Ventis-3015AJ 4 kW fibre laser cutter and EMZ 3612MII punch press, both with automation, will help double its turnover to circa £8m within five years.

“Since buying the Amada machines we’re picking up a lot of thinner gauge work in much higher quantities,” explains production director Shaun Mcquillan. “A year ago we would probably view an order for 500 as high quantity, but now we are seeing orders for over 5000. Of course, the only way we can handle these orders and maintain reasonable lead times is with automation.”

In combination, Smart Manufacturing’s automated Ventis-3015AJ fibre laser cutter and EMZ 3612MII punch press allow the company to load almost 10 tons of material and run the machines lights-out overnight. 

“Our customers therefore get to enjoy both reduced costs and shorter lead times,” says Mcquillan. “With the new Amada machines we can increase our daily material tonnage throughput by five times. It’s almost scary to see how fast these machine run.”

Employing 35 people, Smart Manufacturing is currently on a steep growth trajectory. Turnover is currently circa £4m, but with its investment in Amada machines the company is projecting to hit £6m in two years and £8m within five years. Among new clients taking up the services of Smart Manufacturing since the arrival of the Amada machines in January 2024 are those operating in entirely new sectors, such as military, defence and AI technology. 

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