Telford-based advanced manufacturer Proto Labs has announced a €4m investment in new manufacturing technology aimed at meeting growing demand for its services across Europe.
The investment, the largest of its kind the firm has made since it was established in 2005, has seen the company take delivery of a number of new Haas CNC machines and ARBURG injection moulding machines.
“Today….all industries require fast turnaround, especially in product development,” said Lee Ball, Proto Labs General Manager in the UK. “Our continuous investment allows us to meet the ever growing needs of our thousands of customers across all industries.”
The new Haas machines will be configured for either mould making or component machining, with both of these services growing at a rapid pace.
Including the new machines, Proto Labs UK’s inventory now totals 130 CNC machining and 57 injection moulding machines. “We are seeing demand for moulded parts increase across the board year-over-year, from both long-standing and new customers, for a range of products and industries. To meet predicted levels of growth, a critical leverage is this investment in new technology.” said Ball.
Demand for the firms’ industrial 3D printing service, which operates from two sites in Germany, is also growing.
“For certain parts, the only possible option is to manufacture using this technology.” said Daniel Cohn, Managing Director of the 3D printing business Proto Labs GmbH in Feldkirchen, Germany.
This recent capacity growth is reinforced by business expansion across Proto Labs’ European locations. Since 2015, the business has supported annual growth in excess of 20 per cent in manufacturing and engineering, sales and administrative functions.
“Additional space will be required within the next 18 to 24 months to accommodate our projected level of growth, both to our office space and manufacturing capacity,” said Lee Ball. A similar expansion plan is also in development to support expected growth in the company’s German facilities at Eschenlohe and Feldkirchen.