Why automate?

To be confident in the process

  • Were all the component parts fitted?
  • Was a critical torque or press force achieved?
  • Was a critical dimension achieved?
  • Was the correct forming force or temperature applied?

The use of automation guarantees the process was properly completed giving you confidence in the quality of the end product. Any failed items can be identified and isolated.

To reduce labour costs

Costs are inevitably reduced by removing the manual element of the process. For responsible employers in the majority of the developed world, the cost of labour with related overheads and benefits mean the process is simply too expensive and the product becomes economically unviable.

Use our calculator to work out the typical annual cost of an operator employed in the UK.

Cost Calculator

Working days per annum
Working hours per day  
Hourly rate  
Shift premium %
National Insurance %
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Total Cost per annum £18,573.75

Machine format

The choice of machine format generally depends upon the following factors:

  • The level of automation
  • The amount of operator activity
  • The required through-put rate
  • The number of automated operations, the feasibility of auto feeding and orientation of the component parts

The use of automation guarantees the process was properly completed giving you confidence in the quality of the end product. Any failed items can be identified and isolated.

Rotary transfer

Rotary transfer is a traditional format for a machine where parallel operations are required on a particular component or assembly. Minimal time is lost during the index function and therefore the time available for the process can be optimised. A rotary parts transfer system presents a component or assembly in turn to a series of workstations arrayed around the OD or ID of the index plate. The index mechanism can be constructed in two ways. The use of a cam driven index unit provides a fixed amount of workstations and fixed motion profile. A servo motor driven system enables a more flexible motion profile and the ability to adapt to a range of positional moves. The individual workstations operate simultaneously once the index motion is complete and can be either be mechanically linked to the index movement or they can operate independently.

Linear transfer

A linear transfer system provides a series of work pallets attached on fixed centres to either a chain or timing belt. The pitch index drive is provided by either a cam index box or a servomotor. A number of automated operations can be undertaken in parallel, arrayed along the length of the system. A linear parts transfer system presents a component or assembly in turn to a series of workstations aligned along the length of the mechanism.

Platen transfer

A Platen Transfer system enables a number of automated or manual processes to be undertaken on a serial basis, progressively evolving the finished assembly. The product or components are transferred between the workstations on tooled pallets. The workstations can be arranged so that there is plenty of space for maintenance and tool change/setting.

Robotic cell

The dexterity of a six-axis robot can be essential for certain assembly operations, to transfer parts between workstations or where the automated equipment needs to be flexible to process a range of product types.

Standalone or process cells

The machine can operates on its own or as part of a process cell. In the process cell a number of stations are linked by the operators manually transferring the components from station to station, progressively evolving a complete assembly. Where a number of the machines are used in a cell we are able to provide a ‘one-piece flow function’.

Operator assist

For certain processes, an automated system may not be justifiable. However, it may not be practical to undertake the operation manually. In these circumstances we have engineered simple operator assisted work stations where we provide tooling to assist the operator function, perhaps incorporating some tooled checking functions such that process confidence can be achieved.

Conveyor systems

We have a number of conveyor systems available for different applications. Choose from flat belt, flexible plastic chain or driven roller to link automated processes, feed component parts to an operator or transfer finished units to a packing or stores area etc.

Specialist processes

Automated Test

We have a wealth of experience in the manufacture of automated test machines. By integrating proprietary test equipment or using our own bespoke devices we can undertake a range of test functions.

  • Function test
  • Pressure decay leak test
  • Flow test
  • Electrical (current/flash)
  • Continuity

Automated assembly

We have a large portfolio of automated assembly equipment operating in the field. Parts can be automatically fed using bowl feeders, tray feeders or magazines. As part of the assembly process, we understand the integration of process checks including poka yoke devices, force/distance monitoring and vision inspection.

  • Parts feeders
  • Poke yoke
  • Force/distance monitoring
  • Vision inspection
  • One piece flow

Metal cutting forming

As part of an assembly, manufacturing process or as a standalone machine, we can design and manufacture machinery for the following functions:

  • Drilling
  • Tapping
  • Folding
  • Stamping
  • Crimping
  • Coining
  • Roll Forming
  • Laser Welding
  • Swaging

Automated handling

Handling either piece parts within an assembly process or the finished product, we can build automated equipment that integrates these systems:

  • Robotics
  • Six axis
  • Cartesian servo pick and place
  • Pneumatic pick and place
  • Gantry and palletising systems


We can proof, date code or identification mark a component after a test or assembly process using:

  • Inkjet printing
  • Pad printing
  • Laser marking
  • Pin stamping
  • Labelling (print & apply)

Thermoplastic welding

Thermoplastic products can be joined together by plasticizing (softening to the point of melting) the surface of the parts and then pressing the parts together. The plasticizing process is achieved by the application of heat to the surfaces. Traditionally, the heat source can either be generated by friction ‘spin welding’ or applied directly to the surface. This can be done by ‘contact heating’ or by ‘non-contact’ heating if there are concerns about deposits being left on the product or hot plate. For non-contact/clean weld applications we have developed numerous solutions using IR lamps. These are far more energy efficient and responsive than traditional hot plates.

  • IR-Welding
  • Spin welding
  • Hot plate 'contact' welding
  • Hot plate 'non-contact' welding