News

Automation and Materials Handling

Continuous Automation

At L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling we apply our expertise and knowledge for the benefit of businesses seeking innovative solutions that simplify manufacturing processes.

It‘s a skill set that we‘ve been practicing for over 30 years, delivering for some of the world‘s leading manufacturers. So what drives us forward? What‘s the inspiration that makes us always ready to go the extra mile to achieve brilliance?

The answer is it‘s our quest for perfection in the design and creation of continuous automated manufacturing solutions. Every new brief excites, revealing new challenges that spur on our team of accomplished design engineers. Peter Jones is Managing Director of L.B. Foster Europe. He explains: “Harnessing the human capital within our automation and materials handling business is what makes us unique. That‘s reflected in the high quality of our customers and success with repeat orders, such as a recent instruction for a nut and liner machine that we first manufactured over a decade ago.“

L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling is the convergence of two businesses. C.I Logistics, originally based in Leicester and a specialist in unusual and challenging handling and transfer systems, merged with Nottingham-based Industrial Automation Ltd, which became part of the TEW Engineering Group in 2007 before The TEW Group‘s acquisition by L.B. Foster in 2015.

Peter Jones continues: “We have a rich history of delivering excellence. Now we are eyeing the future, fixated on how we combine our automation and materials handling solutions to deliver truly continuous automatic production. That involves bringing together the automated manufacturing machines that we create and integrating them with our expertise in transfer devices, control technologies and materials handling.

What we deliver at L.B. Foster is the whole package. It‘s our goal to make life easier for our customers. That‘s where we excel, creating advanced, automated machines that undertake often monotonous, repetitive tasks with extraordinary levels of accuracy, speed and safety.

Paul Parkinson, Head of Sales & Marketing

“It‘s a natural progression, taking the two successful strands of our business and using our knowledge to bring them together to deliver end-to-end automated manufacturing solutions.

“It’s a strategy that simplifies project integration and streamlines the supply chain. It‘s all about removing customer pain points. Rather than competing businesses delivering individual machines and leaving customers to resolve often incompatible system integration, we fuse everything together with our capability and capacity to deliver the whole integrated manufacturing solution.“

Market demand

The key drivers of continuous automatic production are the same today as when they were first identified by the earliest pioneers of automation.

They include:

  • automation pays for itself​
  • automation increases efficiency
  • automation conserves manpower​
  • automation improves quality​
  • automation increases safety​
  • automation reduces in-process inventory.

Additional economic and social drivers such as environmental impact, recycling and employee mental health reinforce the quantifiable benefits of automation.

Paul Parkinson, Head of Sales & Marketing, says: “What we deliver at L.B. Foster is the whole package. It‘s our goal to make life easier for our customers. That‘s where we excel, creating advanced, automated machines that undertake often monotonous, repetitive tasks with extraordinary levels of accuracy, speed and safety.

“Within our European business we also have a software business. This provides us with huge added value where systems integration is part of a project. This is an in-house capability, with a highly impressive track record working in transportation, social housing and finance. It adds a further string to our bow in terms of our capacity and capability to deliver integrated, continuous automation solutions.”

For further information contact Paul Parkinson, Head of Sales & Marketing pparkinson@lbfoster.com