Subcon Lasers: ‘in the forefront’ due to continual investment in the latest technology

April 16, 2017

Subcon Laser Cutting, based in Nuneaton, invests in the latest technology available to keep at the forefront of a rapidly changing and challenging manufacturing environment.

Business Desk published news of its acquisition of the UK’s first 8kw fibre laser cutting system with Cooline technology, which helps to cut fine detail into thick material and is controlled remotely using the latest iPad technology. This machine, installed at the end of 2016, was supplied and made by the Trumpf Group in Germany and the investment is already opening up opportunities including new orders from India, with further enquiries from Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.

Production Engineering Excellence Magazine, which covers the latest technological developments relevant to production engineers and managers, reports that Subcon Laser Cutting received the CET Coventry & Warwickshire ‘Excellence in Manufacturing’ award. The winners were announced at a gala dinner and presentation night at the Ricoh Arena in October.

This interesting photograph shows Subcon’s 5 Axis Laser Cutting TruLaser Cell 7040. Though  other laser cutting services will only work on flat sheet, bar and plate, the 5 axis service is involved with creating high quality 3D parts. It is highly regarded by the automotive industry because it is versatile – can work with anything ranging from prototype/body to supporting all kinds of production lines.

Tom Mongan, general manager of Subcon Laser Cutting, speaks in similar vein to the one of the co-founders of this website, Peter Davies (Professional Polishing, Smethwick), who noted that although the usual downbeat attitude to manufacturing persists, when he attends business gatherings the attitude is buoyant, with news of orders coming in.

Mr Mongan said: “Depending on what you read or who you listen to, they say UK manufacturing lags behind our EU counterparts in productivity and investment, well not from where I am standing and I would like to know who is providing the statistics and information”.

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Wedgwood, Portmeirion and other Stoke-on-Trent potteries regain ground

April 28, 2013

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Wedgwood (Stoke-on-Trent) is one of the manufacturers in the Potteries region now reporting a modest return to growth – after years of struggling to compete against cheap Asian imports. Some of the surviving companies developed clays that require less firing – thus reducing the potters’ energy bills – or worked with Ceram, a Stoke-based research organisation, to increase production efficiencies.

John Murray Brown reports in the Financial Times that data from the Office for National Statistics show that the sector was worth £430m in 2012, a rise of 20% on four years earlier – a number of the leading brands reporting record sales and expansion plans.

portmeirion potteryPortmeirion Potteries bought Spode and Royal Worcester out of administration in 2009, moved some of the production of its Spode Blue Italian range back from China and is employing about 400 people at its plant in Stoke.

steeliteSteelite of Stoke, the UK’s largest tableware manufacturer has acquired Royal Crown Derby, as part of a £12m investment programme embarked on last year with support from the government’s regional growth fund, which is providing £2m.

Last year Kevin Oakes, chief executive of Steelite, expressed concern about the dumping of below-cost product from China in the European market, which is currently the subject of an EU investigation, seeing a correlation between the jobs the industry has lost and the volume of Chinese imports.

West Midlands MEP Phillip Bennion, whose work in this sector was featured on this site last year, has continued to liaise with Kevin Oakes and other ceramics manufacturers. Earlier this month, he announced at the European Parliament in Strasbourg:

“It seems that after sustained lobbying, we have persuaded a majority of EU governments to back the Commission that we must confirm action to stop unfair competition in kitchen and tableware.

The Commission has yet to formally publish a proposal and Council then has to adopt it before the expiry on 15th May but the Council vote is expected to be a formality, approving the deal agreed in the anti-dumping committee.

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MEP will report SME chief concerns over burdensome rules and regulations

November 24, 2012

Local MEP Malcolm Harbour is putting himself forward as an agony uncle for small businesses which find themselves fuming over red tape.

He is calling on entrepreneurs and leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the West Midlands to contact him with their chief concerns over burdensome rules and regulations – particularly those emanating from Brussels.

The European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, wants to discover the 10 most-restrictive pieces of legislation for SMEs on the EU’s statute books – and presumably then effectively address these problems.

Mr Harbour is asking businesses to contact him so that he can be aware of their concerns before forwarding the information to the commission in Brussels.

 Mr Harbour can be contacted by email at malcolm.harbour@europarl.europa.eu