Bankside Patterson, the UK’s premier manufacturer of chassis for park homes and holiday homes, has installed a four-machine package from TRUMPF as part of a major upgrade process at its headquarters near Driffield, East Yorkshire.
Holiday-home chassis specialist installs four TRUMPF machines
Bankside Patterson, the UK’s premier manufacturer of chassis for park homes and holiday homes, has installed a four-machine package from TRUMPF as part of a major upgrade process at its headquarters near Driffield, East Yorkshire. The machines include the company’s first laser-cutting machine, a TruLaser 3060 fiber, which has replaced plasma cutting, and a TruPunch 5000 punching machine, the capabilities of which have allowed Bankside Patterson to make a challenging new product in-house. Overall, the investment has increased capacity by 50%, eliminated the need for expensive extra shifts and significantly improved product quality.
Established in 1959, Bankside Patterson has a long-standing reputation for quality and innovation in the supply of chassis to the holiday-home and park-home industry. More recently, the company has expanded its range of products and expertise to include steel frames for modular buildings. Employing 180 people at its 100,000ft2 facility, the company has seen turnover double in the past four years to circa £25 million.
There are many reasons for this impressive performance. For instance, the company is arguably best known for changing the holiday-home market with the launch of its Fusion chassis range, which became market leader in less than a year. Furthermore, Bankside Patterson is benefiting from a distinct shift in the holidaying habits of Britons. ‘Staycation’ rather than vacation is seeing more and more Brits opt for holidays in the UK rather than abroad, in turn driving greater demand for holiday homes. As a result, the company’s production shop had become extremely busy, prompting the need for new investment.
“We were running 24/7, which not only meant high overtime costs, but restricted our ability to win new business – we simply couldn’t take on any more,” explains Shaun Gadsby, Senior Sales & Commercial Manager at Bankside Patterson. “We knew that investing in new machines would not only help us return to a standard working week, thus improving profitability, but provide us with latent capacity which we could sell.”
Reviewing the market for a suitable supplier, which included visits to see the technology in action, a team of representatives from Bankside Patterson opted for TRUMPF for two principal reasons: the quality of the machines and the high level of aftersales support.
“If we lose a single day due to machine downtime it absolutely kills us,” states Mr Gadsby. “We are not dissimilar to the automotive industry, where we supply our OEM customers with chassis on a JIT (just-in-time) basis. There is very little margin for delays.” Bankside Patterson duly acquired a TRUMPF TruLaser 3060 fiber laser cutter, TruPunch 5000 and TruPunch 1000 punching machines, and a TruBend 7036 press brake.
“Prior to the TruLaser 3060 fiber we were plasma cutting many of the main chassis members,” explains Mr Gadsby. “Comparing the two processes, the difference in speed and quality of cut is astounding – they are poles apart. The laser cutter is not only extremely rapid, but the clean cuts make plasma cutting look like it has been done using someone’s teeth!”
The TRUMPF TruPunch 5000 has also had a huge impact at Bankside Patterson. Replacing an ageing punch press that was beginning to show efficiency and quality issues, the TruPunch 5000 has allowed the company to make an important new product in-house.
“We have a chassis member measuring 4.5m in length and 500mm high that requires a specialised connection detail,” says Mr Gadsby. “In short, we have to form a ‘cup’ shape into the steel that allows it to mate with another part. Here, we rely on the active die of the TruPunch 5000, which can retract below the work height and therefore produce larger formed features than is possible with other machines.”
The ability to manufacture in-house also provides the company with more control over the quality of its components, and enables quicker responses to changes in customer requirements.
While the ISO 9001 accredited company produces steel parts up to 3mm on the TruPunch 5000, thicker components tend to go on the TruLaser 3060 fiber, sometimes measuring up to 10mm in thickness.
“The two processes complement each other very well,” states Mr Gadsby. “We can move certain parts between the two if necessary to balance requirements. This flexibility is important as we are currently seeing record throughput levels; around 500 chassis a week in up to 250 variations. However, we have only achieved this through our investment in TRUMPF technology. The new machines have boosted our capacity by 50%, while at the same time allowing us eliminate the need for extra shifts.”
Ultimately, benefits such as these have helped Bankside Patterson command an impressive 75% share of the UK market for park-home and holiday-home chassis. Among its customers are major OEMs that include ABI, Arronbrook, Atlas, Carnaby, Europa, Lissett, Swift, Victory and Willerby.