£100,000 investment for aluminium body manufacturer

Posted on 9 Oct 2015 by Fred Tongue

A builder of aluminium bodies for commercial vehicles, Wilcox Commercial Vehicles has boosted efficiency with the purchase of new welding equipment, thanks to fresh investment.

Wilcox Commercial Vehicles builds around 700 units for tipping trailers a year and has been producing parts for bulk load transporting for 40 years.

Since January, Wilcox Commercial Vehicles has seen a 40% increase in productivity.
Since January, Wilcox Commercial Vehicles has seen a 40% increase in productivity.

At the start of the year Wilcox Commercial Vehicles invested more than £3m in an extra 3,000 sqft factory and has seen turnover pushing towards £16m. The firm recently installed specialised welding equipment from Miller throughout the factory.

Due to the increased demand and orders the firm made an investment of £110,000 on new welding systems specifically designed to deal with aluminium.

The firm’s managing director, Vito Ronzano commented: “Welding aluminium presents a number of challenges which can make it more difficult and time consuming – such as the metal’s high thermal conductivity and thermal expansion – but the output and behaviour of the Miller equipment has been especially designed for this.

“It means that we get consistently good results, which in a business that is renowned for the quality of its products, is incredibly important.”

Wilcox bought 12 Miller XR MIG push pull systems and seven Dynasty 350 TIG systems as part of its expansion plans. Both pieces of equipment have an inverter power source which means they take up less floor space, use less electricity, generate less fumes and are cleaner and faster than earlier pieces of equipment.

Wilcox Commercial Vehicles invests in new equipment.
Wilcox Commercial Vehicles invests in new equipment.

Welding application engineer at Miller Weldin,Andrew Foster explained: “Miller has a strong heritage in aluminium welding and the TIG equipment in particular – they actually invented the TIG Squarewave process.

“As a result, Miller’s Dynasty machine is a unique piece of equipment; it has an asymmetric power source and can isolate the weldment from the torch so the torch stays cold while the work heats up. This produces a deeper, narrower and faster weld and makes it 20% more energy efficient than other comparable equipment.”

The equipment was provided by Foster Industrial, which has supplied Wilcox with between 50-60 pieces of Miller welding equipment over the past 15 years.

Ronzano added: “We have always used Miller equipment; the welders like its ease of operation and it gives good results. It may be more highly priced than some of the others out there but this is one of those situations where I believe it is worth paying more to get better results.

“Since January we have seen a 40% increase in productivity. This is largely to do with the new factory where we have expanded capacity and reordered production but there is no doubt that having reliable and consistent equipment plays an important part.”