JCM Fine Joinery already uses Computer Aided Design for its manufacturing, computer-controlled cutting and Computer Numerical Control router machinery but wanted to digitise some elements of its processing operations.
Nat said: “I had done some work previously with the Black Country Growth Hub and it is great to have built relationships with business support agencies that keep you in mind when schemes such as Made Smarter are launched.
“The timing of the start of Made Smarter was really fortuitous because inside the business, we were going through a very big programme of change to adapt to new processes as we wanted to improve productivity to become more efficient.”
She contacted Jit Gatcha, Digital Transformation Specialist at Made Smarter for the Black Country, who she already knew, and he came to chat to her about the programme in more detail.
Jit then organised for Nasar Jockey from WMG centre High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick, one of Made Smarter’s strategic partners, to visit to carry out a ‘digital roadmap’ assessment.
Nat said: “The majority of our customers are based in the UK although last year we manufactured washroom cubicles for Tamale International Airport in Ghana.
“Our machining services include cutting, sanding and edge-banding which gives a smooth, sealed finish and this was an area we wanted to look at becoming quicker to reduce our lead times for our customers.
“Previously, the sanding element had been completed manually which as well as being monotonous and boring for those carrying out the work was time-consuming.”
Nasar Jockey, Principal Engineer at WMG, University of Warwick, said: “Unlike some other SMEs, JCM was fairly clear that to fulfil their aggressive growth targets, automation would be a key contributor and had a fair idea of what automation would be required in their digitalisation journey to unlock capacity and improve safety.”