25 Jun 2024

Multi-million-pound investment in Europe’s first robotic automated Electroless Nickel Plating line

CBE+

Chesterfield based family-owned manufacturer CBE+ has made a major £2 million investment in plant to assist in their continued impressive growth journey, by developing and installing Europe’s first robotic automated Electroless Nickel Plating line.  This new manufacturing capability will allow the company to undertake a range of innovative projects at its Chesterfield base, including the processing of small, precision-engineered components in high volumes and the ability to deliver high-quality parts at a consistently high standard.

The automated line from Sidasa Engineering will also facilitate a highly repeatable surface treatment process, reducing the time taken to complete and send large orders to customers and significantly increasing CBE+’s Electroless Nickel production capacity, utilising a FANUC robot system.

Chief Executive Officer, Marie Cooper, said: “This is a significant investment for CBE+ and one that will bring many benefits to the business and our customers. The new plating line reduces the scope for human error by automating dosing control and deposition monitoring and measuring. This results in a consistently high-quality finish on the products we process.”

This is the latest of significant investment in the business, indeed a sum of £4m has been invested over the last 3 years including a new EDM line and merger with Nitec UK at the back end of 2022. The confidence exuded by dynamic CEO Marie Cooper in her vision for the business has seen the firm double its turnover during this period with future growth to £10m forecasted over the next few years.

Cooper continued: “Automating these tasks means we can redeploy skilled employees to projects that require higher levels of expertise. As well as freeing up time from the plating line, we are also automating parts of the jigging process in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). This will enable the team to use their skills and expertise on projects that will interest and challenge them, as well as helping to drive the business forward.”

The CBE+ offering now includes Precision Engineering, Gear Cutting, Assembly and Test Facilities as well as the new EDM plant and Electroless Nickel Plating – taking the headcount at the 70,000 sq ft site in Chesterfield from 65 to 88.

This investment continues CBE+’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, the new nickel-plating line will be linked with the newly commissioned effluent water treatment plant and combined heat and power (CHP) system. The CHP system captures heat generated as a by-product of electrical power generation which is then used to provide heat energy for the surface treatment processes. The effluent plant filters and neutralises all waste chemistry on-site and allows for environmentally safe disposal and recycling.

The new line has now been tested and commissioned to be fully operational from May 2023.