Numatic International Limited, a leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial cleaning and maintenance equipment (and best known for its popular domestic vacuum cleaner Henry, for which total sales now exceed 5 million) has recently increased its output to over 4,000 machines a day at its Chard, Somerset factory. The company has more than 4,000 different products in its portfolio and still manages to provide customers with a three week maximum lead time.
Such requirements puts strain on capacity and the two existing Bystronic laser machines (one equipped with 1.5 kW resonator, the other with 3 kW resonator) were struggling to meet this demand, resulting in £20K worth of laser cutting being sub-contracted out each month. In order to become more cost efficient Numatic looked at a number of options including adopting the continental shift pattern of work or investing in a third laser similar to the ones already in operation.
Andrew Smith, manufacturing manager, takes up the story: "Having looked at various options we felt there was a strong case for investing in an automated laser system. We looked at the products of the main suppliers and chose three, including Bystronic, to carry out benchmark testing on nine representative jobs. Whilst the Bystronic Byspeed 3015 equipped with 4.4 kW produced the parts equally as fast as a competitor machine, it was the Bytrans handling system concept and its execution which impressed us the most and the fact that Bystronic could deliver and commission the machine quickly."
"The operators adapted easily to the Bystronic technology as the control system is so user-friendly," continues Andrew. "When training was complete we simply decommissioned the 3 kW laser and switched over to the new machine without any loss in production."
Today Numatic is running a single shift system and for lights-out production, the Byspeed is loaded with three tonnes of material and left to run throughout the night un-manned.
The Byspeed is 2.8 times faster than Numatic’s older laser systems and subsequently capacity problems have been solved and at the same time the cost of sub-contracting laser work has all but been eliminated. Numatic anticipates that payback on the machine will be two years.
Contact: Dave Larcombe