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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Wiltshire manufacturer aiming to double production with new bending machine

Picture contributed
Picture contributed
Picture contributed

Alvan Blanch, the Wiltshire-based farming equipment manufacturer, has invested in the largest bending machine of its kind in the UK, which it reckons, will help it double production.

The over 70-year old firm said the new bending cell robot, acquired with the support of a near £700,000 loan from Lloyds bank, will allow it to speed up and reduce the cost of production.

READ MORE: Region's small businesses showcase themselves at Downing Street

It said that the greater level of automation means pre-punched steel sheets can be fed-in by the machine itself, allowing for unattended operation to the very highest precision.

It can also be run overnight, while wireless laser sensors automatically control the bending, delivering a perfect bend every time.

"Automation has been transformative to this business over recent years and despite how far we have come on this journey there is so much more yet for us to achieve," said Andrew Blanch, managing director (MD) at Alvan Blanch.

As part of a wider cost-cutting and sustainability drive, the company has also invested in a new heat-insulated roof for the factory and a new air source heat pump.

Recently, it has also planted up a woodland strip with over 1,000 trees, to create a sheltered corridor for wildlife to pass by the production facility in peace.

Amey Green, associate director at Lloyds Bank said: "Across its seven decades, Alvan Blanch has never been a business to rest on its laurels.

"A consistently forward-looking attitude has helped to drive the firm to its position as a market leader and major exporter. This new investment will help them to drive new efficiencies and maintain its edge in what is a competitive marketplace.

"We’re proud to be able to support Alvan Blanch’s continued growth, both here in the UK and in export markets around the world."

Alvan Blanch products, exported across six continents, help farmers reduce post-harvest losses and improve the value of their crops. The best-selling product, the continuous drier, is responsible for the drying of everything from grain and bananas to woodchip and seaweed.


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Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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