(L-R) Gareth Williams, Phil Robson and Tony Hague
Strategic outsourcing is helping an East Yorkshire print finishing equipment manufacturer achieve major production efficiencies and boost capacity to cope with an increase in sales.
ABG International, which employs close to 350 people at state-of-the-art plants at Bridlington, Driffield and in Germany, has been partnering with PP Control & Automation for more than nine years and in that time has seen its turnover grow almost 50%.
The expanding business has tapped into the West Midlands-based firm’s expertise in connectivity to reduce lead times and, importantly, create the platform to scale up to producing 250 digital print finishing machines in 2018.
“We operate in very similar ways and, once we had seen PP Control & Automation’s capabilities at its world class facility, we knew there were lots of synergies and a relationship to forge,” continued Phil Robson, operations manager at ABG International.
“PP was originally tasked with producing the electrical back panels on our new Digicon 3 digital print finishing machine and then delivering them to our Bridlington factory where we would fit the cables and harnesses, a labour-intensive job that would usually take between 2 to 3 days.”
He continued: “It didn’t take long until engineers from both companies came up with a new way of assembly that involved developing a more standard enclosure system, which would allow the panel to be easily slid into the machine.”
Tony Hague, CEO of PP Control & Automation, continued: “Once we had come up with the enclosure design, we then started considering the cable harnessing and the interconnectivity around the machines.
“It became apparent that a modular approach would be a lot more effective and we worked together to design a process that would see the modules assembled in the West Midlands.
“Working with the modular concept means engineers at PP can look at the specific machine ‘make up’ and configuration and immediately calculate both the circuit protection requirements and the cable lengths, based on standard routings - providing a quicker installation for the team.”
ABG and PP engineers took just six months to redesign the controls architecture into the new modular format.
This gives the end customer a huge amount of flexibility when specifying the exact machine requirements they need, whilst ensuring ABG is not having to redesign constantly, rather selecting and configuring modules in a manner that provides a bespoke solution to the user.
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement