Yorkshire firm
Rebecca Wayman

Strategic outsourcing deal helps Yorkshire print specialist expand targets

Strategic outsourcing is said to be helping an East Yorkshire print finishing equipment manufacturer achieve major production efficiencies and boost capacity to cope with an increase in sales.

ABG International - which employs nearly 350 people at plants in Bridlington, Driffield, and in Germany - has partnered with PP Control & Automation for over nine years.

In that time, it has seen its turnover grow almost 50 per cent.

The expanding business has tapped into the West Midlands-based firm’s expertise in connectivity to reduce lead times and, importantly, create the platform to scale up to producing 250 digital print finishing machines in 2018.

Phil Robson, operations manager at ABG International, said: “We operate in very similar ways and, once we had seen PP Control & Automation’s capabilities at its world class facility, we knew there were lots of synergies and a relationship to forge.

“PP was originally tasked with producing the electrical back panels on our new Digicon 3 digital print finishing machine and then delivering them to our Bridlington factory where we would fit the cables and harnesses, a labour-intensive job that would usually take between two to three days.”

He continued: “It didn’t take long until engineers from both companies came up with a new way of assembly that involved developing a more standard enclosure system, which would allow the panel to be easily slid into the machine.”

ABG and PP engineers took just six months to redesign the controls architecture into the new modular format.

This is said to give customers ‘great’ flexibility when specifying the exact machine requirements they need, whilst ensuring ABG is not having to redesign constantly, rather selecting and configuring modules in a manner that provides a bespoke solution to the user.

“Digital print is taking over from conventional printing, so we anticipate the market to expand rapidly over the next decade,” concluded Phil.

“Thanks to our commitment to outsourcing, we are now more efficient and have cut production and sales lead times significantly.

“Importantly, PP has also given us the additional capacity that allows us to go after new business safe in the knowledge we can quickly ramp up production to cope with it.”

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