Flight case and speaker component manufacturer Penn Elcom has invested close to £2 million in new manufacturing plant and technology across the group’s international operations in China, Mexico and the UK.
Over a million dollars alone has been ploughed into upgrading the powder coating lines at all sites, part of a planned reinvestment strategy in Swiss made Gema spraying equipment designed to increase efficiency and output worldwide for Penn to keep abreast of the current growing demand for its products.
The powder line installed at the factory in Guangdong Province, China, is completely new and replaces the previous one with the latest air cooled technology. This will enhance the working environment for the 30 employees as well as being more energy efficient, kinder to the environment and more cost-effective to maintain and run. The plant is also run on re-cycled wood…so is carbon neutral.
A complete new AC system for the entire production building has also been commissioned which has lowered the overall workplace temperature by 8 degrees to benefit staff working in all departments.
Around 50% of the output in China is distributed and sold around in the Asian and pan Pacific regions, and the move underline’s Penn Elcom’s commitment to the various speaker manufacturers and their focus on developing 19-inch range. The future goal is to deliver 75% of capacity to the Chinese market.
The 28,000 sq ft factory in Tijuana Mexico has also received a new Gema paint powder coating equipment and a brand new powder line installed by UK based NDK Finishing Systems.
Previously, these regions would have primarily been supplied from the UK, but sourcing locally makes logistical sense and enables further fine-tuning of the quick turnaround and delivery times for which Penn is renowned.
The UK powder coating facilities in Washington, Tyne & Wear already feature the latest innovations and equipment, so no dramatic overhauling or replacing was required. However, all the spraying kit has been upgraded to Gema and second booths have been added, so different colours can be sprayed simultaneously and the lines can run without interruptions, stopping or down time.
All Penn Elcom’s powder coating lines are customised to accommodate their specific parts and they are run automatically, also boosting efficiency.
Penn Elcom Chairman Roger Willems commented, “We are looking to the future with these latest – and substantial – investments. While it will cost us more initially, the upgrading will enhance consistency and excellence worldwide in keeping with our global brand philosophy of providing the great looking products and the best service for our clients.”
As well as the powder coating investment, more Trumpf CNC punching machines have been ordered for Mexico, bringing the total to five, together with forming machines that have been added to streamline the 19-inch racking elements of the manufacturing.
In the UK, the Washington operation has been expanded with several new machines including a 250 tonne press, a new Hurco CNC machining centre and a plethora of new tool-making enhancements.