06 January 2020

Improving Precision and Output with New Machinery Investment

By Elta Fans

06 January 2020

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Elta Fans’ Applied Technology division has invested in two new machines for its specialist production plant in Fareham, Hampshire. Having been installed at the end of 2018 as part of the factory’s planned maintenance programme, the new press brake machine and jig are already increasing the productivity of the plant, and highlight the company’s dedication to using advanced technology.

The division designs, manufactures, and supplies fans for a variety of specialist OEM applications, including power generation, offshore oil and gas, agriculture, and marine. Capable of delivering both standard and bespoke products, the company utilises expert knowledge and the latest technology to develop solutions for customers across the globe. The Fareham site processes raw materials to produce fan casings and ancillaries, before assembling them and selling to these customers.

The first new machine is the Bystronic Xact Smart 100, which replaces a 1975 press brake and represents an investment of over £60,000. The old machine operated on one axis, which meant that more set ups were required to fold parts. The age of the machine also meant that wear and tear could potentially reduce the quality of the output, which was the primary motivation behind investing in a replacement.

The function of the Bystronic Xact Smart 100 is to fold metal – a critical part of the Sheetmetal process. Elta Fans Applied Technology is a global leader in bespoke fan manufacturing, and the Sheetmetal department has been an integral part of the plant’s ability to support a wide range of sales markets.

The machine benefits from quicker setup times, and significantly improves on the usability of its predecessor. Combined with enhanced reliability, the Bystronic Xact Smart 100 has increased the output capabilities of the Fareham-based plant significantly.

Matt Targett, Operations Manager at Elta Fans, comments: “We are dedicated to investing in modern technology, both in order to maximise our current capabilities, but also to develop better products. We know that our specialist factory is a key selling point for customers, and purchasing new machines provides the opportunity to up-skill our workforce, and ultimately improve staff morale.”

Another addition to the Fareham site is a new jig, which is used to help assemble 2 metre hub impellers. Quality impeller manufacture and assembly revolves around precision, with consistency of blade angles directly relating to a fan’s operational efficiency. The introduction of a pneumatic jig means that blade angles no longer have to be set by hand, which is a significant benefit given the numerous variations of impellers that are manufactured at the site.

The new jig, which is used by those trained in building 550mm hub impellers, will also help to increase capacity in the 2m impeller market, exploiting the pneumatic design to drive improvements in method. It was introduced at an investment of almost £20,000, but as Matt Targett concludes, investments such as these are made with the future in mind:

“We are committed to investing in new equipment, especially if it will benefit our customers in the long-term. We are immensely proud of our ability to produce unrivalled products, utilising the latest technology in order to meet our customers’ demands. Our Sheetmetal setup has been tremendously successful, and has even been replicated at other plants in Elta Group across the globe.

“The introduction of a new jig and the Bystronic Xact Smart 100 are indicative of our innovative approach, and have ensured that our operation remains at the cutting edge moving into the future. We are very excited to see how they improve our capabilities over time.”

For more information on Elta Fans Applied Technology, please visit: https://www.eltafans.com/divisions/applied-technology/

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