Robot delivers productivity boost to manufacturing

Racks Industries, one of the UK’s leading international industrial storage systems companies, has seen productivity levels significantly increase and is planning further international expansion following investment in state-of-the-art robotic welding technology.

The £87,000 investment by the family-owned business in the robot, including £17,000 from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Business Growth Programme, is enabling it to compete with European manufacturers by automating the production of standard parts; freeing up its skilled fabricators to focus on more complex work.

Established in 1995, Bingley-based Racks Industries designs, supplies, manufactures and installs industrial storage systems across the UK, Europe and the USA and is regarded as one of the world’s leading cantilever racking suppliers.

Director Chris Wilson said “The robot will enable Racks Industries to double the amount of exports over the next two years.”

Mr Wilson said: “We currently export to northern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.  We’ve also had interest in our products from companies in Spain.  Excitingly, as this investment increases productivity and consistency and minimises manufacturing costs, it allows us to look at new markets and compete with more manufacturers based in Continental Europe.

“It is our view that allied with further investment plans, Brexit could offer massive opportunities for Racks Industries. Therefore, the investment in our new robot is an important one, as it forms part of our drive to ensure Racks Industries is at the forefront of manufacturing.  Not only competing in the UK but across the world.”

Mr Wilson said the investment had already helped to create new jobs in sales and in operations.

Andrew Wright, chairman of the LEP’s business, innovation and growth panel, said: “By implementing this state-of-the art robot to boost its manufacturing output and business outcomes, Racks Industries is demonstrating its commitment to not only pursuing a long-term investment programme but pushing the company forward globally.

“There are many exciting worldwide opportunities for businesses in the city region to explore and plenty of support available. If you would like a conversation about how to take advantage of this, the LEP business growth service can help find you straight-forward support to make the most of these opportunities.”

Written on 23rd February 2017Lillie Geistdorfer. Published in Members News, News