Manufacturing Innovation Pays Off Within One Week

UK manufacturer, Brandauer landed the new contracts following the launch of its Special Products Division

A leading UK-based pressworker has invested more than £250,000 into a new Special Products Division (SPD) that will improve its ‘one-off’ prototyping and low volume manufacturing capabilities.

Brandauer opened the new facility last week and wasted no time in securing £70,000 of contracts from clients in the automotive, medical and renewables sectors.

For the first time in its 153-year history, the firm is able to accommodate customer requirements spanning from one-off to 20,000 metal components in materials ranging from aluminium and brass to copper and nickel alloys.

The SPD reduces time to market pressures by providing fast turnaround and the longer-term possibility to move from prototype through to medium and high volume production.

Mark Fenney, Special Products Division Manager explains: “This is an important step forward in our development and gives us a low volume capability that we would normally have to sub-contact, or worse still, decline to quote.”

He continues: “We try to get involved in the process at the conceptual stage and identify where we can add value and design for scalable manufacture. Now we have the natural opportunity to do just that, and even work with customers on a small batch product introduction before moving on to larger numbers.”

The Special Product Division is the result of a six-month project that involved the introduction of a new material handling approach to create narrower aisles in the warehouse and logistics departments.

This provided the additional space required to develop the dedicated cell and installation of more than £200,000 of new machinery, including multiple low tonnage presses, hydraulic presses, a sheet metal guillotine, laser marking, CNC lathe and a second operation/final assembly area.

Brandauer has also set up a self-contained tool room in the SPD, as well as its first 3D Printer to produce initial prototypes at a fraction of the cost of setting up tooling.

Graham Allison, who was recently appointed as Strategic Sales Manager, went on to add: “We knew this offer would be popular, but I don’t think even we expected to win orders within a week of officially launching, let alone being on course to smash our budget by 50 percent.

“It shows the appetite from both new and existing clients for a small batch production facility that they can trust and a desire to work with a specialist that can add value at the very earliest of stages. I suppose we’re aiming to be an innovation centre of excellence for customers.”

He concluded: “Our quality capabilities will be second to none and are in line with volumetric requirements and PPAP Level 3; the latter has the potential to secure another £100,000 of orders.”

The investment in the Special Products Division is part of Brandauer’s five-year plan to double turnover to £15 million as well as increase market share in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia and the US.