New Milton based BEC Group has turned again to Wittmann technology to help fuel its continuing growth as one of the UK’s most adventurous and ambitious toolmakers and injection moulders.

The company’s most recent purchase – a Wittmann SmartPower 90 injection moulding machine – follows on from a successful commissioning of a Wittmann Battenfeld 240 machine some months previously.

A WIttmann SmartPower 240 Machine
BEC’s Wittmann Battenfeld 240 machine in the factory

From its beginnings – over 46 years ago – BEC’s strategy has been to back its home-nurtured technical abilities and creativity; founded on tool making, design for manufacture skills and cost-effective injection moulding.

BEC’s sixth sense for new markets has often seen it venturing into completely new manufacturing territory – making suites of tools for newly designed automotive parts; for point-of-sale consumer devices and parts for newly designed hi-tech electrical and electronic equipment supplied to OEMs such as Racal (now Thales), Phillips and Quantel.

This year, BEC’s founder director, Geoff Elvy (the ‘E’ in BEC) recently appointed three directors from existing management to the board – Mike Tharme, Paul Holland and Katie Reed.

Geoff says that ‘these organisational changes are part and parcel of the continuing innovation that we put ourselves through at BEC. Our aim is always to keep moving and to be constantly anticipate market trends and market change.’

Elvy’s manufacturing career began with a five-year apprentice at the BTR Group. ‘I consider myself very fortunate to have had such an intensive training in such a broadly based industrial and technical concern – including an 18-month spell in toolmaking – the qualifications and principles of which still informs and guides much of what we do today.’

In its early days the BEC Group used Battenfeld injection moulding machines for its production needs. The first such machine was sourced and installed in 1982. WIBA UK Sales Manager Adrian Walters was responsible back then for the installation and commission of many of these machines. The Wittmann Group bought Battenfeld on April 1, 2008 and many years later Adrian now finds himself supplying Wittmann technology to the same customer.

‘In many ways it’s an ideal situation for us both,’ Adrian says. ‘Not only am I very well acquainted with the BEC business and its aims, I can also appreciate the Battenfeld legacy technology and how Wittmann machines can now deliver quantum improvements.’

In a nutshell the Wittmann improvements are primarily in three areas: energy saving, reduced footprint, and platen area expansion, all of which naturally reduce cost and free other resources. The Wittmann SmartPower brand encapsulates all of these factors and the shop floor testimonials from machine setters and operators are helping to win repeat business. In addition, the reliability and repeatability of the machines’ output is something that the BEC Group sets great store by.

BEC Group’s Managing Director Geoff Elvy

Geoff Elvy notes that ‘our main talents are at the front end of the process  – identifying and helping the client; meeting their manufacturing needs and ambitions and getting their ideas over the line and into production. After that we simply require the moulding process to be conducted as cost-efficiently as possible.’

The fact that WIBA UK handles all after-sales service matters for all aspects of the production cell, including automation, training, guarding and conveying makes that process all the more effective. One phone call to Adrian covers all matters, including issues of future production growth and equipment.’

Geoff says that ‘at BEC we live by the standard that “you’re only as good as your last job” and we encourage our suppliers and customers to apply the same principles. In that sense the future looks promising for our continuing partnership with Wittmann.’ And as BEC’s 50th anniversary approaches Geoff adds that ‘one of our signature characteristics is that we’re always striving to get to where others aren’t. Emerging markets and emerging technologies. That will always be key for us.’

As told to Adrian Lunney.

Whether you’re looking for a new production partner, or assistance with product design, BEC Group are more than pleased to help. Contact us here for more information.