Lancashire manufacturer receives Made Smarter support for smart tech investment

A fifth-generation manufacturer and contractor of steel framed buildings has secured funding to digitise its operations, becoming one of the first in its industry to take up a suite of state-of-the-art technology.

Wareing Buildings worked with Made Smarter to support its adoption of Tekla PowerFab, a suite of software which enables more efficient management of the steel fabrication environment, providing a flow of information throughout the project lifecycle.

Lancashire-headquartered Wareing Buildings submitted its proposal via specialists, Westley Consulting Ltd, working with Rick Patterson to develop a comprehensive digital strategy which demonstrated how embracing digitisation would enable the manufacturing and construction business to achieve an almost 10 per cent productivity gain – equivalent to £3,774 per staff member versus existing productivity levels and a return on investment of more than 220%.

The support marks the first phase in Wareing Buildings’ smart digitisation project, which forms part of a wider business investment and development programme to be completed in the next three years. It is predicted that investment into additional buildings, equipment and technology will total c.£1.8m once the programme is complete.

The Tekla PowerFab suite from Trimble will enable Wareing Buildings to provide customers with real time information on the design, manufacture and dispatch of products via a single online system, which will eradicate the use of paper drawings. By introducing drone surveying and mapping systems, Wareing Buildings will significantly reduce the time spent on site during the initial planning stages of its projects, using digitally captured information which allows for greater precision in measurement and land analysis.

Matt Hastwell, senior draughtsman at Wareing Buildings, said: “Though we already employ digital technology and BIM at the design stage of every project, the majority of our everyday activity – including the processing, tracking and delivery of steel fabrication jobs – has remained a largely manual process. This has created an inefficient environment which we have been keen to step away from for several years.

“We knew that an information management system, through which all of our daily activity – including material ordering, fabrication schedules and deliveries – could be easily processed, managed and accessed would turn our outdated processes on their head.

“Since implementing Tekla PowerFab, the benefits have been clear to see. We are projected to make significant savings in time and money as a result, and we will be reinvesting that freed up resource back into our client relationships, ensuring every single customer is receiving an improved, modern day service from Wareing.

“This type of investment is unique for our industry and we are delighted to be ahead of the curve.”

Rick Patterson from Westly Consulting said: “Its wonderful news to see investment going into a key Lancashire construction firm and enabling a major step forward with this new technology. Many other manufacturing firms could benefit from this exciting new fund and embrace digitisation within their company.”

Wareing Buildings is a family business in Lancashire which designs, manufactures, installs and maintains steel framed buildings for commercial and agriculture sectors.