Oldham-based Constant Group
provides a full design-to-manufacture service that encompasses its own products, including LED lighting systems for industrial and commercial applications, architectural products such as kick plates and ventilation systems, as well as providing a sub-contract fabrication service, with customers across many industry sectors, including pharmaceutical, food processing, enclosures and packaging.
The family business started as Constant Aluminium Supplies, evolving over the past 50 years into what it is today; a full service supplier of fabricated parts and assemblies operating from a 50,000ft2
facility with the latest manufacturing technology.
With batch sizes ranging from 10-off through to large runs, the management team at Constant Group took the decision in 2019 to make a significant investment of £1 million in fibre laser and press brakes and, while these machines may have been the main focus, the arrival of a Timesavers 12-600W deburring and finishing machine from Dorset-based Ellesco
, the UK and Ireland distributor of the Timesavers range, has also made a significant impact on the efficiency when graining stainless steel materials.
Matthew Garlick, Constant Group joint managing director, said: “The Timesavers machine was purchased specifically to process stainless steel, which we targeted as an area of operation that we could make the greatest efficiency. Consistent quality
“Prior to the arrival of the 12 Series machine we were hand-graining all of these parts, which could take 20min each, we now achieve that in seconds, with consistent quality.”
The Timesavers 12-Series is among the smallest machines in the range and can be specified with working widths of 225 or 600mm, the latter being chosen by Constant Group, which also specified the basic configuration with an abrasive belt for graining and removing vertical burrs.
The machine can be equipped with a cylinder brush or rotating disc to remove side burrs and for edge preparation. Sheet between 1 and 75mm thickness can be processed with simple control allowing work to flow under the belt at between 3 and 9m/min to achieve the exact finish required.
The simplicity of the Timesavers 12 Series is also playing another important role for Constant Group in that its ease-of-use allows anyone to set and operate it, freeing up skilled employees to work on higher-value operations.
“Since the arrival of the Timesavers machine it has been running 8hr a day minimum with no issues whatsoever and the ability to have anyone running it is a big advantage, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, where if we had staff absent we knew we could continue to process work thanks to the simplicity of the Timesavers machine.
“Beyond this we are also seeing significant savings in consumables compared to manual graining where the lack of consistency between operators meant increased spend on abrasive pads, we are now in total control of that aspect of the business.”
The choice of Timesavers by the Constant Group was driven by the reputation for ease-of-use and build quality as well as the interaction it had with Ellesco.
“The conversations we had gave us the reassurance we needed to make the investment,” says Matthew Garlick. “And, while we only specified the entry-level machine, the experience we have had has certainly given us the confidence to go for a higher specification as we identify further areas of growth for the business.”