Manufacturing - LCR 4.0

Case study

Hi-Tech Steel Services

Hi-Tech Steel Services

Client: Hi-Tech Steel Services

Issue: Technologies: Systems Integration, Autonomous Systems, Internet of Things

Session: Steel manufacturing

Hi-Tech Steel Services Logo

Hi-Tech Steel Services are a St Helens based steel stockholder and processor, with the capacity to process in excess of over 5,000 tonnes of strip mill product per month. Established for over 25 years, Hi-Tech Steel have secured a customer base that extends across the UK and into Europe. The company provides excellent product and service quality performance and meet the diverse needs of the clients from a range of sectors including automotive, construction and ventilation.

Approaching LCR 4.0

After recognising a change in their customers’ needs, including an increase in requests for laser cut materials in addition to the flat sheet metal products that they had traditionally supplied, Hi-Tech Steel wanted to take advantage of this growing opportunity by expanding their offer. Hi-Tech Steel needed to explore their options and to see how they could implement this technology into their business, as well as learn the best methods of implementation for them.

Partner support

The Liverpool LEP referred Hi-Tech Steel to Liverpool John Moores University who were able to provide access to specialist academic expertise and offer a dedicated resource, enabling Hi-Tech Steel to investigate the options available to them and develop a commissioning strategy to fully integrate the new equipment into the factory. The LCR 4.0 team assessed the company’s exact requirements, enabling them to make well researched recommendations to ensure Hi-Tech Steel Services purchased the best available equipment for them.

Results

As a direct result of the support received from the LJMU LCR 4.0 team, Hi-Tech Steel have integrated their new laser cutting equipment installed with a new team of four highly trained operatives and the facilities to offer a CAD design service. This allows the company to meet customer demand effectively. The organisation has already significantly increased their turnover as adopting this new digital technology has enabled them to increase their offering to existing customers, as well as successfully enter new tiers within the supply chain, helping their business to grow.

By directly installing client CAD files into the new machinery, Hi-Tech Steel can ensure that the metal is cut and processed exactly as required, offering a quick and bespoke solution. The machinery performs autonomously so simply needs to be pre-programmed and then can cut independently, allowing the team to focus on other elements of their delivery. As a direct result of the new equipment, the company annual turnover has increased by at least £100,000.

“LCR 4.0 is most definitely one of the best projects I’ve been involved with; it has been a fantastic experience.” Andy Flatt, General Manager, Hi-Tech Steel.

Working into the future

Hi-Tech Steel have already put their new machinery to good use with a long list of orders. This new piece of equipment also collects performance data which can then be automatically fed back to the business owners, giving insight into the performance on the machine as well as company delivery. 

The new laser cutting equipment has enabled Hi-Tech Systems to not only meet customer demand and requirements quicker than ever, but has enabled High-Tech Steel to be more sustainable in a competitive marketplace.

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