The mills are the latest stage in a £1 million investment programme at the Surrey, UK-based firm.
The capital expenditure on new machinery supports Amazon Filters’ policy of vertical integration in which manufacturing is increasingly done in-house with less reliance on third parties or sub-contractors. The aim is to support ‘quick and able’ manufacturing.
The new CNC equipment complements a doubling of staff numbers in housing component manufacture from six operatives three years ago to 12 now and with a further appointment due in 2023.
Team members work in a dedicated production hub at the firm’s Camberley factory processing raw, hardcore metal bars, blocks, sheets and tubes into parts ready for welding and final housing assembly.
Tube lengths tend to be three or six metres, weighing up to 130kg and with diameters of 12 or 16 inches. Stored on huge racks, the raw material parts are moved into position for cutting, folding, drilling, marking and other processes using lifting aids including a motorised platform.
Most metal is stainless steel but, for some applications, the nickel alloy Hastelloy is the base material.
The team operates five distinct cells: sheet metal; de-burring and degreasing (the removal of very fine coats of oil); press; fabrication; and machining, which is the most recent cell.
“It’s big-scale work and we represent the start of the process for making housings. In line with the company’s expansion, we moved to our separate and bigger hub from under a mezzanine floor in the main production centre in 2019,” said Adrian Price, Lead Fabricator for Housing Component Manufacturing at Amazon Filters. “The extra space and capacity have enabled us to do far more in-house rather than rely on subcontractors or third-party suppliers. We have more control over what we do, and how, why and when we do it.”
Amazon Filters’ capital investment programme also includes the relocation of storage space and the opening of a new production hall for the manufacture of pleated filter cartridges, a flagship product for the firm.