Fowlers of Bristol (Engineers) Ltd

The Challenge:

Avonmouth based, Fowlers of Bristol (Engineers) Ltd, are a well established Engineering Company specialising in the manufacture of sheet metal components, precision machined parts, welded fabrications, and pressings, predominantly serving the Aerospace & Defence Industries.  Fowlers had always used a human-readable format (vibro-peen) to mark their parts, however when Rolls Royce, one of their main clients (making up over 30% of their sales) began requesting that parts were marked by a machine-readable format, they had to outsource the machine-readable marking to an external company, often resulting in additional expense and a long lead time of 2-3 week. 

Fowlers were contacted by local Manufacturing specialist Tony Mattravers, to discuss their manufacturing plans.  A need was identified to invest in their own machine-readable parts format, to ensure they managed their client’s expectations and eliminate the long lead times. 

SWMAS Action:

SWMAS introduced the Local Manufacturing Advisory Programme (LMAP) funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to Fowlers, designed to support established manufacturing SMEs in the South West to understand and develop their capability and capacity to improve and grow and offers capital expenditure grants up to the value of £2,500.  

Fowlers were awarded a grant of £1,561 to help fund the Dot Peen Part Marking machinery.  

Using Controlled Dot Peen technology, the new machinery offers Fowlers tamperproof indent marking, without consumables and no material removal. 

Results:

Investment in the new Dot Peen machinery has not only allowed Fowlers to fulfill a major client’s requirements but has revolutionised the way in which they manage their part marking process, as well as:

*  Reducing Lead time by 2 – 3 weeks;
*  Maintaining control of production and part marking on site;
*  Reduction in a number of products being sent off-site for operations;
*  Machine-readable part marking
*  All part shapes and surfaces (flat, concave, convex, rough, smooth, etc.);
*  50% cost savings by eliminating outsourcing. 

I am delighted to see the difference the Local Manufacturing Advisory Programme has made to Fowlers. It has not only introduced new technology into the business, but has allowed them to make customer satisfaction and confidence the focal point of their business. I am excited to see how this will help Fowlers prosper going forward

Tony Mattravers

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