Claiming a UK first, Runcorn and Ewloe-based electrical engineering firm, LCA Controls, has switched its control panel operations from manual production to laser-machining. The move is expected to transform its productivity and efficiency.
LCA Controls, which recently came under new ownership, says it has invested in a system which will ‘revolutionise’ construction of its stainless-steel panels by automating processes previously done by hand. The company has installed a Rittal Perforex LC 3015 3D laser machining centre, which features integrated 3D-modelling and computer-aided design (CAD) capabilities. Using such techniques, the company can program the machining centre to manage measuring to an extremely high degree of accuracy, processing panels in a fraction of the former time. This allows LCA Controls to service higher volume orders going forward, as well as rapid turnaround of bulk orders – including next day delivery, it is claimed.
“Our investment in this new Rittal Automation Systems machine is incredibly important for the growth of our control panel manufacturing and design business here in the UK,” said Alan Sheppard, the company’s managing director.
“This new Rittal Automation Systems machine will give us capabilities that are way ahead of the curve on our competitors in the UK,” added Sheppard. “Combine that with our new 3D CAD capabilities and we can immerse our customers in the design and build process like never before. They can literally fly in and fly out of the designed products we build, and we can deliver them to their door within days.
“Not only that, but we can now do one-off jobs or high volume, mass manufacturing of control panel boxes at the touch of a few buttons, which is why we’re earmarking 2018 as an incredibly important year for our business.”
Paul Metcalfe, Rittal’s product manager for Industrial & Outdoor Enclosures commented: “We’re really keen to encourage UK companies to adopt technology which is revolutionising panel building and electrical engineering across the world.
“When it comes to processing panels, machining centres from Rittal Automation Systems, are light years ahead of the alternative, manual approach. They speed up processing by as much as 66 percent compared to the traditional hand-tooled method.”