£1m investment in state-of-the-art technology
February 2015 saw the arrival of long-awaited new machinery at SFL’s manufacturing facility and headquarters in Pottington, Barnstaple.
The Flexistar automatic laser tube welder built by German specialists, Weil Engineering commands an impressive footprint of 120m2 and took a week to assemble. The new plant replaces four laser welding machines that have traditionally fed the factory with rolled and welded pipe components. The plant represents a major part of the constant investment programme at SFL.
With fully automated delivery of materials, the Flexistar is capable of handling several diameters and materials simultaneously and can, for example produce alternate inners and outers for twin-wall pipes. An emphasis on quality in the design specification has ensured that the welded pipe produced is better than ever before, in terms of both the quality of the weld and the consistency of production. Products such as NOVA® and SUPRA will benefit from more streamlined manufacturing, whilst the development marks the end of the line for traditional lock-seamed products in stainless steel.
In conjunction with the new pipe production capabilities, a new orbital laser cutting machine, also provided by Weil Engineering is now in operation. This allows us to cut intricate designs into round pipes, and removes processes from the flat-bed laser and welding machines in the production of elbow and tee components. With greater reliance on this new technology, the path is clear for large-scale continuous improvement developments to be made across the factory, bringing faster, more reliable production to our customers.
Stamm International Corporation acquired the assets of Selkirk Manufacturing in 2003. Now known as SF Ltd, the company continues to produce high-quality twin and single wall flue systems for commercial and domestic installation. Through regular investment and development, these products are widely regarded as some of the best on the market.