VFE expands its range of services and products to offer our customers increased value and help them to keep their operations running throughout the pandemic and beyond.
As the UK continues down the roadmap out of lockdown, many manufacturers are finding themselves in the position where they can once again make longer-term, more strategic decisions in regards to their operations. For much of 2020, this hasn’t been possible.
Businesses reacted admirably to adapt their processes in line with stay at home orders and health and safety directives, rightly prioritising the wellbeing of their staff. At the same time, manufacturers were forced to make difficult, often knee-jerk decisions regarding their costs, staffing levels and other outgoings in response to the economic impacts of the pandemic.
“Maybe revenues aren't as high as they used to be or you’re having to make difficult decisions regarding your staffing levels. We’ve reviewed many of our project offers with a mind to building efficiencies that help our customers through these challenging times.” Michael Jones, Head of Projects, VFE
To create more value for our customers during and post-pandemic, VFE has invested in the research and development of several new services and products. Many of these launched in 2020 with the aim of reducing costs and creating new efficiencies for our customers.
What were these services and how could they help you to recover, adapt and future-proof your operations as we emerge from lockdown?
New services to improve your operations
We know how much of a headache it can be to keep a handle on servicing and maintenance, never mind in the midst of a global health crisis. Maintenance schedules run on routines, yet the last 12 months have challenged those at every turn.
Operations that would normally run 24/7 have been shut down or reduced, while other production lines were ramped up in response to changing demands. Personnel whose responsibility it is to monitor and arrange maintenance and calibration faced sickness leave, remote working and reduced hours, all of which complicate a process that would ordinarily run like clockwork.
What steps did we take to revise or expand our service offerings and how could you benefit?
Enhanced ServiceCare — bundled offerings, full site contracts and 24/7 cover were just some of the ways we tailored our ServiceCare packages to meet your needs
Pump servicing and maintenance — with standard re-manufacture parts and labour included, these plans were designed to keep your critical systems running
Calibration (UKAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory No.4338) — designed to keep your machines functioning at optimal levels and compliant with your standards
AMCS2.0 for autoclave control panels — our innovative software solution to improve the operability — and efficiency — of all your site’s autoclave ovens
FMCS for furnace control panels — as above but designed specifically for furnaces
Training school courses — our purpose-designed training facility and modules, ideal for up-skilling new staff when ramping up production to pre-pandemic levels or making the most of your engineers’ personal development plans
Remote autoclave/furnace monitoring — if you have our remote monitoring systems installed, we offer remote monitoring via a secure connection to immediately see what you see and quickly diagnose a problem without needing to visit your site
Atmosphere oven maintenance and service — we offer dedicated, end-to-end maintenance, servicing and calibration of all makes of atmosphere ovens/furnaces, taking all the hassle out of your atmosphere oven and furnace servicing.
New products to optimise production
As well as expanding our service offerings, we have brought a range of new products to market to help our customers increase their capacity, boost efficiencies and develop new parts/materials as required.
If you are planning to ramp up operations, designing a new site or seeking to make product investments that will unlock long-term, sustainable operational savings, we can help.
What are these products and how could they improve your operations?
Electron beam welder upgrades — we partnered with global leader Probeam for the supply and installation of electron beam welding machines, enabling you achieve deeper welds, maximise output and manufacture higher-quality parts
Medical Waste autoclaves — in partnership with Akarmak, we can supply and install specialist Medical Waste Autoclave and Rotoclave equipment for disinfecting or sterilising equipment, certain waste category streams and other medical objects
RoMan transformers — because they are water-cooled, RoMan’s transformers are smaller and lighter. This means they can be installed much closer to the heat source, a close coupling that boosts the equipment’s energy-saving properties
Energy saving and dual gas upgrades — automate the shutdown and restart of all your vacuum furnaces, removing your reliance on manual processes and safely reducing your energy costs with our innovative energy saving system
Water system upgrades — in partnership with one of the world’s leading water treatment solutions providers, NCH Chem-Aqua, we offer system upgrades to help you reduce your water and maintenance costs and ensure a safe, reliable operation
Closed cans manufacturing method — this VFE-patented solution is the result of research and development into a more efficient method of making heat exchangers. The result is a method of creating near-perfect joints for a wide range of materials.
Related read: Discover the story behind VFE’s partnership with RoMan.
Looking forward to post-pandemic production: are you ready?
Our new services and product offerings are just two of the ways we have made changes at VFE to support our customers throughout the course of the pandemic. You can read more about what we have done to adapt our operations — and how our customers have benefitted — in this interview with Michael Jones, our Head of Projects.
“On behalf of my team, I wanted to express our gratitude to you for helping us achieve this wonderful result. It was a long road but it was heartwarming to see the amount of effort put in by VFE to get this right for us. The team was 100% responsive to all text communications. Everything was seamless and we were also happy to provide all the support they needed. It was one of a hell of an experience and I’m glad it went well in the end.” Manufacturing Services Leader
For an industry built on processes, the roadmap out of lockdown promises much-welcomed stability. But we are not there yet. And for many, the hard work is just beginning as you review your own roadmaps for the future. In the meantime, we are continuing to identify and develop new and complimentary products/services that will support you and help you to keep your operations running, whatever challenges lay ahead.
How were your operations affected over the last 12 months, what steps have your existing partners and suppliers taken to support you — and how can we help?
For more information about any of the products or services referenced in this article, or to find out more about our commitment to our customers, click the image below to get in touch.