Established in Birmingham in 1908, Heaven Dowsett & Co. Ltd has proudly upheld its position as a leading supplier of plastics and electrical insulations to various industries, from rail to construction. This enduring prominence has been maintained through its commitment to providing efficient and tailored services that cater to the unique needs of its valued customers.
Over more than a century of operation, the company has witnessed numerous advancements in materials and manufacturing technologies. To remain at the forefront of its field, Heaven Dowsett has consistently invested in training and the latest CNC equipment, allowing it to adapt seamlessly to industry changes. In doing so it has successfully integrated AXYZ Tailored Router Solutions routers into its operations. This case study explores the journey of Heaven Dowsett, detailing its adoption of AXYZ machines and the impact on its productivity, efficiency, cost savings, quality improvements, employee perceptions and plans for automation.
Adoption of AXYZ Tailored Router Solutions
Heaven Dowsett & Co has been utilising AXYZ machines for over 10 years. The company currently has two machines in its arsenal, including the AXYZ 6010 7G ATC and the AXYZ INFINITE 4008 7G ATC. The INFINITE router is the newer model; a highly configurable CNC machine that is suitable for one-off, small batch production, as well as high volume and high productivity applications, including point of purchase, sign making, woodworking, plastic fabrication, engineering plastic machining and so much more.
The decision to adopt this technology was prompted by its desire to enhance production capabilities and expand its range of machinable designs, meeting its clients’ evolving needs in routing technology.
Heaven Dowsett operates across various core markets, including rail, automotive, electrical and construction. Its product range is diverse, spanning a wide spectrum of components and parts demanded by these industries.
The AXYZ machines at Heaven Dowsett handle a multitude of tasks and processes. They utilise the machines for cutting, shaping and machining various materials, including laminated materials, acrylic, polyethylene and polycarbonate for the electrical insulation industry with precision, often achieving tolerances as tight as +/- 0.15/0.2mm.
Impact on productivity and efficiency
“The integration of AXYZ machines has significantly improved Heaven Dowsett’s productivity and efficiency,” says Mark.
These machines allow the company to produce goods ranging in size from small components to large pieces, such as its range of screening measuring up to 2m by 3m. Automation features, such as tool changers and material handling systems, have significantly reduced set-up times, increased overall production efficiency and led to cost savings and faster project turnaround times.
This increased production capacity has streamlined workflow and optimised the company’s production output, reducing lead times and enhancing overall efficiency, versatility and design capabilities. Having the ability to process a wide range of materials – including wood, plastics, metals and composites – has added to Heaven Dowsett’s ability to increase its industry portfolio.
AXYZ routers provide unmatched precision and accuracy, ensuring that Heaven Dowsett consistently delivers components with tight tolerances, meeting the most stringent industry specifications.
Initial challenges and overcoming them
One of the initial challenges faced during the integration of AXYZ machines was the company’s lack of prior experience with CNC routers. Employees needed to learn how to operate the machines and understand their capabilities effectively. Additionally, cutting a diverse range of materials required learning optimal settings and techniques for each material. However, with invaluable support and advice from AXYZ, the company overcame these challenges and fine-tuned its processes for improved productivity and efficiency, quickly becoming proficient in the use of the machines.
Enhanced cost savings and increased profitability
The use of AXYZ machines has resulted in cost savings for Heaven Dowsett. These machines have expanded the range of machinable designs it can produce and have increased the production rate of some of its regular parts. These cost savings have contributed to improved profitability. The ability to produce high-quality products with precision, consistency and speed using AXYZ machines has raised production standards, resulting in superior products.
Improved employee perceptions and job satisfaction
The introduction of automation in the workflow at Heaven Dowsett has been well-received by employees. The machines have not only improved their job satisfaction by providing opportunities to work on innovative projects but have also enhanced their skill sets and expanded their roles, rather than leading to a reduction in the workforce.
Precision-cutting services increased
“The AXYZ routers allow us to offer our extensive range of stock products to be delivered in precise cut-to-size panels or billets, eliminating the need to invest in entire material units,” explains Mark. “This service is especially valuable for machinists and small-scale users, offering a strategic pricing edge over competitors.
“With our efficient processes, you can typically access materials on the next business day and in some cases, even on the same day. This ensures that you’re well-prepared for those occasional urgent situations that inevitably arise.”
Dependable maintenance and support
To ensure the smooth operation of AXYZ machines, Heaven Dowsett benefits from the reliable support structure provided by AXYZ and invests in annual service plans offered by AXYZ, with in-house engineers handling minor issues. Regular maintenance and support from the manufacturer keep the machines running efficiently, minimising downtime.
Plans for automation with AXYZ
“Heaven Dowsett has recently purchased a new AXYZ machine which indicates our commitment to further integrating automation into our processes and reflects our determination to stay at the forefront of manufacturing innovation,” says Mark.
The company plans to continue leveraging this technology to enhance its capabilities and expand its market reach.
In conclusion, Heaven Dowsett’s journey with AXYZ routers exemplifies how a forward-thinking company can successfully adopt automation technology to improve productivity, product quality and employee satisfaction. With a strong focus on continuous improvement and expanding its automation capabilities, Heaven Dowsett is well-positioned for future growth in its diverse markets. Visit www.heavendowsett.com to learn more about the company.