As we’re so up to date with the current and leading technologies, it might be hard to believe that SSC is actually 18 years old. We’re quite the veterans! It was way back in the September of 2000 that SSC HQ was born, starting small in Hangar 5 as a number of portakabins which the (then small) teams worked out of.
Our CEO, Austin Jarrett, identified that laser cutting would be revolutionary within the engineering and manufacturing industry fairly early on. He knew that projects would take far less time and be less impactful on stretched budgets due to the accuracy that laser cutting could offer, so projects could be completed to specification first time, without causing delays in project deadlines.
It all began in September 2000 for SSC, when we were working in small portakabins in Hixon, West Midlands. It was a small start, but with our confidence in the company it wasn’t too long before we were seeing quick progression. Alongside Austin, Julian Till was another member of our initial founding start-up team, who is now Group Production Scheduler. At this point in our venture, we were working with a BySprint 3015 4.4kW machine.
After seeing our business grow and thrive over its first year, we were able to add another machine to our collection, making a rewarding investment in the Amada 80 Tonne Press Brake with the aim to become the UK’s leading laser cutting ‘one-stop job shop’ by providing supporting services along with the precision laser cutting we provide.
Another positive year meant that in 2003 we were seeing enough business to invest in two new machines for our Hixon laser cutting manufacturing centre, adding the ByTube 3204 and the ByStar 3015 4.4kW to our growing fleet of machines. This was the first year that we moved into Tube Laser Cutting and the company decided to make such a huge investment as we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the competition and become the perfect sub-contract laser cutting supplier.
2003 was another exciting year that solidified SSC’s long-term business success and we were thrilled to be developing quickly and steadily enough to be able to continually invest in the latest and greatest developments in laser technology. We also welcomed Andy Hume, a young and ambitious sales rep to the SSC family in 2003, as the company’s first ever field sales representative after moving back from the North East. Andy is now SSC’s Group Sales Manager and responsible for overseeing the entire company’s sales progress, teams and marketing.
In 2004, after 4 years of stellar effort in true SSC form we built our permanent offices, opening the doors to SSC HQ officially in July of that year.
Hangar 5 was originally built as part of the Second World War effort in 1942, so was in need of a little helping hand to get it to where we needed it to be in order to accommodate the big plans we had for SSC, so that we could continue to thrive in providing expert laser cutting services.
We renovated the venue and created a workspace perfectly suited to providing innovative solutions to complex manufacturing problems! We went from working in 28,000 ft² to an impressive 35,500 ft² and after 4 years of working in portakabins, moving into our new offices was a huge boost for the whole team.
We welcomed the BySpeed 3015 4.4kW to our collection in 2005, continuing to slowly build an army of highly capable and accurate laser cutters, building on the strong foundations we set 5 years previously in September 2000. It was also in 2005 that we welcomed Andy Evans aboard as Sales Director, and he is now Managing Director of SSC Laser Cutting.
We opened our North East offices in Sunderland in 2006, with the intention of broadening the range of clients that SSC could cater for and moving closer to our goal of becoming a leading national provider of laser cutting and supporting services.
In 2006, we also added yet another machine to our Hixon collection, the BySpeed 2015 4.4kW. By continually adding or replacing our assortment of machines, this meant that not only were we able to take on more projects due to the improved technological advancements and capabilities, but we could also begin to reduce our lead times for clients by having multiple laser cutting machines up and running simultaneously.
In 2007 we set up our Derby office and stationed staff members there with leading industry expertise, well equipped to provide our East Midlands based clients with the most effective solutions to their metal manufacturing needs.
To improve upon the number of services we were able to offer our clients at the current point in time, we made a further investment in ByStronic’s Press Brake Machine which supported our Amada machine and offered additional benefits such as dynamic crowning, a compensation system that readjusted the lowest beam to correct any potential imperfections.
Yet another machine was added to our Hixon fleet in 2008, the BySpeed 3015 4.4kW. The BySpeed enabled us to cut steel up to 25mm, stainless steel up to 20mm and aluminium up to 12mm!
2010 saw us reinvest once again by changing the unfaltering Bystronic ByTube for a new state of the art tube machine, the Adige LT8 Tube Laser, which enabled us to widen our capabilities for tube laser cutting projects. Tube laser cutting means that we are able to provide more complex parts to our clients as we are able to cut box section, tube, channel or from angle. By always ensuring we invest in the latest technologies, we are able to take on more client projects and provide more perfect solutions.
2011… you guessed it! We treated ourselves to yet another machine so that we were able to continue to consistently improve the services offered to our clients, both longstanding and new. Our Hixon manufacturing centre received the BySpeed Pro 3015 4.4kW machine. We ensured we continued to buy machines which boasted a 3000mm x 1500mm working area, allowing us to remain consistent with our service offerings for our clients.
2012 was a very significant year in the history of SSC Laser Cutting – we barely sat still! We opened up our East Midlands Sales and Manufacturing Centre in Derby and our South West office in Bristol, along with making our way into Scotland as we opened offices in North Lanarkshire in May.
In January of 2012 we established Manufacturing in our Derby Division at Trafalgar Park and in August 2016 the team saw its best month to date due to an 80% increase in sales. During this time period, we also installed the BySpeed Pro 4.4kW and the Amada 100 Tonne 3 Metre Press Brake.
We opened up our Scotland office in Eurocentral, Motherwell in May 2012, offering premier laser cutting services across Scotland. We stayed in Eurocentral for 3 years until moving to our new Scottish offices in Bellshill in August of 2015.
Due to the ongoing developments in laser technology, 2013 celebrated the addition of the ByAutonom 3015 6kW and Amada HD170 3LNT – meaning we could offer more than ever previously possible. For SSC, this meant that we could greet more complex requirements with open arms, cutting quicker and more efficiently and passing these benefits to our customers.
Christmas came early in 2014, as we ‘unwrapped’ our South West Sales and manufacturing facility in Yate, Bristol in December. We really hit the ground running, picking up more enquiries from all over the South West region and giving fantastic service. This was an amazing achievement that demonstrated the fantastic foundations that were put in place by the sales team in the Aztec West office and our massive growth, and was well worth the company’s huge investment!
Opening up the new manufacturing facility also meant that brand spanking new machines were a necessity, the Bristol division receiving the ByAutonom 3015 6kW & the Amada 100 Tonne 3 Meter Press Brake, whilst the Derby division also received the ByAutonom 3015 6kW. Expanding each division to 6kW technology meant that we could give our clients a lot more as of Christmas 2014 too – more power, more speed, and more efficiency.
2014 was a truly remarkable and memorable year, and we were delighted that our key investments immediately benefited our customers as we were able to reduce lead times for all clients and we were soon turning projects around faster than ever before.
Though the Bristol manufacturing division had only been up and running 3 short months at this point, after seeing a huge increase in demand for our laser cutting services, we decided that it was time that we relieved the Bristol division of some of the demand and shared the workload between more offices.
We therefore decided to open a South-East office which was commissioned in February 2015 in the beautiful city of Canterbury.
In August of 2016, we finished our financial year in true style and invoiced over £1,000,000 for the first time ever in one month – a true landmark and cause for celebration! …and celebrate we did!
We’re predicting big things for 2017 – the introduction of our two new machines in early 2017 (the Adige LT18.10 and ByStar Fiber 3015 10kW with ByTrans Extended features) have yet again expanded our capabilities further afield. This time, we’ve extended into fiber technology which means we’re now able to cut parts without oxidisation, meaning parts will remain aesthetically sound for far longer, we’re able to complete projects in far shorter time scales, and much more! We also have a few plans in the pipeline to expand further into the North East and North West, so that we were able to offer our services to even more clients in need.
Watch this space!