Steve Finn, managing director of Coventry-based DMG Mori UK (www.dmgmori.com
), says: “Investing in new machinery and automation is high on the list of priorities for UK companies, despite current uncertainties.
"At the end of 2016, our order intake was split 65% OEM business and 35% sub-contractor business.
“Currency values have played a big role in the high levels of business that most manufacturers are experiencing at the moment; we have also seen a significant swing in the make-up of our order book.
“At the end of 2018, sub-contractor business comprised 68% and OEM 32%; and the fact that the orders we receive are not for machines we hold in stock but for machines to be delivered in seven to nine months demonstrates the confidence in the market-place to proceed with capital investment. It is here that DMG Mori Finance has played a major role.
“We have a thorough understanding of the industry, and this has enabled us to take a future-related view on machine tool investment.
"Instead of concentrating almost exclusively on historic ‘financials’, we place priority on the ‘intended outcome’ of the investment, as it is funded by DMG Mori itself. Some 34% of new customers took advantage of our finance offerings in 2018.
“Companies now also understand the importance of automated production; at our last Open House, 80% of the machines featured automation, and all those machines were sold at the event.
“The key demand was for solutions that addressed the requirements of low-volume high-variety applications. Even with relatively simple automation systems, machines can be run 24hr at low hourly rates and still be profitable.
“To ensure reliability for machines used with automation, we have split our maintenance and service departments.
“We consider planned maintenance to be crucial to our customers’ operations, allowing them to keep running with the minimum of unplanned breakdowns. Our maintenance department will be focused on delivering a preventative maintenance schedule, so that production can be planned around it.”