Sheffield, England - Laser cutting and manufacturing company Advanced Engineering Techniques (AET) is celebrating 25 years in business. Privately owned and employing 150 skilled staff, the company had turnover of £10 million in 2013—up 25 percent over the previous year. Average year-on-year growth in business and personnel has been 20 percent over the past five years.
The company supplies laser-cut, folded, machined, fabricated, shot-blasted, painted, and finished assemblies, which are produced around the clock except on Sundays. Batch size can be anything from one-off prototypes to many hundreds.
A large part of the company's output goes into the transport sector, including road, rail, coach, and bus, as well as into yellow goods for construction, access platforms and security towers, conventional and renewable energy, agriculture, and aviation and defense. Customers arefound both nationally and in other countries, notably the US and Canada.
The company has four CO2 laser cutting machines from Bystronic ranging in power from 4.4 to 6kW, capable of cutting up to 25mm-thick mild steel, and with bed sizes up to 4 × 2.5m. It also has four press brakes, with a fifth planned for later this year.
|A Bystronic ByAutonom CO2 laser profiling machine in action at AET in Sheffield, England.|
Over £1.5 million was spent between 2009 and 2013 acquiring a Bystar 4025 CO2 laser profiler and other machines from Bystronic. The same period saw an additional 17,500 sq. ft. of factory space added, bringing the total to 60,000 sq. ft. on the 2.5-acre site. Further investment in 2013 included a 4000-sq-ft. factory, and another Bystronic laser machine added a further £1 million to the tally. The company has plans for two more Bystronic laser profilers in 2015 and 2016, one of which will be a fiber laser machine for high productivity when processing thinner materials.