Sliver of light X: Investing in laser cutting to support manufacturing

In the face of continuing negative news about manufacturing conditions in the UK it is encouraging to learn of successes and forward planning at some small to medium businesses. Steel Service Centre (SSC; Hixon Staffordshire) a Midlands based laser cutting company has invested more than £500,000 in cutting equipment with the goal of supporting British manufacturing when it recovers from the current recession.

Andy Evans, sales director for SSC says, "There has never been a more important time to ensure a business has the right tools to get the job done and stay well-ahead of the competition. We acknowledge we are working in difficult times; however, there are great opportunities for small and medium enterprise shops over the next few months as schedules for manufactured parts arrive back in the UK, due to reduced quantities becoming unattractive to our overseas competition and currency fluctuations make it ever more attractive to fix your costs in the UK. I urge any company who buys engineered parts to look for supply partners in the UK before looking abroad. Let's get the 'Made in the UK' badge back on manufactured goods."

To support this bold stance SSC Laser has invested in its third Bystronic flatbed laser cutting machine and a 150-ton capacity Bystronic press brake, taking the company's investment in new technology to well over £500,000 in the last year.

For outsourcing UK manufacturers this means: three Byspeed flatbed laser cutters in operation at SSC reduces cutting time for thin gauge sheet material, more flexibility in production to more effectively meet the customer's individual needs, and an increased capacity for bending and folding laser cut components.

In addition to the range of machinery in operation at SSC headquarters in Staffordshire, the SSC plant also includes the UK's largest tube laser, which is capable of cutting up to 323mm diameter tube and up to 220mm square box section.

For further information contact Andy Hume, shown in the photo on the left in front of Hanger 5, the WWII facility the company modernized when it was acquired in 2000. He can be contacted at andy.hume@steelservicecentre.co.uk.

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