Across the Atlantic…

Atlantic Machinery Ltd reports doing a brisk trade in new and reconditioned equipment. In addition, the Leicestershire manufacturer has embarked on a programme of overseas trade fairs to help boost its export sales.

It’s the big investment stories that grab the headlines. However, more often companies will buy individual pieces of equipment as the demands of the business change. It’s here that Atlantic has a role to play: it can supply all the equipment for a complete sealed unit manufacturing operation but it is far more common to supply one or two machines to a company upgrading specific operations such as glass cutting and washing.

Atlantic Machinery Ltd has been established for 24 years. Stuart Headington is Managing Director and owner of the business. Ross Worrall joined Atlantic two years ago as Sales Director and brings a great deal of experience from the glass machinery and consumables sectors – to the extent that he provides a great deal of input into the design and specification of the machinery.

Atlantic Machinery at Glassbuild Atlanta, Georgia

The company is perhaps best known for its horizontal glass washing machines. In fact, a range of machines is on offer to meet all the needs of a medium sized IG manufacturer, also covering glass processes such as cutting, washing, arrissing, sandblasting, shape edging and drilling. Atlantic’s dry arrisser with float table is currently a very popular machine.

Atlantic manufactures its own range of machinery, which includes cutting and break-out tables, arrissing machinery, semi-automatic insulating glass (IG) lines and stand-alone machines such as flexible spacer application tables. These are made on the premises in Hinckley, Leicestershire, using a combination of standard and bespoke components. Films of machine models in operation have been uploaded to Atlantic’s website www.atlantic-machinery.co.uk.

The company has filled gaps in its product range by acting as an agent for UK-made Gasfill gas filling machines and Sulak, a Czech maker of entry-level saws, drills and edgers. This way Atlantic is able to meet the machinery requirements of different sized businesses.

Legislation continues to influence the type and specification of machines sold. The impact of the EN1279 sealed unit standard was greater demand for edge sealing equipment as companies began to dual seal their units to satisfy the requirements Part 3 of the standard, for gas filling.

Glassbuild Atlanta, USA

The 2010 revision to Building Regulations Document L requires a greater level of insulation, a common solution being to use soft coat glass. Atlantic offers a stand-alone edge deletion table which is used to remove the coating on the edge of this glass for effective sealant contact. By using a separate edge deletion machine the weight of an edge deletion head is not added to the bridge of the traditional cutting table. This option suits some businesses best.

Atlantic caters for flexible spacer types with its ‘blow suck’ table with spacer gun for manual application. Stuart Headington notes that the launch of rigid warm edge spacer bars has prompted a resurgence of spacer bar cutting and the use of corner keys. IG manufacturers have purchased Atlantic optimised spacer bar saws for this purpose.

Reconditioned machinery

Atlantic is well-known as a supplier of reconditioned machinery. The company regularly updates its website to show the machines available, along with prices and features. Machinery is often acquired as companies upgrade or cease manufacturing. Most machines are stripped down to the metalwork and repainted.

“Reconditioned is still a strong market” says Stuart Headington. “Even a large unit manufacturer that is networked still needs offline equipment as a back-up.”

Sales effort

Stuart Headington estimates that there are around 3,000 IG manufacturers today, much less than before the EN1279 standard became a requirement. Business start-ups are rare these days but he believes that there are still areas of the country where it can be done – namely where a big player is not providing a good service.

This autumn sees the UK manufacturer going on an export drive by exhibiting at Glassbuild America, Ausfenex in Brisbane, Australia, and Glasstech Asia in Jakarta, Indonesia. Working machines were on show at Glassbuild in Atlanta while visitors to the other trade fairs will be able to see video footage of machines at the Atlantic booth. “Our aim is to get a spread of agencies worldwide, especially in growing markets” adds Stuart.

Atlantic Machinery has carved a niche in the UK market by being competitive and is now looking to replicate this success on the global stage.