Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Investing for the future: New machinery at Allen Brothers

by Mark Jardine 22 Jan 07:00 PST
Allen Brothers new Haas VF-2 Vertical Machining Centre © Mark Jardine

Exactly a year ago, Allen Brothers purchased a Haas VF-2 Vertical Machining Centre or VMC for short part of a major investment for the company of over £100,000. This has doubled their capacity for producing some of their top-end fittings which require extremely high accuracy, such as the XHL blocks.

Fittings such as the forestay fitting for a 49er require exacting standards due it being an Olympic class, and is exactly this kind of production which has earned Allen such a good reputation for quality components.

With demand for these fittings increasing, so too is the lead time for production, so the investment they've made will satisfy the increased demand from their customers.

"Investing in this machine has made differences in both quantity and quality. In terms of quantity it has doubled our capacity, and so has giving us the capacity to increase our range in products, such as our flagship XHL blocks, expanding from the original 30mm block to now include 20mm and 40mm sheave sizes. In terms of the quality, serving both businesses, such as Ovington Boats, it's enabled us to turn around their requirements, for both prototypes and production runs much faster and with high precision. It has been a real game-changer for us.", explained Liz Adams, Managing Director at Allen Brothers.

Allen has expanded rapidly in the last few years, and it seems every time they increase capacity the demand grows with it, a trend which looks set to continue:

"Ask me this time next year! Certainly 2018 delivered growth and in terms of our resources we haven't just increased capacity by adding new machinery, but we've also invested in IT systems which will allow us to schedule jobs and keep better control of our raw materials purchasing and marketing. We're trying to run a leaner and more efficient operation as well as increasing our overall capacity.", added Liz.

When the A2030XHL block was originally launched it was regarded as a niche product for applications such as the International Moth kicker systems, but the uptake has surpassed expectation with usage through several classes, including a number of keelboats, as Liz describes:

"When you launch a market-leading product, you create a niche. We were relatively confident that by creating our strongest, best and highest performance block that we'd find new markets. We initially thought we'd be selling them in tens, and now it turns out we're selling them in hundreds, and as time goes on, I don't think it's unrealistic to say we'll reach the stage where we're selling them in thousands."

This flagship product is also putting Allen on the radar with marine companies who may previously have looked at other manufacturers to supply their needs. The company has historically enjoyed very strong relationships with the leading businesses in the UK, but it has given them the capacity to go abroad and deal with manufacturers and boat builders throughout the world:

"Boat builders can now be confident that we can now not only supply the quality and precision engineering specifications they demand, but also can provide the number of components they require and give them the customer service to go with it. With new boats, we get involved at the earliest stage possible with the boat builder, advising on how our products can be incorporated into a design."

With Allen's growing reputation both domestically in the UK and overseas we hope to see this expansion continue!

Find out more at www.allenbrothers.co.uk

Related Articles

Give yourself a prosperous New Year
You are in good company with Allen Brothers The team at Allen would like to wish you a very merry Christmas, but when it comes to a prosperous New Year your own choices make all the difference, so you are in good company with Allen. Posted on 12 Dec
New products from Allen at METSTRADE 2019
We speak to Ben Harden about flip-flop blocks, Laser vangs and wave ratchets Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com Managing Editor Mark Jardine speaks to Allen's Ben Harden at METSTRADE 2019 about their new products, including Flip-Flip Blocks, a new Laser specific vang block, A2031XHL-873 and the New Wave Ratchet. Posted on 22 Nov
"More Grip, Less Slip" With New Wave Ratchet
Allen has launched an additional option for its range of ratchet blocks Allen has launched an additional option for its range of ratchet blocks, dubbed the Wave Ratchet, which will offer between 20 to 40%* more grip without adding any additional wear to the rope. Posted on 21 Nov
A Flipping Good Upgrade
A new range of stainless-steel flip flop blocks from Allen Upgraded and Flip Flopping better than ever. The new range of stainless-steel flip flop blocks from Allen has been launched at METS this week. Posted on 20 Nov
New XHL makes eXtremly Happy Laser sailors
New Laser specific vang block, A2031XHL-873 Introducing a new Laser specific vang block, A2031XHL-873 from the UK hardware manufacturer Allen. Posted on 19 Nov
NEW 60mm Tii block from Allen
Addition to the popular performance range of Tii blocks The popular performance range of Tii blocks from Allen has just gained a new addition, the long awaited 60mm version. Posted on 18 Nov
Innovation From Allen At METSTrade 2019
Dame nomination for eco-friendly plain bearing block range Our new range of eco-friendly plain bearing blocks has been nominated for the DAME 2019 Awards at METS this November. The new blocks are recognisable by their grey sheaves and use 100% recycled plastics, while clever design has reduced materials by 20%. Posted on 1 Nov
Allen's new Plain Bearing Block range
Modern design, state of the art manufacturing, eco-friendly Allen are pleased to announce a new range of plain bearing blocks which use modern design and state of the art manufacturing to ensure a more eco-friendly product, delivering enhanced performance. Posted on 29 Aug
Allen Support Burnham Week
Prizes for the dinghy sailors in particular The historic Burnham Week sailing regatta which takes place on the River Crouch on the last week in August will once again be supported by local sailboat hardware manufacturer Allen. Posted on 25 Jul
Allen Launches New Plain Bearing Range
Made using 100% recycled plastics We are pleased to announce a new range of plain bearing blocks, using modern design, materials and state of the art manufacturing to ensure a more eco-friendly product, delivering enhanced performance. Posted on 20 Jun
MBW newsletters (top)