Following on from the phenomenal success of 2018, which saw the purchase of seven new machines, twenty-one new team members, our brand new reception, record levels of enquiries and order book, the beginning of this year saw the arrival and successful integration of the final three machines we had on order.
A second DMU 50 universal machining centre, a CMX 800V vertical machining centre and a Nakamura WT150 have greatly increased our capacity across all areas and has allowed us to gain new contracts and customers, whilst ensuring, we remain flexible to customer demands. Not content to stay still however, we continue to strive towards our smart factory ambitions by reorganising our shop floor in line with 5S principles and a new central, mezzanine production office, designed to be a hub for tooling, inspection and production control, is currently under construction and is due for completion early next year. Simultaneously, renovations are well under way in our annex in preparation for a new, improved plating plant.
In many ways, 2019 has been a year of integration. There has been much going on behind the scenes to enhance our service, improve efficiencies and to ensure we remain adaptable to your needs. This year our focus has been on assimilating everything new, training and working solidly to improve systems and procedures to take us even further forward. We invested in Autodesk Fusion, an integrated, cloud-based CAD/CAM software system and are about to take delivery of a Keyence Image Dimension Measurement System IM-7500. This next generation machine increases our ability to inspect larger components, is highly accurate and provides extremely fast inspection programming and will complement our existing IM-6020. Consolidating conventional tools into a single system, this automatic machine can measure complex shapes with ease.
The Knowledge Transfer Programme with Manchester Metropolitan University continues and much progress has been made in further developing our in-house smart manufacturing system, VMANS and in embracing newer technologies.
On the personnel front, Paul Hayman moved from Night Shift Team Leader to a newly created role of Production Co-Ordinator and is the liaison between all internal departments to ensure that all jobs flow efficiently between departments. His step count has definitely increased since he started the role! The positive impact in terms of enhanced communication and problem solving at source has not only benefited the smooth flow of orders throughout each department but has also added to our flexibility to adapt to our customer’s requirements when required.
Throughout our forty-six years of trading, we have always been pro-active, invested and never been afraid of taking the next step. We have great ambitions and a strong foundation on which to achieve them. We are very much looking forward to the coming new year and to sharing our news with you. Thank you for your support this year. We wish you a happy Christmas and a successful and prosperous new year.