Tube capability for MAN

06 May 2020

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

James Lister and Sons has taken delivery of a new CNC tube bending system following a 20% rise in demand – it has also joined the MAN subcontract network.

James Lister and Sons, which after 146 years is still in family ownership, is also in the process of installing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system across its seven sites.

The company has also agreed to become the 10th member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), a collective of sub-contract manufacturers and an engineering design agency that works together to win orders and share best practice.

Lister employs nearly 150 people across its HQ in Smethwick and six other sites in the West Midlands and South Wales and is best known for its fluid power business and engineering consumables division.

This includes supplying hand tools, cutting tools and lubricants, workwear, hygiene products, hydraulic/pneumatic components and assemblies and delivering specialist capabilities like laser etching, 3D printing and the manufacture of high-pressure valves and touring car air jacks.

The biggest growth area in 2020 promises to be its tube manipulation business, with the company able to bend tube in sizes ranging from 4mm up to 75mm and in metals such as steel, copper and aluminium. The new Unison Breeze machine also gives it ‘left and right hand’ capacity to make components that can’t be produced via traditional bending.

“We are very proud of our British heritage and this was a key driver in us targeting involvement in the MAN Group and we see membership potentially opening up £1m of new opportunities in the first twelve months,” explained Peter Davies, Chief Executive at Lister.

“A lot of members already use us for their engineering supplies and, now we are part of the collective, we will look at ways where our expertise in fluid power and tube manipulation can add real value to MAN. There’s a number of joint projects we’ve already got our eye on.”

Adam Cunningham, Chairman of the Manufacturing Assembly Network, added: “Lister is a great addition to the group and we are all excited to be able to offer industry-leading tube manipulation.

“Peter and his team are also passionate about developing the engineers of the future and promoting UK manufacturing, two things at the heart of the MAN philosophy.”

MAN, which enjoys more than £150m sales and employs over 1600 people, can offer every engineering discipline imaginable, including automation and control systems, forging, plastic injection moulding, PCB development, precision machining, high-volume pressing, tube manipulation and welded assemblies.

Its membership also includes Alucast, Barkley Plastics, Brandauer, C-MAC SMT, Grove Design, Kimbermills International, Muller Holdings, Ricor and PP Control & Automation.