Catch our video on YouTube


Laser Process has made its debut on YouTube with a video of managing director Dave Lindsey giving an upbeat view of manufacturing at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition at Farnborough recently.

Dave got his three minutes of fame in front of the cameras explaining the success of Laser Process over the last 20 years and giving a very positive assessment of the state of manufacturing.

In the interview for the exhibition audience Dave explains our success has been built on updating technology, to make sure we use the best equipment available, and on great customer service, with staff seeing customers as friends and treating them as such.

He also emphasised that manufacturing is on the resurgence with the sector being talked about in a positive manner.

He said that barring some areas of uncertainty the future for us and the sector generally looks very promising.

Watch the Laser Process Southern Manufacturing video.

Portrait Bench art works scheme marches on


Laser Process's link-up with national transport charity Sustrans to produce more than 200 steel art works has another successful sculpture in place with two more Portrait Benches being unveiled in Havering (left) and Broxbourne.

The characters represented by the statues have all been chosen by the local communities and are part of an ongoing project funded by Sustrans, the national sustainable transport charity.

The chosen characters for the London Borough of Havering are Harry Eccleston OBE, artist and bank note designer, Dick Bouchard MBE, founder of Romford Drums and Trumpets Corps and King Henry VIII.

For their Portrait Bench, voters in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, selected US airman Lieutenant Ellis, who sacrificed a chance to bale out of his stricken aircraft in order to avoid a built up area. He, along with his crew of nine, perished in the crash. Two symbols of the local community, a canoeist and a badger, were also chosen.

Our biggest ever investment with £1m order for new machinery


We are ordering two new Trumpf laser cutting systems, pictured left, which are widely recognised as being the best in the world, updating our current generation of Trumpf machines.

It’ll mean we can continue to provide the very best service to customers using the very latest technology and in addition the new machines will increase our capacity by 25%.

The purchase is part of our commitment to make sure we offer the best in quality engineering to customers with our reinvestment policy that means we continually update machinery.

This latest investment marks the 10th and 11th systems we have ordered from Trumpf since buying our first machine from them in 1994.

Managing director Dave Lindsey said the investment shows the strength of Laser Process and our faith in the economic upturn.

“This investment will ensure we’re using the very latest and the best equipment to keep on providing the best quality to our customers,” he said.

“We’re able to make such a large investment because business is improving and the signs are good that the economy is on the way to recovery.”

The new laser cutting systems will be built to order and are set to be installed by the end of June.

Bombardier. Email sent to local MPs today


Email sent to local MPs today.

Dear Sir,

I am managing director of this company, based in Cannock, and I live in Lichfield. Both of these areas together with a lot of the wider Midlands area are going to be affected by the loss of Bombardier in Derby.
I would urge the government to look again at the decision that has been made so that the REAL cost of the purchase can be established.
No government, whatever it’s colour is going to be able to maintain credibility whilst it is putting British workers out of a job at the expense of providing employment for foreigners (albeit EU members).
None of our major competitors in Europe would have made this decision.
Recent signs have pointed to a resurgence in manufacturing, and Britain needs this to continue, but the decision that has been taken is a kick in the teeth of those trying to take manufacturing forward and at a time when we are all being asked to make sacrifices and savings I would have thought that a little help for the British people from the British government is no too much to ask.
We are a company of 40 employees with a turnover of nearly £5m, we are currently installing £1m worth of new equipment, I hope our government doesn’t keep doing its best to prove to me that it is a waste of time and money.

David Lindsey

Lowest Price or Best Value


Lowest Price or Best Value

(Article first published in 2004 and still valid today)

There is a lot of talk these days of ‘Best Practise and Benchmarking’ and no one is going to argue about continual improvement in manufacturing processes and quality systems, but what about purchase management? Where is it written that the best purchase is the cheapest purchase? Who says that lowest price is best value?

Unfortunately this philosophy seems to be endemic these days particularly amongst some of the larger organisations and certainly amongst public bodies. Nothing could be further from the truth however – lowest price does not represent best value. What value do you place on quality, service, trust and the confidence these attributes engender?

Laser cutting is a business like many others. It is competitive and subject to the same rules of engagement as any other business you care to mention. Hey, but let’s think about this, how many businesses can you name where annual investment can be as much as twenty per cent of turnover. That is a staggering figure and one that has to be considered very carefully when calculating working rates.

There is a danger that, in attempting to fill order books during spells of low market activity machine time is sold at rates that customers can ill afford to pass up, but who is gaining from such folly? The customer will gain in the short term, he may make a little extra on the job in hand, or it may be that the job he under quoted suddenly becomes profitable. In the long term, however, he will probably be let down on service, because the supplier will always put more profitable work first or he will be let down on quality because the job is rushed in an attempt to minimise losses. He will probably also have ruined a very good and often long established trading relationship. How likely is the supplier to put himself out to help a customer who is continually putting him under pressure to reduce prices?

The subcontractor will gain work which will fill his machines and may, if he is lucky, cover his overheads, but how is he going to fund a replacement machine when his becomes outdated and uneconomic.

No one is against competition, business thrives on it but crazy sales tactics by some companies are going to kill the industry if they don’t, quickly, come to their senses. We can all accept that we are not going to win every contract and that we may lose out by 1,2,3,5 or maybe 10 percent. That’s alright – we’ll just try harder next time, look at the job more closely and sharpen our pencils. But it is becoming increasingly common to lose jobs by much bigger margins than that. We have encountered situations recently where we have lost long established contracts to competitors offering rates 25-40 per cent below our (already discounted) rates. Why can’t these people see that by quoting realistic rates they can either make more profit in the hours they are working or make the same profit and take a couple of days extra off each week.

In the short term these tactics are likely to keep some companies busy on unprofitable work leaving the better work for those who are serious about promoting the industry. However, in the long term they are likely to lead to expectations of vastly reduced rates across the market place causing a lack of investment funds to carry us forward. If this is allowed to happen it will lead to a downward spiral where it will be impossible to get prices back to a realistic level until many companies have gone out of business. No one wants that, there are no benefits for anyone there but there are plenty of benefits to be had by being realistic now.

Laser cutting is getting cheaper, technology is seeing to that but we have to maintain levels to a degree where the industry can go forward to take advantage of the technology being presented to us. Technology doesn’t come cheap –but neither does redundancy!

The culture of lowest cost wins is one that is going to be difficult to change, although there are some oases of reality, but we really do have to make a stand to ensure that we do not sell ourselves out.

We have a duty to provide the best possible service and quality, to create trust and to build relationships with our customers. All of this contributes towards best value, but comes at a cost. A realistic cost but not, necessarily, the lowest cost.

David Lindsey

Workplace car parking levy


It has been announced today that Nottingham has begun the process of registering companies for the worlpace car parking levy. Basically, every company having car park places is required to register with the local authority and those with 11 or more are required to pay (currently) £279 per year per place.

The levy is on the employer who has the choice as to whether or not they pass on the charge to their employees. The levy will be vatable and if passed on to employees, they must pay it (total £334.80).

When workplace car parking levies were first talked about, a few years ago, it was stated that all proceeds would be ring fenced for transport/environmental projects for a period of ten years. Nottingham now simply state that 'some' of the money will be used for their tram system. This will come as a surprise to no one. 

Employers who have been struggling for the past three years just to stay in existence now have to find more money and if they choose to pass it on, their employees will be required to cough up an amount probably greater than they have recieved in pay increases over those last three years.

it seems to be too late for Nottingham but maybe we should be doing all we can to stop the spread of this tax.

Join us at Subcon 2011


Come and find us at the Subcon 2011 exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham from Tuesday June 7 to Thursday June 9.

The subcontracting and manufacturing technology show brings together hundreds of the best subcontractors in industry from across the UK and around the world.

Please do track us down to see what we can do for you - we’re on Stand B6.

Celebrity touch for national art scheme


Comedian Rob Brydon has come face to face with his image as crafted by a West Midlands engineering firm.

The Gavin and Stacey star said it was an honour to have been immortalised in the life-sized steel sculpture.

He was keen to set eyes on the steel art work made by Cannock-based laser cutting subcontractor Laser Process, which has just been unveiled near the comedian’s hometown in South Wales.

The steel sculpture of the comic sits alongside figures of acting legend Richard Burton and forest ranger Dick Wagstaff, all heroes to the community in the town of Cwmafan near Port Talbot.

The steel silhouettes have been placed alongside a new cycle route and footpath connecting Cwmafan and Port Talbot, running through the Afan Valley.

The TV star said he very much liked being turned in to a statue and got a touch poetic.

“This is a great honour and I look forward to offering weary cyclists the chance to catch their breath,” he said.

“I love the thought of becoming part of the landscape alongside Dick Wagstaff and the great Richard Burton.

“I’m hoping that my sculpture might be able to persuade Burton’s sculpture to quote some poetry of an evening, or at least a bit of War Of The Worlds.”

The artwork is part of a national project called the Portrait Bench – from sustainable transport charity Sustrans who are one of the largest commissioners of public art in the UK.

Laser Process will be involved in making more than 200 of the figures of celebrities and local heroes as part of the project, which will be displayed at more than 70 sites alongside new cycling and walking routes from the Highlands to the south of England.