Thetford-based refrigerator manufacturer Precision Refrigeration has taken advantage of the government’s ‘super deduction’ tax credit incentive to invest in new plant machinery.
The firm ploughed £300,000 into a new Bystronic BySmart fiber laser for its factory.
MD Nick Williams commented: “By making this investment now, we have the bonus of being able to take advantage of the government’s super-deduction for capital expenditure, in the same way that many of our customers are doing in purchasing our equipment.”
On the background to making the purchasing decision now, he detailed: “Business has picked up tremendously over the past few months. After taking a dip in 2020 due to Covid, our order intake is now considerably higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
“As with any growing manufacturing business, we are constantly chasing the next bottleneck around the manufacturing process to increase output and meet customer demand. The new laser purchase means that our sheet metal department is well equipped to meet our growth projections for the next couple of years.”
Williams explained: “We purchased our first Bystronic laser machine around 4 years ago, which proved to be a fantastic addition to our sheet metal department. Previous to this, we had only used punching machines.
“Both types of machines achieve the same goal of cutting parts out of a stainless steel sheets, but both also have their pluses and minuses: Punching machines can be faster for more complicated parts with lots of holes – such as a perforated shelf, but you are limited to what you can punch by the number and size of tools the machine holds.
“Laser machines are faster for the vast majority of our parts and also have the flexibility to cut whatever shape or sized holes you need. With the extensive and flexible product line we have, this is a real advantage to us.
“The new generation of ‘fiber’ lasers are not only faster, but are also far more energy efficient. The old lasers required nitrogen tanks which needed filling up every week or so at quite a financial and environmental cost. Our fiber lasers cut using compressed air, which we already have piped all around the factory anyway for our power tools.”