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February 24th, 2010
A Lancashire engineering company is gaining a global reputation for improving plant performance after developing high-tech solutions designed to help a wide range of industries maximise productivity and efficiency.
Over the past 15 years Optima Control Solutions Ltd (OCS) has developed an unrivalled reputation for designing, building and commissioning high-quality drive control systems and through its sister company, Infoserve365, is also now a UK leader in managed data collection and analysis
Established in 1995 by two local engineers, Blackburn-based Optima, the brainchild of Michael Hill and fellow managing director Dr Adrian West, has grown steadily and now provides a blue chip service to an impressive client base both here in the UK and overseas, including customers in Europe, China and South Africa.
Despite the recession, the company has more than doubled turnover in the last two years and Michael Hill can see a wider market for their particular skills: “We already have unrivalled expertise in process and plant control systems and many print, paper and converting companies are still running outdated or unreliable equipment. OCS not only develops new control systems but can integrate our cutting edge technology with existing plant to increase manufacturing efficiency and reduce energy usage to a fraction of the cost that new machinery carries.”
A move to larger premises at Capricorn Park, in 2005, saw the formation of Infoserve365 to launch AssetManager – a sophisticated performance management system developed to capitalise on the growing need for an integrated IT system capable of delivering the right information in a user friendly format.
AssetManager is the perfect management tool to improve productivity and drive up Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). Straightforward, yet extremely powerful, this intuitive production reporting system is the best cost-effective solution available for analysing and reporting on a plant’s performance across a wide range of industries, including paper, packaging, plastic film extrusion, printing, cable and wire, rubber, metal processing and textiles.
The out-of-the-box kit comprises data entry touch screen and machine interface equipment, which is easily wired up to operating machinery and run through an internet connection to avoid the need to install expensive on-site servers. Vital technical data is securely stored by Infoserve365 for easy 24/7 access by the customer’s registered users to invaluable business intelligence such as automatic reporting, real time status and aggregated trend analysis.
By designing innovative bespoke products and off the shelf solutions to improve productivity, this British success story is able to punch above its weight and win business across the board from well-known companies, such as Kodak, Camvac, Alcan Packaging and API Foils, to smaller independents.
Michael Hill said: “AssetManager from Infoserve365 is unrivalled for providing business management information from the manufacturing ‘coal face’. When your main focus is to improve productivity and drive up OEE performance, AssetManager is the perfect and most cost-effective management tool available.”
Speaking about the company’s success, he added: “We have evolved with the times by knowing the market and developing the products and skills to offer a service unique in the UK. To minimise downtime, our clients rely on detailed project management and the swift installation of these complex systems and we have built a cohort of highly skilled and experienced engineers to make sure that is exactly what they can rely on.”