Telford-based Wrekin Sheet Metal has invested over £1.1 million in AMADA automated punch press and laser-cutting technology all during the UK’s pandemic lockdown. An AMADA EMZ-3612MII electric punch press with AS-III MP300/40 tower and PR-III UL part remover, alongside an AMADA VENTIS-3015AJ fibre laser cutter with AS LUL3015 tower, were installed in August-September 2020. By leveraging the speed and capacity of these new machines, this progressive company is aiming to double its turnover to £5.5 million within the coming 12 months.
In 2013, Wrekin Sheet Metal relocated to a 40,000 sq ft factory in Telford, providing the foundation for growth under its new leadership. One of the first machines to arrive at the facility was a new AMADA laser cutting machine, and this philosophy of investing in the latest AMADA technology has continued ever since.
"With the EMZ-3612MII electric punch press being fully automated from loading to unloading, we could get 72 hours of consecutive manufacturing if we had the right product to go on it, which is incredible."
With the arrival of the automated AMADA EMZ-3612MII electric punch press and AMADA VENTIS-3015AJ fibre laser cutting machine – as well as the company’s investment in a powder-coating plant and new personnel – Wrekin Sheet Metal has spent circa £1.5 million since the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed in March 2020.
The AMADA VENTIS-3015AJ fibre laser cutting machine is also providing Wrekin Sheet Metal with 40% more efficiency thanks to its single diode module 4 kW oscillator and proprietary LBC (Locus Beam Control) technology. Mr Orpe says that the fibre technology not only provides extra speed over the company’s previous CO2 laser, but reduces power consumption by 50%.
On a daily basis, material from 0.5 to 20 mm in thickness is processed at Wrekin, mainly in mild steel, but also in stainless steel and aluminium. Thanks to the company’s investment in its first fibre laser cutter, reflective materials such as brass and copper can also be processed.
Wrekin Sheet Metal first decided it would move towards Industry 4.0 as part of its strategy to help combat the effects of Brexit.
“Although we assessed a range of machines from different suppliers, we favoured AMADA as they had solutions that were compatible with our shift to Industry 4.0. The new machines ticked a lot of boxes regarding data communication using the AMADA V-factory software. Industry 4.0 compatibility was therefore highly important when it came to investing in the new machines.”