Bryken triples automated milling capacity with Kingsbury

Who are Bryken, and what are their needs?

Bryken are a leading specialist of precision-engineered bespoke machine components. Headquartered in Knowsley in the North West, they’re a trusted and longstanding subcontractor for blue chip companies across the globe.

They currently operate over 55 machines in their facility, creating automotive parts, power supply equipment, construction plant equipment, and components for hydraulic oil and gas control.

The company has been experiencing a strong growth curve as of late, with turnover growing by 50% between 2021 and 2023. Offshore sales account for more than half of the subcontractor’s work, with the high-voltage power supply sector contributing more than a quarter of their business.

To facilitate their growth, Bryken has been investing substantially in automated technologies, including two automated machining centres from different suppliers to exchange parts fixtured on pallets.

How have Bryken and Kingsbury collaborated?

Bryken and Kingsbury’s successful relationship began in 2022 when they purchased and installed a Hermle C12 machining cell with an integrated RS05 robot, intended to load billets directly into the working area and unload the finished components.

This first cell was purchased after an oil and gas OEM placed an order for 600 new types of manifold, bringing the total number of different parts produced for this customer alone to nearly 1,400.

The installation was followed one year later by a second cell – this time with drawer rather than tray storage.

A similar, even more advanced system with gripper exchange and vice jaw change system was delivered in early 2024, allowing multiple different parts to be left to run without operator intervention overnight and at weekends.

How successful have the automated Hermle machines been for Bryken?

“We opted for an automated cell from Hermle as it was the only solution that was a true billet-handling, 5-axis machining cell with a fully integrated robot. The other systems offered either had bolt-on component handling or were pallet-exchange configurations.”— Phillip Taylor, Director at Bryken

  • Cells active 24/7
  • OEE above 90%
  • Range of batch sizes

At the Knowsley factory, the Hermle cells work 24/7 and have an OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) above 90%. Mr Taylor says that the machines hardly ever stop and that the first two cells produce around 2,000 parts per month.

Bryken have cited Kingsbury’s after-sales support as a contributing factor to their strong relationship and appreciates the fact that two proactive engineers are based nearby in Manchester, should a need arise for servicing, applications support or programming help.

Kingsbury are proud to have contributed to Bryken’s success as of late. Close to 100 staff are employed at the firm now, and a significant majority of turnover comes from turned parts production.

The steep increase in automated prismatic parts machining heralds an exciting further growth phase for the family-run company.