17 May 2018

epUK’s Production Team reach £10m milestone

ebm-papst UK (epUK) are a subsidiary of the world’s leading manufacturer of high efficiency fan and motor products. Over the past decade, epUK has developed a unique set of high quality manufacturing and design skills. Progressing these over the years, epUK offers their customers a complete manufacturing solution. Starting with small modifications to the standard products and moving to large finished products, epUK quickly learnt the benefits which occur when German engineering meets British manufacturing.

Earlier this year epUK’s Production team reached arguably their biggest milestone to date; surpassing the £10millon mark in Total Revenue (FY17/18). We caught up with Operations Director, Ray Ladyman as he celebrated his team’s achievement.

Where did the idea to develop a production facility start?

Ray Ladyman: “During the 1990’s most fans and motors were sold as ‘standard products’, meaning that customers had to make adjustments, outsource and install additional components themselves (such as adding connectors and adaptors or adjusting cable length or adding cable harnesses) – this increased the overall cost to customers, and often increased their lead times. epUK recognised the benefit of providing these services for their customers and started adding connectors and adaptors to their ‘standard products’ to save their customers both time and money.

These small-scale assemblies quickly became popular and led to the initial recruitment of myself and 3 other Production based employees in 2004; with this the Production team was born.”

How has the team developed over the years?

“When the Production team started, we only had the capabilities to work with small compact fans; adding connectors to them and placing them into metal housings to create fan trays for IT cooling systems. We now have the inhouse capabilities to work with the entire ebm-papst fan range! We invested in new machinery and skills which allowed us to work with different materials such as steel, aluminium and plastics; allowing us to weld, press, bend and shape materials, so we can build housings and mouldings to our customer’s individual requirements inhouse. The natural growth of the epUK Production Team was driven by customer demand, responding to requests to make bespoke solutions. Now we offer our ‘High Level Assembly’ (HLA) solution, providing all our customer a ‘one-stop-shop’; complete and near-complete systems, finished products, sub-level assemblies - A full contact manufacturing solution.

Not only do we offer our customers a full, bespoke contract manufacturing service but we also design, develop and manufacture our own products here in the UK too; products such as the EC Aura – our quiet, controllable, energy efficient EC portable fan and a number of controls for our fans, which we sell around the world.”

What has been the most difficult challenge your team has faced so far?

“Once we started to prove ourselves as more than just a sales subsidiary, we started to work with a variety of customers. As ebm-papst sell products to a wide range of markets, from ICT and Industrial Engineering (IE) to Agriculture, Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating and Ventilation, the size of the builds varied considerably. The real challenge came from adjusting the production and warehouse facilities to cater for the change in physical size and weight of the products as they became larger and heavier. We had to expand our production hall and invest in machinery just to be able to move the heavier product range!"

What do you think the future holds for the Production team?

“More opportunities for growth and even more challenges. We have more experience and capabilities than ever before, so we can solve more customer issues - which is great. We hope to keep expanding in the future, this is only the start.”

Hannah Morphew
Marketing and Commercial Assistant