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Celebrating 150 years of business this year, Birmingham-based Brandauer has seen a boom in the number of companies seeking to transfer complex tooling in order to solve production issues and bottleneck.
The last eighteen months has seen the completion of a number of significant projects, and Brandauer is currently handling enquires from prospective customers involved in the automation, medical and alternative energy sectors.
Managing Director, David Spears believes the growth has arisen from the industry’s need for worldwide secure supply, additional capacity and the company’s unique ability to solve challenging tooling requirements.
Brandauer’s ongoing relationship with Otter Controls, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of domestic appliance components, has seen both companies realise significant benefits.
“We’d been talking to Otter Controls for a considerable length of time, as they had been identified as an ideal potential client for us. As the relationship developed, we were presented with a challenging tool transfer opportunity concerning two specific electrical connectors for use in the base of kettles,” said Spears.
Having been selected as the preferred solution, Brandauer started work on the transfer, a substantial task “made more difficult by the fact that ongoing global supply requirements still had to be fulfilled.”
“The transfer process commenced with a free 15-hour tool inspection service, developed to diagnose any issues with the existing tool and to ensure they could run in our presses,” Spears continued.
“During this process, we identified a number of dimensional problems, which were causing issues with quality and on-time delivery.”
A project manager, accompanied by a team of hand-picked engineers, was sent to Austria for three months to learn about a new welded contact production process. Returning with the machine and armed with what they had learnt, production rates were improved to 280 strokes per minute, with all significant waste eliminated and material costs reduced by nearly 40 percent.
The process proved so successful that Otter Controls’ Derby facility also has the same machine up and running.
“When undertaking a project of this magnitude, you have to give the client complete peace of mind and I think we achieved that by working together with Otter Controls personnel to manage the process in-house, from the inspection through to the re-development and then full production.”
“With the capability of producing around one million parts per week using these tools, the client has seen improved accuracy, control and excellent on-time delivery performance. Confidence was so high; we went from shipping via its UK Headquarters to delivering direct to its Shenzhen-based manufacturing facility.”
Otter Controls’ Group Operations Director, Brian Smith concluded:
“From the initial fact-finding with Brandauer, it was clear that the company demonstrated great levels of professionalism across all areas of the business, including exceptional tooling and design capabilities.
“Its attention to detail – whether project management, knowledge transfer, materials, continuous lean improvement and zero defect philosophy – created a learning environment from which both organisations continue to benefit from.”
This year Brandauer is on course to surpass £10m turnover for the first time in its history, with 80 percent of its precision parts and stampings currently being exported overseas.