At the heart of the investment sits the installation of a new BLM Adige Fibre Optic Laser Cutter, used for cutting treads for WernerCo’s leading fibreglass stepladders, stiles for box section extension ladders and BoSS access tower components.
John Darby, WernerCo UK manufacturing engineering manager, said: ‘The state of the art machine from Italy was an investment of over $1.2m and forms part of the overall production site improvements in WernerCo’s Maldon UK plant.
‘The investment in this second laser cutting machine prevents any need for outsourcing and provides an increase in capacity to support growth. The new machinery enables cutting for the D-Rung ladder stiles and GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) treads and horizontals. More critically this investment improves and streamlines production processes, following the production lines moving from our Belper site.’
To support the overall improvements in operational efficiency at the Maldon plant, over 25,000 sq.ft of storage buildings have been added for component storage, including a 10,000 sq.ft dedicated extrusion store.
In November 2015, WernerCo opened a new National Distribution Centre in Burton Upon Trent, which saw the move of finished ladders from Maldon and Belper. This new centrally located facility provides distribution and collection facilities to WernerCo’s UK customer base.
As a result, over 36,000 sq.ft of production floor in Maldon has now been relayed to optimise production efficiency and to absorb the volume from the Belper closure on course for later this year.
WernerCo has invested over $100k in increased nitrogen generation, which is used in the aluminium laser cutting production, making the company self-sufficient in nitrogen generation. In addition the company has also improved external storage, general facilities and parking.