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Continuing to invest in the future

We have recently invested over £200,000 in a new advanced technology machine for our joinery & engineering department.

Our new machine is a Biesse-Rover AFT2231 CNC nesting and routing machine, which cuts and machines complex shapes and designs into virtually any timber-based or solid surface panel.

With a footprint of 11.8 metres x 5.7 metres, the machine has an automatic scissor loading lift table with sensor-controlled panel alignment, and an automatic unloading conveyor belt simultaneously allowing the machine to unload whilst processing the next pane. The CNC nesting element can work at a speed of up to 104 metres per minute, so is fast and efficient.

The increased efficiency from our machine has reduced our manufacturing processing-time and will dramatically cut lead times for our future projects.

The decommissioning of the old CNC and beam saw which it replaces along with installation and commissioning of the new machine took a total of 3 weeks, and through careful planning the installation was carried out with minimum disruption to production.

Our programming and operating team have undertaken full training on the Biesse and the suite of operating software which converts SolidWorks models from our design team. Now four months in the team continue to hone their skills. The investment in training forms part of Ripple’s wider investment programme where employee development is key.

We also recently acquired an Ermaksan Power-Bend Falcon 135-tonne press brake. This new machine efficiently folds sheet steel and has great versatility for complex forms and accuracy. It uses full 3D simulation to maximise the speed, quality and efficiency of press brake operations, improving manufacturing reliability and reducing manufacturing costs. It has replaced our old EHT press brake which served us well for 35 years.

The new machines will have a significant impact on Ripple Group’s manufacturing capacity along with existing advanced machinery and the group’s highly-skilled workforce, positive changes will be seen across its joinery, cabinet making, steel fabrication, paint finishing and powder coating departments.

Our founder and managing director David Wolfenden said, “The CNC machinery increases the efficiency and capacity in our factory. We use SolidWorks 3D modelling software to create manufacturing specifications which translate into programmes to operate the CNC systems.

"With more complex design we have the advantage of achieving a higher level of automation, which makes the processes more measurable whilst reducing the potential for errors and increasing productivity and cost-effectiveness across the business.”

Despite a backdrop of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and changes in the retail sector, we are proud and grateful to be growing strongly, diversifying into new sectors and investing in equipment, recruitment, staff skills and workplace facilities to continue to drive success and make Ripple Group an exceptional place to work.

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