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Bayless invests in new technology

Posted: April 3, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 3, 2012 2:00 a.m.

An operator programs one of two CNC press brakes recently installed at Bayless Engineering and Manufacturing as part of a $2 million investment in equipment that also included a 4,000-watt fiber optic laser cutter and a robotic welder.

 

To assist with growth, Santa Clarita-based Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing purchased $2 million in equipment that automates many of the manufacturing company’s processes, leading to higher production volumes and faster turnaround times.

The manufacturer, which built a niche market catering to companies that require quick turnaround, design changes and custom-fabricated parts, bought several state-of-the-art, large-scale equipment units for use in the manufacture of precision sheet metal.

The equipment includes a 4,000-watt fiber-optic laser cell and two computer numerical control, or CNC, press brakes from Ohio-based Cincinnati Inc., as well as a large part robotic welder from Lincoln Electric, said Earl Bayless, founder and president.

The new equipment and automation capabilities are deemed needed to handle high volume. Bayless anticipates 25 percent growth in 2012.

“I was overwhelmed when I first saw the laser perform,” said Rod Smith, vice president of Bayless, referring to the laser’s high-speed cutting ability.

The laser equipment, manufactured by Cincinnati Inc., is the company’s first fiber-optic laser placement on the West Coast.

“This machine cuts metal up to 1,500 inches per minute, as compared to the previous equipment that was like watching grass grow,” Smith said.

Before a new robotic welder was purchased, the manufacturer produced five units by hand per day. With the new welder, now the company is manufacturing five units per hour, a spokesperson for the company said Monday.

And the company’s new CNC press brakes allows Bayless to quickly change its tooling capabilities.

“The updated technology reduces setup time drastically, which cuts overhead costs,” Smith said.

Bayless is currently running two shifts per day, for a total of 20 hours per day of production. The company has been in growth mode since early 2011, hiring more employees last year and acquiring another industrial building next to its headquarters in the Valencia Industrial Center.

The manufacturer has 200 employees, a 25 percent increase over its 2008 pre-recession staffing levels and a reported 285 percent increase since the recession.

“Manufacturing is localized,” Bayless said. “We compete with the overseas market in some cases, but they can’t compete with us in others, particularly when it comes to low-volume orders.” 

The green movement added to demand for the company’s services and expanded the diversity of its products, the company reported Monday. Bayless recently began manufacturing electric-car charging stations for commercial use and control boxes for wind turbines.

The majority of the company’s client base is in the Southern California market, and Bayless said his company has built long-standing relationships with customers.

“We are very aggressive in seeking out contracts, and we have a never-say-never attitude,” Bayless said. 

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