Proto-Labs' big machining investment

17 Jul 2017

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Proto Labs, the Telford-based rapid prototyping and on-demand digital manufacturing service provider, has purchased 26 new CNC machines from HAAS Automation.

The company says the expansion reflects the level of innovation in industry and strength in UK manufacturing and that that it is in a key position to support manufacturing growth through the production of prototypes and low-volume production runs for businesses, designers and engineers across Europe. 

HAAS Automation has supported Proto Labs' CNC machine requirements since 2005 when the company was established in the UK, supplying its first four machines.  The supplier relationship with HAAS has developed with the current order of 26 machines, where 12 of which are provided with 5-axis capability. The order comprises: 6 VM3 machines and 20 VF2YT. Of the 20 VF2YT model, 12 are for complex CNC machining, with the remaining 8 for CNC machining of moulds and tools for injection moulding.

Lee Ball, Operations Director for Proto Labs UK, commented: “Rapid prototyping and manufacturing mid-volume production runs at speed, are essential capabilities valued by our customers which these new machines help us to deliver. Critically, with this additional capacity, we can readily keep pace with production demand, as the requirements of our customers increase across Europe."

Pat Fenn, Commercial Director for HAAS, added: “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Proto Labs, since 2005 when they first established operations in Europe. Since the initial delivery of just 4 machines in 2005, Proto Labs impressively has over 130 HAAS machines on-site in Telford and, with 26 machines delivered this month, Proto Labs is the biggest user of HAAS machines in the UK.”