Articles

16 November 2017

How to expand your production

With UK manufacturing at a 22 year high, ebm-papst UK present a new strategy which will increase your output.

Despite recent improvements in output, UK manufacturers face difficult challenges: cheaper, more skilled foreign workforces have left UK manufacturers struggling to compete on price; the fall of the historically strong GBP has increased the cost of importing materials; limited production space has restrained production halls.

Production processes have become increasingly rigid. Manufacturers are outsourcing to multiple companies to reduce their own labour costs. This causes manufacturers to be less responsive to demand resulting in production stops, price increases and reduced productivity.

In-house capacities are expensive and aren’t reflected as a true cost to production teams. ebm-papst eliminate the tasks of sourcing, buying, storing and building various components by providing a complete one-stop-shop service from a single supplier.

Our proposition is simple and potent: why buy a fan when you can source a complete, bespoke service? And why spend time, money and resources managing multiple suppliers when you can choose a comprehensive service from a single supplier, with the proven manufacturing quality of ebm-papst?

ebm-papst offers their customers a ‘plug and play’ solution which eliminates the risk of in-house errors; offering a finished, warranted product. This solution is flexible to meet any areas where capacity is limited, ‘filling in the gaps’ in the production process. The benefits: reduced overheads, safer labour, shorter supply chain, guaranteed products, greater efficiency, reliability and increased flexibility; saving time and money with one outsourced solution.

As your production partner, we have the capability and experience to undertake much of the ancillary work - allowing you to cut costs and focus on the more profitable areas of your business. Our design, technical support and production teams will keep you informed every step of the way; ensuring that the work we undertake is carried out to the specification you require.

If you are looking for a practical way to reduce your production costs, free up storage space and put your work force to better use, contact us with your requirements.

We offer complete solutions that saves you time and money: Sheet metal fabrication, automatic tube and wire cutting, metal machining, MiG and TiG welding, harness build, painting and finishing, lead free soldering, plastic moulding, automatic crimping.

For all enquiries contact Hannah.Morphew@uk.ebmpapst.com

UK Industrial Climate

UK Manufacturing is at a 22 year high. Recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed that UK production increased by 0.7% in September and by 1.1% in the third quarter of 2017.

Having experienced the quickest decline of any manufacturing sector in post-World War Europe; previously boasting one of the largest shares in 1948 to the lowest in 2014. Is there light at the end of the tunnel for UK manufacturers?

The UK manufacturing industry has moved up a place in the global league table, becoming the eighth largest in the world. To some, this may be surprising news, considering the UK has seen the largest reduction in manufacturing output of all the G7 economies over the past 50 years (source ONS notes); resulting from the dramatic shift in economic power from the UK manufacturing sector to the services industry.

Over the past decades: overseas competition, high wages, under-skilled workforce, exchange rate fluctuations and environmental concerns – have left companies fighting to maintain business, with ‘all hands to the pump’.

To survive the challenging conditions in the UK, certain manufacturers have skilfully adapted. Those who endured the tough economic manufacturing conditions have done so by specialising - finding a niche and heavily investing in the required proficiencies. This has created a divide between the top manufactures in the UK and the small and medium UK manufacturers who can’t invest as heavily.

Traditional small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) who have kept skills in-house, are typically restricted by the scale of their business; as labour costs are high, money to expand production space is limited. However, many SMBs who have scaled back to their core skills and have outsourced specific processes, have found they can focus on the fundamental areas of their business i.e metal work or design - increasing the scale of their production.

This has ultimately benefited businesses willing to reduce labour costs and specialise. Investments can then be made in production space, machinery and sales teams, opening these businesses to wider markets. However, outsourcing processes (e.g. assembly, connecting, cabling or metal work) increases the size of a supply chain, which comes at a cost; both time and price are sacrificed. So, with UK manufacturers struggling to keep up with the highest demand in over 20 years, is it time for a new strategy?

‘Plug and play’ solution from ebm-papst UK

With the accelerated demand for goods in recent months, UK manufacturers are feeling the pressure on their production lines. Whilst outsourcing components to various companies has allowed many manufacturers to increase their production over the years, it has left manufactures open to external factors such as leads times - making production more complex and time consuming.

Through years of investment, ebm-papst UK (epUK) has the capability to combine multiple processes which would typically be outsourced to various companies. This complete, flexible service reduces the risks associated to outsourcing production, and can help manufacturers meet changing demands.

Originally founded to sell their parent-company’s high efficiency, German engineered products into the British market, epUK wanted to expand the scale of their business. Starting with small modifications to their standard products, epUK grew from a small sales subsidiary to offering bespoke production solutions.

During the 1990’s epUK noticed that their customer’s supply chains were becoming progressively longer. epUK wanted to assist with this issue, and started by adding connectors and adaptors to their fans and motors - which were sold as ‘raw products’ at this time. These small scale assemblies led to the recruitment of a production team in 2004. Composed of just 4 employees, this team became the driving force for epUK’s sub-assemblies.

Over the years, epUK have gained more experience and skills, growing considerably. They have now expanded to multiple production lines; and are able to design, test and manufacture complete or near complete systems, finished products or sub level assemblies.

The continuous growth of their production team and facilities has allowed epUK to take on more demanding projects.

Example

In a recent example, our client wanted to redesign their product with an EC fan in place of the existing AC fan. The redesign of the product presented certain challenges, as the reduced dimensions within the product restricted the space available for the fan. To fit the restricted space, a smaller backward curved fan was selected; however this fan could not achieve the required performance.

epUK advised on the re-designing of the internal unit, optimising the smaller fan’s performance. epUK produced the entirety of the internal unit: metal work, controller, wiring and assembly; offering the client a stress-free, complete, end-to-end bespoke solution.

For more information about ebm-papst UK's facilities, please contact Hannah.Morphew@uk.ebmpapst.com

Hannah Morphew
Marketing and Commercial Assistant