Step forward Atherstone-based Shield Marquee Manufacturing. While its usual customer base, the hospitality industry, continues to face strict restrictions, Shield Marquees became part of the marquee hire industry’s National Emergency Testing Stations Network (NETS). Working with Government, NETS has been central in supplying the network of COVID-19 test centres with temporary structures. The demand for a quick response, however, placed significant pressure on Shield Marquee’s manufacturing capability.
“With every structure containing multiple machined components such as leg and ridge knuckles, we found that our existing machine capacity was limited, and the volumes we were asked to produce were leading to unacceptable backlogs. Therefore, we needed to improve that, and very quickly,” says Matthew Faizey, director, Shield Marquees.
While speed was crucial, Mr Faizey was also cautious and carried out due diligence online of a select group of machine tool suppliers, with XYZ Machine Tools coming out on top: “If I’m going to spend a significant amount of money, I want to do my research and check on a supplier’s viability, history, reputation and ability to support my business. XYZ impressed in all respects. In particular was the knowledge that we can get service and programming support very quickly, as we can’t afford for the machine to be down for any length of time.”
With that reassurance and with time ticking away Mr Faizey contacted XYZ at 9.30 on a Friday morning. XYZ’s area sales manager jumped in his car and by lunchtime the order was placed and paid for. The following Tuesday the machine, an XYZ 1100 LR vertical machining centre, was delivered, commissioned and ready for production.
“We are supplying between 20 and 30 testing sites per week and the associated volume of parts meant we had to improve efficiency,” Mr Faizey explained. “The XYZ 1000LR is so much faster than our previous machine, allowing us to produce hundreds of parts an hour. It also gives us much greater versatility to machine variations of those parts if required. The speed at which XYZ was able to respond to our requirements has enabled us to keep up with demand on this vital project.”
XYZ’s ability to respond to urgent requests like this is due in part to its commitment to stock over 300 machines at its Burlescombe, Devon headquarters. Having such a large and varied stock, from manual to full 5-axis machining centres, along with extensive customer support has been the cornerstone of its business for almost 40 years.
“While a two-day turnaround from order to delivery is the exception, we know we can deliver any machine quickly, which has been fully tested and quality assured in our factory before despatch. In the current climate that is proving to be of greater importance to customers who need to react even quicker to constantly changing demands,” said Nigel Atherton, XYZ’s managing director.
XYZ Machine Tools www.xyzmachinetools.com
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