Derw Glass invests in new machine

2 mins read

A glass manufacturer based in rural West Wales has invested in a smart laser cutting machine in a move to boost its production capacity and order book.

As part of a plan to tackle its rising raw material costs, Pembrokeshire based Derw Glass made the decision to invest in the cutting-edge technology to enhance its productivity as it enters a new phase of growth. 

The new machine’s faster heating process and shorter cutting cycles compared with the business’ previous model will increase production capacity by over 30%, enabling Derw Glass to hold 30% more stock and run down backlogs of existing work.

Funded by a £680,000 asset finance package from Lloyds Bank, the new machining technology will also help Derw Glass to increase the quality of its laminated glass products. As a result of the business’ investment, turnover for this year is set to increase by 40%. 

In addition to the new laser cutter, Derw Glass has also recently invested in a new energy efficient glass toughening plant. The new plant has been designed with industry 4.0 data monitoring technology to optimise the machines' efficiency. Since its installation, the business has seen its power costs cut by 30%, saving £4,000 a month. 

The family-owned business was founded by husband-and-wife team Julian and Noela Palmer in 1991. Over the past few years, the duo has continued to expand Derw Glass’ glass processing, decorative and double-glazing product offering across Wales and England. In its near-three-decade history, Derw Glass has grown from a two-person operation to a 41-strong team.

Noela Palmer, Director at Derw Glass, said: “Technology has always been a huge part of how manufacturers get the most out of their product offering, especially with volatility an ongoing challenge for supply chains. Softening these pressures by relieving costs across the board is pivotal to managing our working capital more effectively and unlocking future growth opportunities. 

“Our new machinery is a step towards increasing automation throughout the factory floor and boosting our resilience to manage future economic shocks. The support provided by Lloyds Bank has allowed us to build on our existing investment that will fuel the business’ trajectory for the next five to ten years.”

Adam Russell, Associate Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Derw Glass is constantly pursuing new avenues that benefit both colleagues and customers and the company’s recent growth shows that technological innovation can be a vital component of keeping costs down for customers. This new equipment is helping the business to offer competitive services that help it to stand out among its peers and create a production line that can respond to a wide variety of requests. 

“We will continue to stand by the side of firms like Derw Glass to help them take advantage of emerging trends and opportunities across the region.”