A new UK laser marking firm, ES Precision, has been established from ES Technology, the Rofin-Baasel UK subsidiary that was closed because of rationalisations made by Coherent.
Based in Oxfordshire, ES Precision opened for business in October 2017 after its founders Andrew May and Tim Millard bought the assets and customer base for ES Technology’s laser marking service.
May was also the founder of Baasel Lasertech UK in 1995, which later became Rofin-Baasel UK and will soon become Coherent-Rofin UK.
As part of Coherent's $942 million acquisition of Rofin-Sinar Technologies in November 2016, the American laser giant was also required to sell the Hull-based UK division of Rofin-Sinar last year to address the European Commission's competition concerns regarding the merger.
ES Precision offers laser processing for the medical device, aerospace, electronics and general engineering industries, as well as Formula 1. According to Millard, now managing director of ES Precision, the firm has eight workstations, currently operated by six staff.
‘Turnover for the first quarter was well ahead of expectations so we’ve entered the new year with a very solid start,’ Millard commented. ‘We’ve taken on some part-time staff locally in addition to our six permanent staff to meet the demand peaks. We’ve met delivery expectations 100 per cent so far as a result, which is crucial when a new company is building a reputation.’
The company’s lasers include a 200W CO2 galvo-delivered source that can drill and cut organic materials at very high speed, as well as a lower power CO2 laser with automatic reel-to-reel feeding that is used to mark label data onto any shape label required – the laser also cuts the label profile, therefore no kiss-cutting dies are required. The resulting labels are tamper-evident, high temperature and weather-resistant, so customers use them for tracking and traceability as well as outside use. They can have incrementing barcodes, ID matrices or human-readable characters and cannot be removed without destroying.
‘We’ve also got UV, fibre and vanadate lasers with galvo delivery, so that we can optimise marks on virtually all materials – all metals, most plastics as well as coated materials,’ explained Millard.
‘We have a tool room to fabricate fixtures so that repeat customers are guaranteed consistent results,' he continued. 'The business model needs customers who have a regular permanent identification or decorative need for their products, so ensuring every customer is happy with our service is of course essential.’
According to Millard and May, ES Precision still has capacity to take on more work and can work with volume customers on a development and prototype contract basis to get the right sort of finish on components.