The Path to Industry 4.0
Wrekin Sheet Metal’s transition to Industry 4.0 has been smooth as it saw the process as a journey, rather than a destination. It also saw Industry 4.0 transition as an opportunity to digitise certain areas of its operation to support core organisational strategies. This article appears in the June 2022 issue of International Sheet Metal Review magazine.
Can SME manufacturers benefit from Industry 4.0? Is Industry 4.0 the domain of the big manufacturing corporates or can SMEs leverage real competitive advantage from digital transformation?
Wrekin Sheet Metal, a fabrication and assembly specialist in Telford (UK), believes that Industry 4.0 adoption offers significant competitive advantage to SMEs. It was an early adopter of Industry 4.0, which it believes has been ‘transformational’.
The company set a new strategy for growth in 2020 which included an investment of £1.6 million in new machinery. This included a new 4kW laser cutting system, a full automated punch and an automated powder coating line. Its Year End accounts reported a 30% increase increase on the previous year. Its future strategy aims to see the company achieving a turnover of £6 million by 2024.
Wrekin Sheet Metal is an established sheet metal business in Telford that fabricates and finishes components and products from steel and aluminium predominantly. Its sheet metal fabrication solutions include laser cutting; CNC punching; CNC forming; fabrication and welding; finishing and assembly as well as powder coating.
“We offer a supportive, end-to-end service, taking initial concepts from consultation, through to assembly and delivery, producing high-quality, precise sheet metal fabrication solutions, backed up by over 18 years of experience. A commitment to automation and the latest technology means that we offer lights-out manufacturing that works around the clock to meet just in time schedules and the tightest deadlines,” it told ISMR.
“We deliver across an extremely wide range of sectors. From refrigeration to point of sale interior and display solutions, we can turn metal into whatever a client needs and we do it in a way that means they retain complete control,” it added.
The business has been recognised for the efficiency with which it satisfies customer orders, particularly in the current landscape of tactical supply chain management. It has firmly embraced the digital technology driving the fourth industrial revolution and even offers a sheet metal app to its customers which enables them to interact with Wrekin’s team through the duration of a project
“From our point of view, investing in the latest and best equipment is a constant process, as we always strive for new ways to improve and enhance the services that we offer. We also understand the value of communication, and of putting the power of information firmly in the hands of our clients. It combines with the degree of automation we offer and our equipment suppliers, such as AMADA, to create a truly 21st century set of sheet metal solutions,” said the sheet metal specialist.
Wrekin’s innovative outlook saw it embrace Industry 4.0 early and, as a consequence, it is seeing real competitive advantage.
To read the rest of this article in the June issue of International Sheet Metal Review magazine, see https://joom.ag/zRad/p28