£2m investment helps Yorkshire business stay ahead of competition

The major investment in state-of-the-art new production equipment and software is enabling sheet metal fabricator, Yorkshire Laser and Fabrication (YLF), to boost capacity, productivity and cost savings, whilst also creating new roles within the business.

YLF has acquired a new 6kW Amada Ensis AJ laser cutter, an Amada ATC automated press brake, and an EML-AJ combination laser and punch machine with automatic punch and die changer.

The Normanton-based company, which has been at the forefront of laser cutting and sheet metal fabrication in Yorkshire for nearly 30 years, has also invested in associated kit, such as automated loading, unloading and picking technology and the latest SOLIDWORKS Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Preactor Scheduling software.

In addition to the new equipment, comes the recruitment of 10 new operators, plus the appointment of Cheryl Reidy as head of operations, and Daniel Varley; adding to the expertise already offered by YLF’s CAD team.

“The last 12 months have been a strange time in many ways but have also offered an opportunity to look to the future and invest in technology that will increase our capability and drive the business forward,” said YLF managing director Matthew Orford.

Both the new laser profiling machine, laser/punch combo and press brake have automated features, enabling YLF to operate after hours and at higher speeds. The laser combines variable beam control technology with higher power fibre lasers and an auto-collination system to give greater processing capability, very high-speed piercing, fast cutting rates and vastly improved bevel edges on thicker materials.

Quicker than previous laser cutting technology, the new machine can switch easily and quickly between different types of metals and varying thicknesses reducing setup time. Its auto-load facility provides fully automated and quicker loading and unloading of the machine, giving the new laser its ‘lights out’ operating capability.

In the combination laser and punch, YLF has greater flexibility being able to punch, form, tap and laser cut with one machine, speeding up production of those items that require different manufacturing techniques.  The accompanying automated picking facility provides micro joint-free processing.

The new press brake increases fabrication options open to YLF’s customers, while its Automated Tool Changer contributes to shorter lead times and greater consistency.

“The press brake is used to bend all kinds of metals to form containers and components of varying shapes and sizes. Its versatility has traditionally been at the cost of considerable tooling set up and programming time but the new automatic tool changing function revolutionises all that providing highly efficient and precise setups for even the most complex tool layouts,” explained Mr Orford.

Capable of storing more programmes, the new press brake also gives more accurate repeatability on orders which scores highly for fantastic customer service, something that YLF takes great pride in.

“Delivering exceptional customer service and value is very important to us and this latest investment in both staff and technology keeps us at the leading edge of sheet metal manufacturing in Yorkshire. It enables us to remain competitive in a fast-moving technology driven marketplace, safeguarding both our employees’ skills set and the future of YLF as a whole,” said Mr Orford.