Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Investing for the future: New machinery at Allen Brothers

by Mark Jardine 22 Jan 2019 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

Introducing a new friction reducing fairlead
The A.597 Roller Fairlead from Allen The A.597 roller fairlead, from performance sailing hardware manufacturers Allen, is a cam cleat accessory for mainsheet jammers and is designed to reduce friction and wear from your mainsheet system. Posted on 8 Jul
Choosing the correct Cam Cleat
Available in different materials, sizes and have a wide range of accessories Cam Cleats are available in different materials, sizes and have a wide range of accessories to suit many different applications, so it can be daunting to know which type or accessory is needed to suit specific cleating needs. Posted on 24 Apr
Which Block Do I Need?
Allen help you choose the correct piece of hardware Choosing the correct piece of hardware when making a system upgrade or replacing a broken piece of kit can sometimes be more difficult than first thought. Posted on 26 Mar
Allen High Load Range Expands
More blocks such as doubles, triples and Tii-Ons now available The range of High Load Blocks from Allen is expanding with additions such as doubles, triples and Tii-Ons now available. Posted on 19 Mar
Allen named as official hardware supplier
To the Swedish Sailing Team UK manufacturer of performance sailing hardware, Allen, has been chosen as the official hardware supplier to the SWE Sailing Team, the team incorporates the best talent in Sweden for both Olympic and youth classes. Posted on 4 Mar
Win a £300 Allen voucher at the RYA Dinghy Show
Just guess the number of Allen fittings being used on a Merlin Rocket British manufacturer of performance sailing hardware, Allen, will once again be exhibiting at the RYA Dinghy Show, London. Allen will be hosting a bunch of exciting launches, competitions and showcasing a range of new and existing products. Posted on 10 Feb
More than just hardware manufactures
Video shows how Allen's 60mm Tii on block is made in their Essex workshop The latest offering from performance sailing hardware manufacturer, Allen, is a 60mm Tii on block bringing high performance in a lightweight package for larger boats. Posted on 6 Feb
Allen Endurance Series overall
Second edition of AES saw 150 different entries over the four events The second edition of the Allen Endurance Series (AES) wrapped up at the IOS Round Sheppey Race. The series which included a total of 150 different entries over the four events was again dominated by F18 sailors. Posted on 19 Dec 2019
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 2019
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 2019
MBW newsletters (top)