Dawson Shanahan invests in precision engineering machines to meet demand


We look set to exceed our investment targets this year to meet increasing demand from the power distribution, e-mobility and medical sectors, which is expected to increase further in 2021.

As part of an ongoing strategy of investing in manufacturing assets for maximum long-term benefit, so far in 2020, we have committed over £500,000 on new machinery.

Despite Covid-19 and its impact on the plant – 50% of the staff were furloughed – we have still met the growing demand for precision engineered products and services. As well as a further Citizen ABX and a Schmid T200 Orbital Forge which will be used initially for making plasma nozzle components reducing both material waste and cycle times. This advanced technology delivers excellent precision and efficiency and will enable Dawson Shanahan to optimise cycle times and increase capacity.  

An older machine has been replaced with a more modern Studer CNC Cylindrical grinder. As we manufacture most of the development and production tooling in house for quicker turnaround, this has allowed us to  improve our efficiency.

As part of the investment plan, a further rotary transfer machine is being completely refurbished for CNC control and will be used to meet the increased demand for parts in electric vehicles.

The latest technology in co-bots (collaborative robots) is also part of this investment. In order to automate the loading of parts with short cycle times a co-bot will help to free up skilled operators to work on more interesting projects. Typically, a new part is loaded every 12-15 seconds so having the agility to automate even small batch runs and frequent line changeovers means operators can use their time much more effectively.  In addition, we have two new high precision lathes on order for delivery early in 2021.

Les Reeves, Joint Managing Director at Dawson Shanahan explains: “Despite the phenomenal challenges this year, continual investment in new machinery is a cornerstone of the Dawson Shanahan philosophy. It enables us to consistently meet our customers’ wide range of needs. The new machines will boost our capacity to satisfy the increase in demand from different sectors, ensuring quicker turnaround and deliveries. It ultimately, means we can offer an even more customisable and flexible service.”