Navigating COVID restrictions was a major challenge for G&O Kert getting an Agile Flex 35D machine loading system delivered and operational. In most cases of commissioning new equipment, this would have been seen as a frustrating loss of production.
In the case of the Agile Flex 35D, the lost time was soon made up through the Agile Flex’s ability to optimize the “lost” productive hours ordinarily encountered with conventional operator based machine tending. The word from the machine shop floor is the Agile Flex is exceptionally user friendly!
We interviewed Ian Melville, the Managing Director of G&O Kert to find out more about his choice to invest in an Agile Flex 35D machine loading system.
A: The motivation to get on board with automation has come from a couple of areas. One is the skills shortage in manufacturing, I thought automation would give me the opportunity to run a machine without having to look for extra personnel. Another was to create the ability to produce parts in the hours the workshop was paying for but not getting access to. We are also mindful of being able to stay competitive with our pricing and with the investment in automation hope to be able to maintain and improve our cost competitiveness.
A: Really, it’s as simple as wanting to stay in the manufacturing game and to do that I felt we needed something extra in our arsenal. I think the Agile Flex is that something extra we’ve been looking for. The other challenge that we see the Agile Flex helping us to overcome is flexibility in manufacturing, that is being able to set up quickly and produce small runs of parts to meet urgent customer requirements in a cost-effective manner. In addition, I looked for fully integrated automation with a proven track record that would fit seamlessly with a Mazak Integrex. The Agile flex was the perfect match.
A: We are seeing reduced set up times on repeat jobs which gives us greater flexibility when responding to urgent requirements from key customers. The other visible advantage at the moment is the keenness from staff members to get engaged with both training and operation, it has definitely put a fresh spark into the business. The major plus will be the ability to produce parts under a light’s out system and being able to take advantage of operating the machine in the hours that we haven’t had safe access to with our current workshop configuration.
A: The investment in the Agile Flex is a very positive and successful part of future proofing our business.
We would like to thank G&O Kert for commissioning this video and acknowledge the team at Tempus Media for the video production.