The Benefits of using a Laser Cutter

Laser Cutter, Bunting, ManufacturingThere is nothing more exciting than taking sheets of metal and different components such as magnets and assembling them into a working machine.  The whole process leading up to the point where the customer presses a button that starts up the machine is magical.  If more young people saw and experienced this process, then it likely that there would be a rush of youngsters wanting to be involved in the manufacturing industry.

At the Bunting European headquarters in Berkhamsted, UK there is an extensive manufacturing facility equipped with a range of technology to design and manufacture magnets, magnetic assemblies and magnetic separators.  The Laser Cutter is one item of equipment in the process that has had a dramatic effect on productivity and quality.

Originating in 1965, laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials and is used in a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications.  Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics.  The laser optics and CNC (computer numerical control) are used to direct the laser beam down onto a programmed location on a flat sheet of steel or stainless steel.  The focused laser beam is directed at the material, which then burns through the metal leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish.

At Bunting this results in:

  • Accurately repeatable sized cuts;
  • High speed production;
  • Using as much of the steel or stainless steel sheet as possible;
  • Safe manufacturing;

Additional photographs of the Laser Cutter in action can be seen on the Bunting Europe Flickr gallery (all photographs have been taken by Paul Fears Photography).

Bunting continues to review the manufacturing process and invest in technology to increase efficiency, productivity and quality.  Further information on the Bunting Magnetics Europe operation is available on their website or they can be contacted on sales@buntingeurope.com.

How Will UK Growth Be Affected by the Eurozone?

Welding at Bunting Magnetics Europe-5

The latest newsletter from British Plastics & Rubber features an article entitled ‘Orders continue to grow for UK manufacturers, but the Eurozone could halt Export growth‘.  2014 proved to be the most successful on record for Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd, securing their highest ever valued order and reaching their highest annual sales total.  Even though projections for 2015 remain very positive, what can be done to address concerns about the potential effects of problems in the Eurozone?

It is impossible to ignore the doom and gloom of the online, printed and broadcast news and, as is usually the case, bad news often is reported in preference to good.  Also, the forthcoming UK general election is bound to have an effect on business confidence, especially when there is a high degree of uncertainty about who will form the next UK Government.  These are all external factors that a business cannot change.  At Bunting, we focus on what is within our control.

2015 will be challenging, but so were 2014 and 2013.  Bunting intend to be creative, with both marketing and product, and dynamic to emulate and exceed the successes of 2014.

It would be interested to get feedback from other manufacturing businesses to see if they also feel positive about 2015.  If you wish to participate, please complete the poll.  The results (in percentages) will be available to review.

Exporting Is Key To Economic Development

As reported in Trading Economics, Exports in the United Kingdom decreased to 41,960 GBP Million in November 2014 from 42,137 GBP in October 2014.  This comes at a time when the UK Government is openly promoting and encouraging UK businesses to develop their exports.

As a UK manufacturer and exporter, Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd is focused on development business overseas.  To be successful, it is often necessary to be able to respond to customer’s needs as Bunting discovered when they secured an order from a large Italian engineering company for the supply of custom designed Plate Magnetic Separators for a project in Indonesia (as reported by British Exporters News).

Bunting Large Export Order for Plate Magnets-6

In September 2014, the ICAEW openly discussed the issue under the title ‘UK Exports – what are the challenges‘, but often assistance and support is limited and success is very much dependent on a solid exporting strategy.

2014 proved to be very successful year for Bunting and developing exports is a primary objective for 2015.  Further information on Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd can be found on their website.

Metal Shards Contaminate Frozen Meat

Product Recall due to Metal ContaminationBunting in the USA report that consumers across the U.S. should check their refrigerators for recently recalled frozen meat products. A California company has been forced to recall frozen beef and pork products after a shard of metal wire was found in one of the products by an Illinois restaurant, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.

That single wire has forced the company to take back over 48,000 pounds of meat, and undoubtedly forced a painful financial loss. This type of issue is also completely avoidable. Food inspection that incorporates Metal Detection can eliminate metal shard contamination and protect consumers from the health risks caused by metal ingestion. It also prevents the sort of costly recalls and reputation damage that can cripple a food producer.

A tool to prevent injuries
There are several ways for metal fragments to end up in food, and these metal pieces are often difficult to see with the naked eye. Malfunctioning machinery can insert a metal powder into foods or bristles can break off metal brushes used to clean manufacturing equipment and find their way into food.

Food Quality and Safety points out that Metal Detection systems are useful because they save food producers the substantial amount of money that would be lost in sales and replacement costs during a recall. Accidental metal contamination is a well-known risk during food production. Metal detection ensures that this problem does not injure anyone.

Recycling In England Slowly Inches Up To 44.2% – CIWM Journal December 2014

Discarded Toner and Laser Cartridges at BCMY“Recycling In England Slowly Inches Up To 44,2%” (Article in CIWM December 2014 issue page 8). The article discusses the 2013 recycling rates in England and the increase by 0.1% on 2012. Initial indications show that rates in the first part of 2014 have increased to 44.5%. So how does England compare with their EU neighbours?

The European Environment Agency (EEA) produced figures for the EU countries which can be seen on their website.  Austria and Germany lead the way with 63% and 62% respectively, with Belgium (58%), The Netherlands (51%) and Switzerland (51%) all exceeding the 50% mark.

However, the CIWM Journal also reports (December 2014 page 7) that recycling in Wales for 2013-14 has reached 54.3% and in Northern Ireland is 45.2%.

Italy (36%), France (35%) and Spain (33%) are all languishing behind the countries in the UK.

With many European companies facing economic pressures, maybe a focus on increased recycling rates would help boost the economies.

Supporting recycling initiatives is a key focus for Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd in 2015 and details of projects where they have installed Magnetic Separation Equipment to separate and recover metals can be read on the news section of their website including the article on how the UK company BCMY is using a Bunting Drum Magnet to process and recycle old laser and toner cartridges that can no longer be reused.

Recycling Case Histories from 2014

In 2014, Case Histories, providing details of where and why Bunting Magnetic Separation equipment has been installed, were published in both UK and international press and featured in the news section of the Bunting Europe website.  Such articles helped increase the profile of Bunting and our customers and is set to continue in 2015.  We wish to thank our customers for agreeing to the features.

The Case Histories focusing on recycling in 2014 included:

  1. Wheatway and Cotswold Recycling use Bunting Magnets to Remove Steel from Old Landfill – This discussed how both Cross Belt Overband Magnets and Magnetic Pulleys had been used to remove and recover the steel;Bunting Cross Belt Magnet
  2.  BCMY Ltd Recycle Laser & Toner Printer Cartridges – Using a Bunting Magnetic Drum – This highlighted how Bunting and BCMY had worked together with provisional tests at the Bunting European HQ;Bunting Magnetic Drum at BCMY
  3. Vulcanis Maximise Steel Can Recovery with a Bunting Cross Belt Overband Magnet – This focused on a new Used Beverage Can Recycling Plant in London (This article will feature in the news section on the website shortly);Bunting Cross Belt Magnet at Vulcanis