British loudspeaker manufacturer, EM Acoustics, has expanded its manufacturing facility in Surrey, UK. Part of the expansion includes the investment in new hi-tech machinery to enable much more of the manufacturing process to be performed in house.
“We first moved into our current building in 2014,” said operations director, Mike Wheeler. “We’ve gradually expanded as space has become available, and we now occupy just over 15,000 sq ft, which is three times our original surface. We’ve also tripled staffing levels since 2014 as our operations have expanded. The building now houses just about every part of the production process—from woodworking at one end of the factory, through warehousing, crossover assembly, final production, QC and shipping.”
Apart from the increase in space, which has enabled everything to be brought under the same roof, the element that has made the biggest difference to speeding up the production process has been the investment in a state-of-the-art CNC router. “This is a complete game-changer,” said Wheeler. “We have a 5-axis CNC router that can operate on any plane at any angle, meaning it can basically cut anything we need it to. The ability to create complex 3D geometries in wood, quickly, accurately and repeatably here on site, has made enormous improvements to our R&D process. Ed [Kinsella, technical director] can have parts and prototypes made the same day, even the same afternoon! As our woodwork machining manager, Joolz Dawe says, ‘If R&D can dream it up, I can make it!’”
With the increased space, EM Acoustics has been able to bring all of the woodworking in-house and can now keep much higher stock of all components, enabling the company to anticipate demand more efficiently and react much more quickly, including for custom products when required. “There is no doubt that we are now more efficient and more streamlined at every level of the manufacturing process than ever before, from R&D right through to final shipping,” said Wheeler. “The investments we’ve made in space, machinery and manpower continue to prove their worth every day and it’s exciting to see the company grow and develop as a result.”