BPW gears up for UK suspension production 19 February 2010

A £500,000 investment in its facility in Leicester has enabled BPW to undertake assembly of suspension systems in the UK for its nationwide heavy trailer customers.

The move means BPW will no longer need to import finished products fixed to axles from the company's headquarters in Wiehl, Germany.

The bulk of the money has been invested in a new jig, the remainder being used for an overhead crane system, and additional software to allow better management of the assembly process.

Richard Gibbs, managing director of BPW UK, says the development will enable more flexibility in production.
"With this shift in assembly we are able to give customers what they want, when they want it," he explains.

"There are often specification changes at the last minute, and in the past this has caused problems in meeting delivery targets. We believe that we will now be able to better accommodate the needs of our customers and react to those changes more easily and quickly.

"We are now buying the axles loose from Germany and the suspension components separately to assemble them here on site."

Gibbs expects to reduce his transport costs by up to 15%, as he now has the ability to ship a container full of components.

"We plan to produce 8,000 axles through the jig a year, which represents around 60% of our sales," he explains. "At the moment, we are running a single shift production schedule, but have the ability to double that if required."

John Challen

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