In spite of the unprecedented negative impact on most businesses in the UK and Ireland caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 has proved a seminal year in the evolution of Telford-based AAG. Far from facing a period of virtual stagnation, as experienced by many companies, the newly branded AAG has seen stability in growth, driven by new product innovations, increased market diversification and an expanded customer base.
AAG became the new and more readily identifiable name for AXYZ Automation Group. This was triggered by a new company acquisition in 2019, the need for greater automation in the workplace and a desire to better reflect the group’s wider capabilities as a result of an expanded and more diverse product portfolio and radically enhanced customer support facilities.
Dan McGinty, AAG’s director of sales and business development (EMEA)
Central to this was the earlier acquisition by AAG’s parent company in Canada of the North America-based WARDJet, a specialist in waterjet cutting technology. In consequence, this has enabled the opening and future development of new markets, and in particular those for which traditional CNC routing/cutting machines are considered to be less suited.
AAG’s director of sales and business development (EMEA), Dan McGinty, comments: “The total rebranding, restructuring and repositioning of AAG has served to indicate how far the company, and in particular the AXYZ brand, has grown over the past 30 years, and the pioneering contribution it has made to the wider adoption of CNC machining technology.
“Supporting the rebrand is a visually stronger and more distinctive three-dimensional dual-colour logo and a more apposite mission statement.”
To quote a former president of AAG, “the name of the company may have changed but its core values and objectives remain the same.”
Key developments that have taken place in 2020 include the introduction of upgraded versions of the AXYZ Infinite multi-purpose CNC routing/cutting and AXYZ Trident hybrid finishing systems, a total revamp of AAG’s CNCShop online ecommerce division, a series of customer-focused product demonstration webinars, and a continuation of the financially compelling machine trade-in programme.
These were supplemented during the Covid-19 pandemic with the creation of a Fabrication Fighting Covid-19 initiative, through which fabricated plastic safety shields and face masks and associated PPE equipment were made available nationwide.
The AXYZ Infinite machine, in particular, now incorporates a number of new design features of benefit to industrial woodworking, furniture and joinery production and panel processing companies.
Among the most notable of these are: a more efficient dust extraction system, to eliminate problems associated with clogging of the machine, thus minimising machine downtime; a new misting system for enhanced machine cooling and lubrication; an expanded processing bed to accommodate larger sheet processing requirements; and a new carriage design for easier and faster machine maintenance.
AAG has also announced the launch of the new Innovator smaller-format CNC routing/cutting machine, to replace the existing Z Series. It provides a high-performance-to-cost capability in comparison to any other entry-level machine in its class, and is packed with performance-enhancing features normally found on much larger and more expensive machines, states AAG.
Following a total revamp of the CNCShop online facility, AAG customers now have faster and easier 24/7 access to a radically expanded range of essential spare parts, accessories and consumables for all AXYZ and WARDJet machines. It is also possible for customers to now engage with one-to-one consultations involving AAG technical engineers, to ensure that the products selected are the most appropriate for a given application.