Published On: Thu, Sep 11th, 2014

Business is hotting up for specialist aluminium fabricator Polar NE

Polar NE Ltd 2014Long-term business survival comes, in part, from a company’s ability to adapt to market conditions. Knowing this, Polar NE Ltd, a specialist aluminium fabricator established 31 years ago, reviewed its business plan to ensure they could accommodate the industry needs of today and be ready to take advantage of new opportunities.

In the business plan, Polar’s production aim is to retain margin in a returning market, but one they see as having matured and consolidated. They summarised how this aim would be achieved in two primary objectives: reduce waste and inefficiencies and improve quality.

Delivery of these objectives starts in the design and administration offices and follows each production process on the factory floor. Polar believes if you get it right at the front end, the manufacturing chain will run more smoothly. This is why its number of surveyors and designers significantly outweighs its number of fabricators.

Implementation of the business plan began eighteen months ago with the purchase of a new server, thirty two base-units and associated software licenses. Investment in new machinery soon followed. Polar bought an elumatec SLK 118 CNC Profile Machining Centre and an additional elumatec EP124 crimper. Then in May 2014 they ordered a DG 142 double-mitre saw, which will be installed in June. Training to meet CE Regulations will be delivered by elumatec’s production training and support (PST) engineers and internally by Polar’s supervisory and management teams.

Using Logical design software and elumatec’s eluCAD production software the machines are integrated via USB. Although they could be hardwire networked Polar say they find that USB integration best suits their production style.  Integration has increased the speed of data processing. It has also increased accuracy and decreased reworking, thus retaining margin and improving quality and consistency.

Mr. Wade, director of Polar NE Ltd, said: “We manufacture low volume, high variety, specialized aluminium products and as such need machines that are flexible and adaptable to suit each product’s complexity. However, we were recently awarded two contracts, each worth in excess of £1million, for high volume, low variety products. The scale of these contracts is at the opposite end of the spectrum to our usual work but the products are still technically demanding, which is why the clients chose Polar.

“As well as improving our production efficiency and product quality, the arrival of the DG 142 will allow us to create a better working environment. We have revised the factory layout to create a ‘machining zone’. This will give us better noise control and reduce the areas where mandatory ear protection needs to be worn. This zone will make the work place better for everyone.

“The new machines are helping Polar future proof the business. We can produce more products, more accurately, and with more complexity, while maintaining our margin. The SLK 118 has enough inbuilt options to meet the manufacturing demands we’re predicting in our ten year plan so we’ll have the capacity and flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities.

“We considered machines from a number of manufacturers, finally choosing elumatec because of their proven quality and the benefits of continuing to build on an already established working relationship.”

Polar NE Ltd has plans for further capital equipment investment in the next two years. Working in conjunction with elumatec UK they will be adding another CNC profile machining centre to their manufacturing line and introducing bar code scanning to the production process.

For more information email or telephone 01908 580800