Fuel Exhausts, based in Kendal, is investing in a 3D scanner to capture digital versions of parts and components, 3D CAD software, and a 3D printer for producing prototypes of end caps and parts for exhausts.
The £30,000 integrated digital design solution, which has been match funded by the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, will enable the business to design and test product ideas in virtual reality before manufacturing them.
It will radically change the way the business operates, making the prototyping process 14 times quicker, increasing productivity, eliminating waste, reducing costs, and increasing profitability.
Meanwhile, 3D scanning technology will introduce reverse engineering of parts into the business, opening new markets.
The investment will also create two new production operative jobs.
Damian Turner, who runs the business with wife Louise, said: “We are a small but very dedicated team who strive to provide a fantastic product with second to none customer service.
“Over the two decades we have been trading, digital technology has moved to the forefront in many areas of manufacturing, with the support of Made Smarter we are ready to embrace the opportunity it offers to manufacture prototype parts and new products in-house and move into other areas of production for parts and accessories to complement our current range of exhausts.”
The 3D scanning technology will allow Fuel Exhausts to scan a motorbike to give it the capability of reverse engineering of parts and components. It will also enable the business to test new products and design in a virtual environment, before using 3D printing to produce prototypes quickly and cheaply.
Donna Edwards, Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme Director, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Fuel Exhausts on its digital transformation. It is a superb example of a business using technology to transform how it designs, tests and manufacturers products.
“Fuel Exhausts is among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter which include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, a leadership programme, and funded digital technology internships. I would encourage other SME manufacturers to do the same.”