2023 - A Year In Review4th Dec 2023
As we bid farewell to another year, it’s great to take the opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our team in the last 12 months.
As I often talk about, Penta is on a journey to become ‘the engineering company where everyone wants to work and who everyone wants to buy from’. I’m proud to say that we have made great strides towards our vision in 2023.
We started the year strong, with record-breaking figures at the end of our financial year in January. But as you’ve probably gathered about Penta, it’s not all about numbers.
As I reflect, I’m proud that we have continued to deliver the exemplary service that our loyal customers have come to expect from us.
In order to achieve this, we have invested in our team; welcoming 17 new employees and providing continuing professional development to our existing team.
But that’s not the only area we have invested in. We have made significant investments in machinery, welcoming 2 new machines to the workshop floor this year plus a couple of other bits of kit to further improve efficiency.
Join me for a quick whistle-stop tour of the 2023 highlights…
In February, we were delighted to be shortlisted for the Portsmouth News Business Excellence Award for Manufacturer of the Year. While we didn’t win, some of our team enjoyed an excuse to get dressed up and celebrate the best of business in our local area.
New machines galore
In March we welcomed a new VMC1000 to our workshop – this larger machine was introduced to give us more milling capacity. With 4-Axis capability it was introduced to support our drive to further automation.
But that wasn’t the only new machine to arrive weeks later we also welcomed our second Matsuura MAM72-35V and commissioned it at the beginning of April. We’d had such incredible results from our first machine in 2022 that we followed it up with another.
By the end of April, we had achieved 100% uptime over 24 hours and 99% over 48 hours. These incredible automated machines have allowed us to cut lead times, gain efficiencies and pass savings on to our customers.
By June, we were starting to test the limits of our premises. Yes, this is the premises we moved into in October 2021 and we thought we’d grow into over the next decade. We’re not planning another move any time soon, so we sought solutions to free up extra space.
We introduced additional secure storage containers to make room in the workshop for more machines and people.
In July, we were a finalist for SME Business of the Year at the Central South Business Awards after we scooped the Business Growth Award in 2022.
It wasn’t our year this year, but we were proud to be ‘highly commended’ by the judges. I’ve got a feeling it’s not the last time they’ll be seeing us…watch this space!
Cutting edge machining
If you thought we might have used our summer to put our feet up, you’d be wrong!
In July and August we welcomed 2 new pieces of equipment. In our quest to improve our machining speed and efficiency without impacting on quality, we purchased the Ceratizit CCR aluminium trochoidal cutter. This has been a game changer, significantly reducing roughing time and overall cycle time by 20%.
An innovative Ceratizit cutting tool vending machine was another exciting addition to our workshop. Designed to optimise tool deployment and utilisation, this user-friendly vending machine has allowed us to streamline stock management of our cutting tools, minimising excess inventory and maximising efficiency.
A record-breaking month
The first half of September saw record-breaking temperatures across the UK, with daily maximum temperatures exceeding 30°C for seven consecutive days.
Meanwhile in the Penta workshop, we were breaking some records of our own. A huge effort across the team resulted in our most successful month ever in terms of delivery and revenue.
Rising to the challenge
Outside work, members of the Penta team took part in another challenge, travelling to South Wales to ascend Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. If ever there was a demonstration that our team never shies away from a challenge, choosing the more difficult route to the top might have been it!
Addressing the skills gap
Something new for us this year was welcoming our first ‘T level’ work experience students. It has been a real pleasure to help the next generation of engineers learn their craft and do our bit to help address the skills gap and ensure British manufacturing stays for the long term.
We’ve also been busy providing in-house CAD/CAM training to our milling and turning teams – helping develop their computer-aided design capabilities and further strengthen our workshop team’s skillset – this has already been a huge success for the business.
The year of AI?
We closely watched what was happening at the AI Safety Summit at the beginning of November. 2023 has arguably been the year where AI has really taken off and we were interested to see it becoming central to a major global conversation.
Here at Penta, we like to stay on the pulse of technological developments and are always looking for new technology to adopt and improve our way of working. Certainly, we are continually looking at ways to utilise AI in our workflows to support our drive for high-flex automation.
As we head into 2024, I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to our amazing customers who have placed their trust in us. Your business and loyalty are never taken for granted.
There’s nothing left to do but wish you a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to speaking to you in the new year.
If you'd like to talk about your next project or plans for 2024 and how we can work together to achieve your goals please get in touch. We have a team of time-served engineers, speak to one of us on 023 9266 8334 or contact us here.