This expansion is reflective of the level of innovation in industry and strength in UK manufacturing. As one of the world’s fastest digital manufacturing sources, Proto Labs is in a key position to support manufacturing growth through the production of prototypes and low-volume production runs for businesses, designers and engineers across Europe.
Haas has supported Proto Labs’ CNC machine requirements since 2005 when the company was established in the UK, with the delivery of four machines. The supplier relationship with the company has developed with the current order of 26 machines – 12 of which are provided with 5-axis capability. The order comprises: six VM3 machines and 20 VF2YT, of which 12 are for complex CNC machining, with the remaining eight for CNC machining of moulds and tools for injection moulding.
Lee Ball, operations director for Proto Labs UK, commented: “Rapid prototyping and manufacturing mid-volume production runs at speed, are essential capabilities valued by our customers which these new machines help us to deliver. Critically, with this additional capacity, we can readily keep pace with production demand, as the requirements of our customers increase across Europe.
Pat Fenn, Haas’ commercial director added: “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Proto Labs, since 2005 when they first established operations in Europe. Since the initial delivery of just four machines in 2005, the company now has over 130 Haas machines onsite in Telford. With 26 machines delivered this month, Proto Labs is the biggest user of Haas machines in the UK.”
Delivered and commissioned in July and August, the latest Haas machines offer additional capabilities, which add value to Proto Labs’ customers. By introducing a model with 40 tool positions per carousel, this eliminates the need to replace tools on the carousel prior to each order, as the tools are available instantly when required.
Bespoke engineering is a feature of the Haas relationship, with Haas adapting the machines to Proto Labs’ specific requirements to accelerate the rate at which customer orders can be completed. All Haas machines at Proto Labs are covered by a planned maintenance agreement.
Proto Labs www.protolabs.co.uk
Haas UK www.haas.co.uk