Thursday, 2 May 2013

New Machinery Gives UK Manufacturer The Edge

New machinery is set to give UK manufacturer Texane a competitive advantage in the global market for escalator wheels, and create new jobs.

The Leicestershire company produces ultra-tough polyurethane wheels that drive the escalators and travelators on some of the world’s most iconic subways, from London to Paris and New York.

Faced with competition from cheap labour countries, it has invested in machinery that will slash process and material costs, and increase margins.
“It will attract more customers, and give us a massive competitive advantage over South East Asia,” said Texane managing director Arnab Dutt. “As our cost of manufacture becomes smaller, we will win on that front as well as on service, carbon footprint, localisation and product quality where we already come out on top.”

The Market Harborough company is investing £300,000 in CNC lathes, tooling and a computerised polyurethane pouring machine, which precisely controls the mix of materials used to produce wheels and other components with the required properties.
Mr Dutt estimates it will cut the turnaround time for producing new batches from 45 minutes to a matter of seconds, and will pay for itself within 24 months.
The growing company turned in record profits last year, and he expects demand to continue to grow worldwide.
“We are looking to double turnover without increasing the size of the manufacturing workforce,” he says. “We will be creating new jobs instead in design and engineering roles to keep us ahead of the game.”
The move towards efficiency and automation is one that other British manufacturers are embracing, and Mr Dutt forecasts: “This is why manufacturing will come back to the UK.”

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