Beverston Engineering has increased productivity by 20% and reduced carbon emissions by 10% thanks to support from Made Smarter.
The Knowsley- based company invested £173,000 in sensor technology and software to connect all 20 machines across its factory to provide real-time visibility of its manufacturing.
As a result, the specialist component manufacturer for safety-critical industries has increased productivity by 20%, increased profitability, won new business, and reduced carbon emissions by 10%.
Made Smarter, the North West adoption programme helping SME manufacturing invest in new technology and digital skills has also supported Beverston’s efforts to recruit and train the next generation of digital engineers to accelerate data-led decision-making.
Rod Wah, Managing Director of Beverston, believes his smart factory proves what can be achieved with targeted support.
“Made Smarter has had such a phenomenal impact on the business,” Rod said. “I’m recruiting the next generation of engineers, a new technology which enables unmanned machining, plans for £2m investment, and a healthy order book.”
Beverston Engineering, celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, works with clients in the aerospace, pharma, oil and gas and power sectors.
It began working with Made Smarter in 2019 to develop a digital adoption roadmap.
A first project in 2020 laid the foundations for the smart factory by enabling connectivity and upgrading IT infrastructure with a dedicated machine data server. The firm also installed sensors to monitor its machines and factory assets.
Beverston Engineering then created a ‘productivity control room’ - a bank of 18 big screens in the centre of the factory displaying real-time factory analytics, such as machine downtime events, availability, and performance metrics to the workforce.
A second project in 2022 created a platform which integrated all 20 machines and operators with its ERP and third-party systems, giving Beverston Engineering further real-time insight and analytics, enabling the business to react quickly to challenges and opportunities.
The investment came during a tricky time for the business, which had been heavily impacted by the economic shocks of the pandemic, supply chain challenges and energy crisis.
“The last three years were incredibly challenging, but we remained committed to our long-term vision for digital transformation,” Rod explained. “Our customers like Rolls Royce and Collins Aerospace have been blown away by what we’ve achieved. While our competition went backwards, we have progressed. Our commitment to the vision has helped us win more business and gives us a great opportunity.”
Made Smarter also supported Beverston Engineering to develop new talent. Oliver Miller, an Aerospace Engineering graduate who began working with the business via Made Smarter’s digital technology internship programme, is now an Industry 4.0 Project Manager responsible for digital transformation projects. He has also just completed the Made Smarter Leading Digital Transformation programme.
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