The Airedale Group’s 40,000ft2 factory in West Yorkshire has recently seen significant investment in both equipment and software.
Serving the group’s manufacturing divisions, Caterform (fabrication), Airedale Ventilation Systems and Airedale Cold Stores, the factory received a state-of-the-art laser cutting machine that should allow precision cutting of all the stainless steel the business requires to manufacture its fabricated items.
Earlier on this year, the group purchased another bench press that literally presses stainless steel sheets into the bespoke shapes it requires.
An Airedale spokesperson stated: “Both machines ensure a consistently high level of finish that is essential for our own quality assurance and the precious reputation we hold with our many diverse clients, the majority of which will have Airedale-manufactured fabrication in their commercial catering facilities.”
Major investment has continued in the group, with the purchase of SolidWorks design software.
Ventilation design manager Tom Cummins began using this last summer to create a library of 3D models for Airedale’s designs. SolidWorks ‘talks’ to the machines the firm has installed to ensure that the fabricated item is exactly as per the design.
The company’s spokesperson continued: “This offers huge efficiencies in time and again enhances the final bespoke manufactured item, which by the very nature of our business has to be precisely the size as measured during either the site survey or design process. A couple of mm out can mean a wall bench will not fit flush, negatively impacting on the overall fit and finish.
“We are now operating at around a 33%+ increase in production, which is again essential for our ever popular and expanding core business, commercial catering facility design and installation.”
All of the investment has reportedly led to other benefits including a reduction in waste, a key focus for the group as it aims to become ever more sustainable in all of its operations.