In modern manufacturing, output, quality and safety are the corners by which success is measured. In a recent project for a luxury car manufacturer, the skills of the AV Birch engineering team were tested and came through with flying colours.
An innovative method of production for a new automotive client made access to tooling a real issue. The new robots at a luxury car manufacturer were squeezed under a mezzanine floor and proximity to other machines and other floor mounted equipment made maintenance and inspection a real issue. Add to this a tight budget and limited timescale, the AV Birch design team got to work.
Graham Clark, Director takes up the story ’Forklift mounted access systems and mobile work platforms were unsuitable due the efficient use of space on the factory floor. This is perfect for production, but made working on the machines a challenge, they just could not get engineers close enough. During our survey, it became clear that an access system which could be left in place permanently would be the ideal solution.’
Graham continues ‘Making the access platform in small sections from aluminium meant that a two man team could install the system without moving or dismantling any existing equipment. There was simply not enough room for lifting gear to position anything made in mild steel.
The fabrication team designed, built, load tested and then installed the aluminium access platform in just 4 weeks. The client did not expect to get an aluminium system for the budget they had, but the innovative approach from the AV Birch team meant that savings realised on speed of install allowed for the superior system.
‘We understand manufacturing. We’re making presses ourselves so our ability to deliver on projects like this is in our DNA.’ Said Graham. ‘Our experience of building modular access platforms in aluminium has been gained over several years working with the rail industry.’ These skills are equally at home in the automotive sector and according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), British car manufacturing is set to double to almost 2 million vehicles by 2017. Recently the UK overtook France to become the third largest manufacturer in Europe, offering even more opportunities for AV Birch.
Graham concluded ‘‘We’ve recently expanded our CAD team and employed additional fabricators, to allow us to handle the projects we currently have on board and in the near future.”