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Automation is the way forward for the manufacturing world MattressTek Directors explain

Automation is the way forward for the manufacturing world

MattressTek Factory
MattressTek Factory

British machinery manufacturer MattressTek has established itself as a leader in the provision of machines for the mattress industry, including foam processing, with successful export across the US, Mexico, Europe and Australia

MattressTek Directors, Shaun Peel and Michael Birtwistle, have over 40 years worth of combined experience in the industry and are strong advocates for automation in production lines, supporting the inevitable transition to digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0, efficiency and sustainability, as well as dealing with the labour shortage the industry is facing.

“Automation is the way forward” Technical Director Shaun explains. “We are always keen to explore where we can reduce and prevent issues occuring, in the early stages of our assessment of customer lines, as well as streamlining production, increasing capacity and saving time by speeding up the process.”

With a team made up from a mix of designers and engineers, its positioning as a provider of quality, robust and reliable machines and conveyors has contributed to their success in America, Europe and even Australia, with the installation of production lines for the bed industry and beyond.

“Innovation and problem-solving are at our core, and this has led to investment in a number of areas of the business. With a focus on minimizing downtime for manufacturers; preventing bottlenecks and ensuring the most efficient use of time and resources, we help to identify areas of improvement for our customers across the globe, whether that is a lack of space or reduced workforce.”

C90 Tec 90 Degree Mattress Turning Conveyor
MattressTek also offer a range of conveyors

Fellow Director, Michael Birtwistle, highlights the benefits of their offering in supporting automation:
“There are a whole host of machines needed to help manufacturers to make their products – positioning, stuffing, stitching, sewing, unbaling, gluing, turning, flipping, inspecting and packing. Our machines meet those needs and allow seamless addition into any existing production lines, many being built bespoke to specific requirements.”

“This means that there is minimal disruption during installation, which is also done by our expert fitters. Automating the production process also helps to deal with the labour lag the industry is currently facing.”

Michael continues: “We have developed and refined our machines, with regard to the design, hardware and programmable technology, allowing us to adapt them to fit into limited space at factories, as well as incorporating sensors to flag up when material runs out or threads break, for example.”

Some of MattressTek’s recently developed machines include its Stacker and Stuffer, as well as 90/180 degree turning and flipping inspection and straight-line belt and roller driven conveyors. They are also working on a roll packing machine that will allow an operator to feed pocket springs or a complete foam mattress in, as it is pressed, rolled and wrapped, ready to pack or transport on a pallet.

Hot Glue Bridge
Hot Glue Bridge

Machines such as the Hot Glue Bridge, which applies glue to foam buns and layers mattress filling components before they are pressed together by the Tamping machine, are also getting attention, meaning they are ready to further meet the needs of their customers across the globe, driving exports, as well as satisfying their UK clients too.

Backed by its reputation for quality, servicing and the fulfilment of repairs, MattressTek’s development has also included expansion of its team in various areas including fabrication, installation and electrical, as well as supporting the design and build teams.

This has coincided with other internal investments too: “We have been able to attract local skilled workers, tripling our workforce over the last two years. Adding to this growth, we have invested in internal processes and systems to make it a safe, efficient and enjoyable place to work.

“We have invested in a Material and Resource Planning system to streamline, track and plan production and resourcing, which will support the sustained global export of our range. We have also aligned our marketing to showcase the full product range and our development, taking on a full-time member of the team.”

Shaun said: “We have added the full range of machines and conveyors to our website and created downloadable technical product sheets for all of the products and a catalogue too. We are working to present case studies of previous and ongoing projects, in the UK and US, to show our versatility and the bespoke design and build offering.”

Although they are busy fulfilling orders of their customers throughout the UK, 70% of their production is exported across the globe and this spread will continue to grow.

“Growth has been pretty rapid, attributed to the onboarding of staff members and the development of existing products and processes, along with the introduction and development of new machines. We will continue to export to our customers across the US, Europe, Mexico and the UK, as well as having a presence at bed industry, machinery, automation and manufacturing events too.”


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