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Kerf is part of the family at made profiles
Kerf is part of the family at made profiles
Kerf is part of the family at made profiles
Kerf is part of the family at made profiles

Kerf is part of the family at made profiles

Added to MTDCNC by Kerf Developments Ltd on 03 November 2014

After working in the sheet metal profiling industry for over 20 years, Mark Derbyshire admirably wanted to build his own family business to provide a better future for his young family. Starting with nothing but industry contacts and experience, Mr Derbyshire formed Made Profiles in March and only a matter of months later, the company is already exceeding its projections and expectations. This is largely credit to a management team that helped found the company - a management team that consists of a sales and CAD/production manager both having over 20 years of experience that has been integral in the early success.

When forming the company with limited finances, Mr Derbyshire needed a cutting table that would deliver reliability and first class service levels, first and foremost. The first point of call for the new business to achieve this, was Kerf Developments. As Managing Director of Wigan based Made Profiles, Mr Derbyshire comments: 'As a start-up company buying our first machine, it was imperative that we bought a quality machine with outstanding service levels. This was because if the machine went down, the profit centre of the business would be on-stop. We reviewed the marketplace and the deciding factor was that I worked with Kerf machines in my previous post, so I knew their service and support was second-to-none.'

Whilst Made Profiles set the bar high with its service and reliability expectations, another key factor was the ability of Kerf to manufacture a bespoke machine that fitted the needs of the subcontractor that services the offshore, automotive, rail, construction and bridge building industries. When specifying a cutting table, Made Profiles wanted flame cutting heads for profiling up to 250mm thick steel plates whilst simultaneously requiring high definition plasma cutting capabilities for high speed and high quality cutting of sheets below 25mm thick. Kerf duly obliged by manufacturing an RUM3500 machine with four flame cutting heads for simultaneously profiling multiple parts, plus one high definition plasma head for high speed cutting of thinner profiles.

However, Mr Derbyshire also had the industry nous to specify the Kerf RUM3500 with a particularly large 12 by 3m bed. As Mr Derbyshire continues: 'I wanted a large bed machine for two reasons. Firstly, it would allow us to cut very large profiles whilst also catering for small parts in larger batch sizes using the multiple heads. Most importantly, I wanted a large bed for flexibility and work flow purposes. For example, we are continually growing and the large bed enables us to prepare up to three jobs simultaneously on the machine. This allows us to set-up at one end of the bed whilst an operator is cutting profiles at the other end. This reduces our set-up and lead times drastically and it improves our workflow through the shop-floor.'

This workflow is of particular importance to Made Profiles. One of the founding principles of the business is to deliver quality profiles at lead-times the customer requires. As Mr Derbyshire says: 'In general, the lead-times in the steel profiling industry for small quantity volumes can be quite lengthy, so we aim to work to a lead time of 2-3 days for our customers. To consistently meet our target, the Kerf RUM3500 is running up to 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. Despite this non-stop running, the RUM3500 has been outstanding with no breakdowns or downtime, which justifies why we opted for Kerf.'

The Next Step

The fast turnaround service at Made Profiles has enabled it to exceed its growth expectations in year one. The result of this growth is the imminent delivery of a second Kerf RUM3500 machine. As Mr Derbyshire continues: 'Now we have been operational for a number of months, we have a better projection of what materials, thicknesses and profiles our customers require. Up to 75% of our year 1 work is precision steel profiles up to 25mm thick, so we have ordered a second RUM3500 with a single 275AMP plasma cutting head. More powerful than the existing 150AMP plasma head, the new machine will allow us to cut high quality profiles up to 40mm thick whereas the existing 150AMP head is limited at 25mm thicknesses.'

Once again delivering a bespoke solution, Kerf will add the second RUM machine to the existing 12m cutting table. In addition to this, Kerf will be extending the current 12m bed to 15m. This will effectively provide Made Profiles with the flexibility to manufacture components up to 15m or alternately use the bed as two individual 7.5m machines on a single platform.
As Mr Derbyshire concludes: 'We are cutting anything from mild and stainless steel through to Hardox, Durbar and boiler plates and the new plasma head will improve our through-flow of work and enable us to maintain our benchmark in the industry as a supplier that can consistently meet short lead times. We have built our business on this philosophy and the support of our customers has been outstanding. With such exceptional support from our customers, we will continue to invest to exceed their expectations. Kerf has been, and undoubtedly will be instrumental in our future plans.'

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