A £41,948 grant from the BIG Productivity fund will help a well-established Cornish engineering technology company, RAM Gasket Solutions, to increase its range, productivity and reduce lead times.
RAM Gasket Solutions has been making gaskets and other sealing products in Cornwall since 1973. From its site in Redruth, the company makes products for a wide range of industries, including nuclear technology, food and beverage, farm machinery, and the aerospace and defence sectors.
The company supplies products across a wide range of industry. Its components can be found in diverse applications from satellites to subsea installations, F1 cars and classics, hospitals, ships and nuclear power, to name a few. RAM supports a range of Cornish business as well as supporting Spaceport Cornwall. Over half of its products are exported worldwide.
John Hicks, Managing Director of RAM Gasket Solutions, said: “If you want to seal between two bits of metal, that’s where we come in.
“We cut two-dimensional shapes from flexible material. We currently list around 1,000 different material variants, and stock about half of that number, and have around 25,000 bespoke tools for cutting out components.
“We always have a continual flow of work at any one time and we are completing around 8,000 to 10,000 parts per day. New customers are coming to us to with new requirements and orders that they need completed quickly every day. We aim to have a basic capability turnaround time of one hour from enquiry to finished and invoiced product.”
Using the grant support from BIG Productivity, as well as its own funding, the company has purchased a computerised cutting and routing twin head table called an Atom FlashCut Twins. The table was originally designed for cutting leather hide and has been specially adapted for gasket cutting. This will give RAM Gasket Solutions additional capacity and joins other tables that are already in use at the business.
“Our original computerised tables were initially for us to do prototype work, but we discovered that we could make products on these tables that we couldn’t do otherwise and they started to fill up with high volumes of orders,” said John.
“The new table will give us additional capacity and increase productivity. We are now able to do 3D profiling as well, creating items such as foam inserts or shapes that can protect different products.
“Our new table is already producing, we definitely have the work for it and it will certainly help us to continue moving in the right direction. We quote for specific requirements, so technical interaction is critical and our team are always on hand to talk to our customers about their requirements.”
Anna Staevska, BIG Productivity’s programme manager, said: “RAM Gasket Solutions is a well-established manufacturing business with deep roots in Cornwall. Through our funding, the company will be able to improve its productivity with a new computerised cutting table which will see it provide its local, national and global customers with their specially-made and unique products faster and more effectively in the months and years ahead.”
BIG Productivity is a £3.1m fund that offers grants from £2,500 up to £150,000 to qualifying small and medium-sized businesses in Cornwall to boost their productivity.
BIG Productivity is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, and is delivered by Cornwall Development Company. It aims to help 175 local businesses become more productive and create 175 new jobs in the Cornish economy.
The fund has also launched a new advisory service to offer strategic, non-financial support to Cornish SMEs. The Advanced Advisory Service (AAS) is looking to engage with 30 ERDF-eligible Cornish SMEs, with a turnover of more than £250,000, on projects that will be a catalyst for growth.