Dowson Food Machinery was established in Yorkshire in 1982 under the skilled entrepreneurship of founder John Murgatroyd.
He set about designing new products for slicing and bagging bread, and before long was supplying bespoke equipment and service support to many of the UK’s leading bakery groups, as well as to smaller independent and artisan bakers.
Now run by managing director Nick Lacey, the company exports across five continents and has machines installed at customers such as Warburtons and Hovis.
The success of the business meant that expansion was inevitable and, in 2015, it moved to a new 48,000 sq ft facility in Bradford, nearly three times the size of the original factory. Now employing 60 people and with the space for more equipment, new lines were designed to include products for speciality breads, flatbreads, rolls and tortillas.
The company’s main asset today is its in-house CNC machining capability.
“We offer more than our competitors,” explains James Carson, sales and marketing manager. “To have our own Haas machines on-site is not only economical, it gives us a level of control over quality and lead-time which we would never have by outsourcing.
“We can alter or modify a component to change the way a piece of equipment works, then test it straight away in-house.”
In 2017, Dowson decided to replace one of its lathes and, after careful research, invested in a Haas ST-15 turning centre with a 15 kW, 4,000 rpm spindle and 210 mm chuck. “You get a lot of bang for your buck,” says purchasing manager Andrew Sands. “We paid less for the ST-15 than we did for a lathe we bought 10 years ago, and it more than matches it for accuracy and reliability.”
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