Midtherm lasers in on growth after £1.2m machine investment

Gavin Brettell, Linda Whitehouse and Mark Hannon (Midtherm Laser)

Following a £1.2m machine investment, a Dudley laser cutting specialist has increased its capacity and production.

Midtherm Laser, which employs 45 people at its factory on Peartree Lane in Dudley, has installed a new Bystronic Bystar Fiber 12kW laser with part automation – one of the largest purchases in its history.

This will help the company deliver high cutting dynamics and thin to thick cutting capabilities to a customer base of 500 companies across aerospace, automotive and decorative work to food processing, agricultural and conveyors.

It has also made a huge difference to the firm’s environmental performance, with the Bystronic model replacing two older CO 2 machines and is already delivering a 50% energy saving – the equivalent of powering 2100 average homes every month.

Mark Hannon, Director of Midtherm Laser said: “Our expertise in laser cutting and metal forming is respected throughout our sector and has led to us increasing sales by a further 6% last year, a great achievement considering the volatility of the market.

“The knowledge of our experienced people is one of our greatest strengths and we like to complement this with a sustained investment programme that incorporates the latest technology into our production processes.

“The 12kW Bystar Fiber is a class leading machine that can cut from 0.5mm to 30mm in mild steel, aluminium, and a host of other materials. It gives us more capacity to target new opportunities and, importantly, means three quarters of our machines are now fiber technology instead of gas.

“With this in mind, and when you consider we have also invested in LED lighting, sensor switches and electric vehicles and charging for our staff on the road, it’s not difficult to see how we have managed to cut our energy usage in half since 2018.”

Midtherm was originally established in 1968 by Ray Andrews and operated through sister companies offering powder coating, enamelling and UV flues.

There was a laser cutting machine that was occasionally being used at one of the factories and the decision was taken in 2000 to put it to better use by creating a ‘laser’ business that initially employed just three people.

With orders starting to take off, Ray’s son Richard Andrews moved the business to its current 20,000 sq ft factory on Peartree Lane in Dudley in 2004.

It is also the only sub-contract laser provider that can offer the cutting of non-ferrous materials without the risk of cross contamination for industries, including food processing and chemical manufacture.