Sapphire supercharges production

Sapphire Glass Merchants has invested in automated Super Spacer application technology and is said to be benefitting from greater efficiency, quality and a raft of new customers.

The Hinckley-based firm acquired a refurbished automated line at the end of 2021.

“We opted to embrace automation because we’d realised we were reaching the limits of what we could achieve doing things the traditional way,” commented managing director, Stefan O’Meara.

“We’d always prided ourselves on quality but maintaining those high standards while keeping up with demand was proving increasingly difficult.

“In that respect, investing in automation has been an absolute positive. Now we’re able to produce 500-600 units a shift just on the line alone,” he continued.

“It’s also allowed us to focus our resources on other areas. One of our specialities has always been slimline heritage units. Before automation, we were producing 1,000 a week – now we have more time to exceed our targets.”

The firm’s choice to invest in a refurbished line has let it embrace automation while also upgrading other areas of its operation.

“We’ve been able to extend our main building and bring in a new software system that’s revolutionising the way we operate, as well as implementing barcode tracking right across the business,” said Stefan.

“The refurbished machine, the extension, and the software investment cost less money combined than a new machine would.

“Existing customers and new prospects have been extremely impressed with the new line,” Stefan said. “Everyone wants to come and see it in operation, and we’ve gained positive steps to reduce our carbon footprint directly off the back of our investment in automation.