Will British Industry Become Great Again?

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Today sees the government unveil a ten point plan as part of a new industrial strategy to drive growth in UK manufacturing.

Whilst any focus on rebalancing the economy is welcome, companies need action not soundbites so it will be interesting to see if Theresa May is fully committed to pushing through initiatives that benefit all companies, not just those in the service sector.

The Brexit vote was obviously a defining moment for UK PLC and manufacturing has more to gain in a brave new world where more UK manufactured goods are bought by UK consumers.

At GF Laser, even before Brexit, we have seen a trend of reshoring manufactured goods where overseas suppliers did not fully understand the quality requirements. In addition, rising transport and logistics costs mean that sourcing from overseas is no longer the cheap option.

One of the most positive points to come out of today’s announcement is the return to a location appropriate approach to government funding and support. Who better to support local businesses than local government who understand the particular needs of a region?

The recent success of Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan’s commitment to the UK all points to a rosy future for the UK’s automotive sector. This can only be bolstered by a manufacturing friendly Government where new OEM’s will see the UK as a great place to make cars with the supply base and skill set in place.

At GF Laser we’re cautiously optimistic about today’s announcement and anything that allows us to be more competitive is welcomed. Let’s hope that today’s announcement is fleshed out with some all-important detail and action over the next few months and years.

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

Productivity Improvements With Technology

At GF Laser we are always looking to improve productivity using technology to increase efficiency.

We currently use a number of systems in the following areas:

Sales Order Processing

All enquiries are logged and quotations constructed within our Clarity system. When an order is placed the quotation status is then changed and a Works Order is produced. This Works Order then stays with the job until it is delivered, this process ensures that anything detailed at the quotation phase is carried through to Production minimising the risk of mistakes.

Cloud Based Systems

We use secure cloud based systems when information is required off site as well as locally. Each piece of machinery has its own planning schedule and we offer customers the ability to view when their jobs are scheduled.

In addition, the collections / deliveries for our transport are booked using a cloud based system. Each driver gets an email delivered to their phone telling them the details of each delivery and they can also interrogate the system to view their weekly deliveries.

Plans for 2017

As well as improving our email system and general infrastructure we are evaluating a number of CRM systems as part of an ongoing focus to communicate with customers and potential customers keeping them abreast of our latest developments.

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

GF Laser take on additional space!

As part of our ongoing expansion plans we have taken on additional space to support our growth plans over the next five years.

Additional space has been secured a few hundred yards away from our Narrowboat Way headquarters in Dudley which makes it an ideal location to support our ever growing laser cutting capabilities.

The 11,000 square foot building which includes excellent access for loading / offloading vehicles will initially be used for storing laser cutting material and fixtures for our five axis laser cutting service.

However, we are currently in discussions with a number of suppliers about adding additional capacity in the new site in quarter 2 2017. This is likely to include additional laser cutting facilities as well as ancillary operations.

As our company gets busier we are seeing an increasing need to offer customers storage facilities for their material and pressings. This additional space increases our ability to handle high volume laser cutting of flat and formed material.

We also currently operate three vehicles with dedicated drivers who are able to transfer material as and when required to ensure customers get the parts quickly and on time.

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Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

Christmas & New Year Opening Hours

GF Laser’s Christmas opening hours are as follows:

23/12/2016:    Close at 1pm

24/12/2016:    Closed

25/12/2016:    Closed

26/12/2016:    Closed

27/12/2016:    Closed

28/12/2016:    Workshop only

29/12/2016:    Workshop only

30/12/2016:    Workshop only

31/12/2016:    Closed

01/01/2017:    Closed

02/01/2017:    Closed

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

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Laser Cutting, Jaguar Land Rover & Electricity

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Some very interesting news from Jaguar Land Rover http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38102507. If their plans come to fruition this will be great news for the UK laser cutting industry and of course the wider economy.

It’s also interesting to note their power requirements, at GF Laser electricity is a large part of our overhead as laser cutting machines love to use electricity. However, the new breed of fibre lasers like our Trumpf 3040 use substantially less power than the equivalent CO2 machine.

In order to monitor our power usage each one of our laser cutting machines is individually monitored so we can see how much electricity is being consumed at any one time. This information is fed back to a central piece of reporting software which calculates in pound notes how much electricity each machine uses each hour.

By keeping a constant watch on our power consumption we can make sure we cost all our work as competitively as possible and it helps us to understand how best to plan our shift work to make sure we take advantage of lower tariff electricity.

As we are also looking at our next capital investment for 2017 the usage of electricity is also helping us decide on which laser to purchase next. The fibre lasers use a lot less electricity but the capital costs and some of the running costs are more expensive than CO2 lasers.

A final word on Jaguar Land Rover, in our opinion it is imperative that the UK government continue to support our car industry and have a credible industrial strategy to drive economic growth over the next few years. It’s foolhardy to think we can continue to rely on the service sector to drive the UK economy especially in the Brexit era. Now is the opportunity to back Jaguar Land Rover and the myriad of UK suppliers that partner them.

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

RBS, Trump & Brexit

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One piece of news which has been effectively buried with last weeks shock news that the next US President will be one with zero political experience is details of The Royal Bank of Scotland’s compensation package to “squeezed firms” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37903541.

It’s interesting that many commentators are making direct links to Brexit and Trump and the financial crisis of 2008.  Many voters still feel that the political establishment have not done enough to help them since the global financial crash. Hence protest votes turn into majority votes. Whether the world changes we will have to wait and see.

Back to RBS, a whistleblower made allegations that, in the aftermath of 2008, the bank deliberately forced viable businesses into administration so it could pick up assets at a knockdown price. The so called Project Dash for Cash gave staff higher bonuses based on fees collected for restructuring debt.

One can only imagine how these business owners feel now knowing that companies they built went bust might actually have been viable. No amount of compensation can reward them for the emotional damage of losing everything. It’s not hard to see why individuals vote against the establishment when the establishment failed to protect big business from exploiting them.

What does all this have to do with laser cutting? Not much at the moment I guess but as we celebrate our tenth year of trading I wonder how the world will have changes in 10 years time?

What will the UK look like outside of Europe? What will Trump’s legacy be to the world? What will GF Laser and the laser cutting industry look like? Certainly I think there will be many opportunities for manufacturing and I just wonder if this could be the start of a shift towards a more balanced economy in the UK where manufacturing becomes the powerhouse of the economy as it once was…..

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

10 Years in Business & 10 Years as a TRUMPF User

Press Release (28 June 2016)

Dudley-based GF Laser is celebrating 10 years as a leading supplier of subcontract flatbed 2D and five-axis 3D laser cutting services. The company, which has grown into a £2 million turnover, 20-employee business, started trading in 2006 with a newly acquired TRUMPF TLC CUT 5 five-axis laser, a machine that is still working reliably and proficiently to this very day. In the intervening years, the company has invested in three further TRUMPF laser cutting machines, which today form the bedrock of success at this progressive subcontract manufacturing business.

GF Laser was formed after being spun-out of sister company Moseley Brothers with the intention of creating a business based on five-axis laser cutting. Today, however, the ISO 9001:2008 accredited company also offers 2D laser cutting, formed tube cutting, sheet metal bending, welding and powder coating services. Besides the provision of 24/7 production capacity, the company can also offer next day delivery to UK and Europe using its dedicated vehicles or retained couriers.

“We serve industries that range from automotive and yellow goods, through to construction and architectural,” explains Director Simon Tregillus. “We’re one of only a few UK laser cutting companies to offer laser cutting utilising both five-axis and two-axis machines.”

Aside from the original TRUMPF TLC CUT 5, which is still used on a daily basis at GF Laser, the company also has a TRUMPF TruLaser Cell 7040 five-axis laser with the latest split cabin technology and a TRUMPF TruLaser 3030 flatbed laser. The most recent installation, however, is a TRUMPF TruLaser 3040 fiber, which with its large bed can cut components up to 4000 by 2000mm.

“The machines are extremely quick and reliably produce high quality parts, which is essentially why we keep returning to TRUMPF for our new laser machine requirements,” says Mr Tregillus. “The TruLaser 3040 fiber, which we installed in 2015, is so fast that we are on course to achieve our shortest-ever ROI.”

The company’s commitment to ongoing investment is one of the principal reasons for its success, along with tight control over costs that can be passed on to customers, a dedicated in-house quality department and fast turnaround capability. The combination of these factors helped the company achieve its highest ever monthly turnover in March 2016.

GF Laser cuts parts up to 25mm thick in all materials, including copper and brass, while batch sizes range from 1-off prototypes up to high volume quantities.

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

All about GF Laser – The First 10 Years

GF Laser celebrates its tenth year of trading this year, but who are they and how did they get there?

June 2006 saw GF Laser install it’s first laser cutting machine, this was a five axis Trumpf laser machine that is still in use today. The laser was bought to take advantage of the growing market for low volume laser cut pressings.

The company was founded by three Directors with wide ranging experience in engineering and operations. GFL now employees around 15 members of staff from modern premises based in the West Midlands.

The business has grown over the past 10 years increasing capacity by continually investing in new laser cutting machinery and adding additional services such as press braking. The company has a strong reputation in the marketplace for delivering laser cut parts at very short notice. This is made possible by operating lasers on a 24/7 basis with capacity nearly always available.

GF Laser also has a dedicated Quality Manager who ensures that our systems adhere to ISO 9001 and also continues to monitor the ongoing quality of our Production.

There have been many milestones for the business over the past 10 years. The main areas are detailed below:

2006: First laser cutting machine installed.

2007: Systems Approved to ISO 9001:2008 and have been fully maintained since.

2009: Gained approval to supply Nissan with prototype 5 axis laser cutting.

2010: First flatbed laser installed.

2010: Gained approval to supply Jaguar Land Rover.

2012: First AMADA pressbrake installed.

2012: Gained approval to supply GKN.

2015: High Volume Production 5 axis laser cutting cell set up.

2015: Completed Move to new larger premises.

2015: Nitrogen Generation System installed.

2015: First fibre laser installed.

2015: First 4000mm x 2000mm installed.

2016 Creation of Management Team to take the business through the next stage of growth

What next for GF Laser?

2015 and 2016 have undoubtedly been a very important time in the history of GF Laser with much of the previous year’s hard work by the team culminating in the move to new larger premises.

However, the business continues to monitor the market to ensure it remains at the forefront of laser cutting. Over the next few years GF Laser will be looking at the following areas:

Replacing existing CO2 laser cutting machines with faster fibre laser cutting machinery.

Increasing it’s welding and fabrication offering to customers.

Improvement in Productivity that are passed on to customers through lower costs and even faster turnaround.

 

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

 

Focus On CE Marking

What is CE Marking?

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Most of us are familiar with the CE logo, for many years products sold in the UK have displayed the CE logo to signify that the goods sold are of a certain quality and meet recognised industry safety standards.

I Understand That, But How Does This Effect Laser Cutting?

Many laser cut and folded parts end up being used in the construction industry, the production of these parts is covered by BS EN 1090-1 which specifically mentions fabricated structural steelwork. Therefore, it is a legal requirement to make sure that any part of, say a metal framed building, complies with the necessary standards. When goods sold comply to EN 1090 they are then commonly known as CE marked.

But Now We Are Coming Out Of The European Union, What’s The Point?

Good question, obviously none of us know what will happen to CE marking in a couple of years once Britain exits the EU. However, CE marking is an internationally recognised standard so it’s likely that UK businesses will adhere to the standard in the foreseeable future so they can place their goods on sale internationally.

CE Marking and ISO9001: Are There Many Differences?

There is a lot of similarity between the two standards and certainly having ISO approval at GF Laser made it easier to get the CE marking approval for laser cut and folded parts. However, CE marking does go into more depth covering specifics of manufacturing. For example, GF Laser periodically sends out laser cut and folded parts to be hardness tested to ensure the mechanical properties have not changed in such a way that the parts would be deemed not fit for purpose.

To download a copy of GF Laser’s CE Marking certificate please click here ISO Registration 14715

To download a copy of our ISO 9001 Quality Statement click here ISO 9001 Quality Statement

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10

Laser Cutting Relief Work

At GF Laser we understand the importance of being able to provide a fast turnaround service when required.

Customers use us for relief work in the following circumstances:

Coverage for delays in tool manufacture:

When your customer wants parts but perhaps the tool is delayed or parts are required ahead of schedule then GFL can help. Our 24/7 operation coupled with a flexible workforce means that we can use our lasers to provide cut parts. We are also one of the few companies in the UK that offer a 3D laser cutting service, so we can trim pressed components whilst you are waiting for your trim tool to be fixed or manufactured.

Overflow facility:

Many organisations use GFL as an overflow facility to cope with spikes in demand when their own laser cutting machines are operating at full capacity or are down for essential maintenance.

Although we use Trumpf laser cutting machines we can easily convert existing CAD for use from other laser machines such as Bystronic, Amada or LVD.

Inspection Services:

GFL has a dedicated Quality department that utilise CMM and Faro ScanArm checking facilities. We can provide you with a full inspection report to make sure you are adhering to your own customer Quality requirements.

Confidentiality

The staff at GF Laser often work under non-disclosure agreement to give customers peace of mind that your customers will remain your customers.

Simon Tregillus | Director

T: 01384 245095
M: 07792 143076

You can contact me through LinkedIn https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-tregillus-5ab05b10