The theme of the open house was MACH SPEED, which involved visitors being asked to estimate the time required to manufacture a component for an off-road vehicle.

A 3D model was unfolded of a large back plate produced from 4mm mild steel for a Thwaites three-tonne dumper truck. In less than one minute, a laser cutting program was exported to a fibre laser machine with the correct blank allowance and the required press brake bending program was created.

The part was then profile-cut on a Bystronic 10kW ByStar Fiber. It was subsequently bent on one of the company's latest press brakes, an Xpert 150, without program adjustment and with a full tool setup included.

Most people overestimated the total production time. The person with the closest estimate each day received a Fitbit watch as a prize.

Says MD David Larcombe: "During the event we sold a number of machines, notably a 10 kW 4020 fibre laser and two Xpert press brakes. We believe the theme was not only interesting to visitors but also an eye-opener in terms of the productivity benefits that can be achieved with modern machine tools.

"UK manufacturing continues to be buoyant, as witnessed by the large number of visitors to our April event. There appears to be an appetite, especially among subcontractors, to increase competitiveness by investing in Bystronic's latest technical innovations."