Thursday, January 14, 2016

News: MTL looking to invest £8m at Rotherham site

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Manufacturing specialist, MTL Advanced, is investing £1m in new equipment at its Rotherham facility and is hoping to acquire the site to enable future expansion.

A project manufacturing specialist in the metal sector, the firm processes around 25,000 tonnes of material annually and is capable of handling all sizes and types of work from carbon steel to aluminium. It supplies leading names in sectors such as defence, construction, offshore and renewable energy, recycling and rail.

The Brinsworth site houses state of the art equipment and dedicated teams of engineers working on projects for clients such as BAE Systems, Rheinmetall, and General Dynamics.

Last year, the Lancashire-based WEC Group, which comprises 14 companies specialising in welding and fabrication, brought the company out of administration, saving 135 jobs.

WEC announced a major £1m programme of investment in new equipment for MTL's Rotherham facility last year and is implementing a new apprenticeship scheme to will mirror its award-winning training academy, which was last year ranked in the top three large UK apprenticeship providers.

WEC has also revealed that it is in the process of investing a further £7m to acquire the 300,000 sq ft facility and six acres of land in Rotherham which MTL has occupied since 2011, "giving the company much needed room for future expansion."
A brand new 6m x 2.5m Trumpf CO2 TruLaser 8000 was commissioned in December as part of an ongoing investment plan to modernise MTL's machinery line-up and boost productivity.

With high speed cutting and reduced energy consumption of up to 40% compared to the machine it replaced, the "new generation" large bed laser provides superior contour precision and higher part quality than most other laser cutting machines on the market.

Karl Stewart, commercial director at MTL (pictured), said: "Our investment in this ground breaking laser cutting machine will enable us to remain at the forefront of our industry, as there are very few companies in the UK with this level of technology in-house.

"Investment in large format cutting machines has been at the core of MTL's past successes, and the new TruLaser 8000 complements our already impressive line-up of large profiling machines nicely. This includes a 20m x 3.5m laser, a 12m x 3m waterjet machine and a 25m x 5m plasma cutting machine to name but a few."

MTL said that the investment will enable it to retain a competitive advantage on large volume production contracts as well as wear resistant, high strength and stainless steel components.

Metal sheets of up to 20mm thickness and 6,000 mm length will be automatically loaded on to the system, as well as moved and stacked cut parts of any shape. As it works on large contracts, MTL's setup is capable of running 24-hour unmanned operations without the need for an operator.

Wayne Wild, commercial director at the WEC Group, said: "Lean Manufacturing techniques and Automation are essential to our growth and continuous improvement strategy. We have made several other similar investments in a 640 ton, fully automated robotic press brake as well as 13 robotic welders. The addition of the new sorting technology to our profiling cell is a step forward in the automation of our manufacturing process.

"We can now profile, press, and weld components of up to 6m in length with minimal involvement from operators, which means we can guarantee the highest level of quality and repeatability to meet the expectations of our large OEMs customer base."

MTL Advanced website

Images: MTL Advanced

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