WES Engineering Solutions has invested over £420k in a new top of the range CNC milling machine as a consequence of new market growth, expanding its 24/7 machine running capabilities by 200%.
Group commercial director, James Gazzard, said: “2021 was a huge success for us. We grew our client base by 20%, developed new products and expanded our order book by 50%. With a forecasted 43% growth across the group for 2022/23, this latest investment is in direct response to customer demand.”
In the past year, the Redruth-based precision engineering firm has fought against the weakening automotive sector – which has been historically core to their product line – and strategically focused on expansions in the subsea, nuclear, oil and gas markets.
This vision has not only delivered greater sector infiltration in these markets but also led to an evolvement of the company’s manufacturing strategy as it migrates more into the ‘big batch’ engineering field.
Gazzard continued: “We’ve worked so hard to achieve our new high volume order books but despite a fleet of advanced machinery and a brilliant, highly skilled and experienced workforce, we simply couldn’t keep up with demand.
“This is where the new CNC machining centre steps in – solving production volumes, shortening on time delivery and opening up new opportunities. This latest investment allows us to manufacture on a constant cycle as the Matsuura CNC H-Plus 300 enables us to double our lights out running capabilities, halves our running times and significantly enhances our commercial and production efficiencies.”
Reducing the reliance on skilled personnel, through advanced machinery automation, is an ongoing solution to the limited skilled recruitment pool the manufacturing sector so commonly experiences.
Gazzard added: “We’re huge ambassadors of skills training and apprenticeships. In fact, the new cell leader for the expanded milling section was one of our former apprentices. We really value our staff and have a number of skilled mechanical engineer positions available.
“However, accessing the talent is a key concern for the industry. So, we grow our people from the ground up. Our apprentice programme thrives in our low to medium volume, precision engineering manufacturing departments and we’re looking forward to expanding with at least a further three new apprentices this year.”
With WES’s sister company, British Classic Cars (BCC) having also grown, achieving new routes to market across Europe as well as the development of new brake caliper products for Landrover, Porsche, Mercedes and Datsun, WES Engineering Solutions has streamlined its group’s structure to improve efficiencies across all its businesses.