Firm’s birthday gift to itself is new laser cutter

NEW KIT Directors of Havant Sheet Metal Paul Rabbetts, left, and Paul Edwards with the Trumpf Laser Cutter 3030. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122335-9827)
NEW KIT Directors of Havant Sheet Metal Paul Rabbetts, left, and Paul Edwards with the Trumpf Laser Cutter 3030. Picture: Malcolm Wells (122335-9827)
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A HAVANT manufacturer has been celebrating the end of its first year with new management by buying new machinery to increase efficiency and cut costs.

Havant Sheet Metal, based in Downley Road at the north of the town, has invested in a laser cutting machine, and a machine that makes nitrogen.

The firm’s co-director, Paul Edwards, said the investment will spell good news for the firm.

He said: ‘The cutter will mean an increase in capacity and in the thickness of materials we can use.

‘The old machine was a bit less powerful, it was old technology.

‘It means we can be more efficient.’

The firm uses nitrogen to quickly harden the edges of laser-cut stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminium in order that it can be painted or welded with ease.

Oxygen leaves a residue on the steel which means paint can’t go on it smoothly.

‘It means we can get a nice, clean edge which we otherwise wouldn’t have,’ added Paul.

Before investing in the new machine, the firm had to buy the nitrogen in cylinders, which was the most expensive way of doing it.

The only other way the firm could have got the gas would have been to buy it from a cryosystem company which makes the nitrogen, delivers it in a tanker, and would then pump it into a special storage unit on-site.

So to save money, the firm decided to make it itself.

‘It’ll save us around two-thirds of the money we were spending on nitrogen,’ said Paul.

Paul took the business over with co-director Paul Rabbetts this time last year.

Mr Edwards joked: ‘What’s the gift for a first anniversary?

‘It might be paper but we bought a laser.’

Havant Sheet Metal has been in the market town since 1941.

The firm makes components for a variety of industries, both locally and around the rest of the UK.

Its clients include the aerospace industry, defence, audio components, marine equipment, telecommunications and pharmaceutical equipment.

The firm employs 35 people.