The Avon Group’s new purpose-built factory for P&D Manufacturing celebrates its first month of business with the successful commissioning of its first Wittmann Battenfeld SmartPower Injection Moulding Machine (IMM).
The new SmartPower IMM joins a P&D line-up of other Wittmann and Wittmann Battenfeld equipment that comprises nearly half the factory’s fleet of 16 injection moulding machines. The Wittmann Group also supplies the bulk of the factory’s materials handling capabilities via a fleet of Wittmann Aton dryers and ancillary equipment.
The new SmartPower has made a winning start on the frontline of P&D production. Avon Group Operations Director GPRI Andy Penton says that ‘we love it: The SmartPower has been working flat out since its arrival, has had two faultless tool changes, doesn’t seem to require much power at all that to its KERS based systems, and is ergonomically designed throughout.’
Penton adds that ‘the extra wide tie bar/tooling space of the SmartPower also makes a big difference to us; hot and cold runner technology is integrated into the machine making processing much easier – especially in our niche of PPA based production of automotive industry parts.’
P&D staff also paid tribute to the improved design and ease-of-use of the SmartPower’s B8 control. Penton notes says that ‘some IMM machine controls and settings, unfortunately, are becoming more and more complicated with every passing year. This is not helpful. Wittmann Battenfeld has listened to its customer needs and thankfully gone the other way; providing logical layouts, easy graphics, and visible and clear menus and options.’
The Avon Group has guided P&D to a place where the company provides a superior level of customer service and supply for the competitive automotive industries. P&D’s new factory and operational systems are a key part of the picture. The new £3m plus investment comprises a modern, ergonomic and energy efficient building together with a renewed commitment to continuous improvement methods and future staff investment. Penton says that ‘we are enjoying our new surroundings and quickly bedding down new production layouts and methods. The Avon Group has lately steered P&D to a niche where we specialize in great value 24 hour production and supply for a select number of clients – long production runs of key engineering plastics based components supplied at best prices.’
Barry Hill, Managing Director of Wittmann Battenfeld UK says that ‘we are delighted to be assisting in the expansion and success story that is the Avon Group. Our SmartPower and Aton-based technology is here for the long run and we look forward to jointly evolving with Avon Group companies as they expand the business.’
Word of Wittmann Battenfeld expertise is spreading through the Avon Group: Brynmawr-based manufacturer, Avon TSA, recently commissioned and installed a 500 tonne Wittmann Battenfeld moulding machine complete with materials handling and drying.
Avon Group owner Mark Rushin has publicly stated ambitious targets for the Group business which now posts a combined turnover of £62m. The stated business objective is to increase Avon Group turnover to £100m by the close of the year 2020.