Case Study:
Jenton Group

“So far, we’ve been really impressed with PP Control & Automation and how quickly it has got to grips with our system, seamlessly integrating production so it can make them as fast as we can.”

Richard Little, Director, Jenton Group

A new manufacturing partnership between PP Control & Automation and Jenton Group has created the capacity to build new UV technology in volumes that could help protect us from Covid-19 in indoor spaces.

Covid-19 has changed the world as we know it and businesses across the globe are adapting to the ‘new normal’.

Virtual meetings and investment in digital technologies have become common in the workplace and firms are trying to find ways where they can use their expertise to develop innovations that protect us against the virus.

Jenton Group, a specialist manufacturer of packaging automation and UV systems, is one company that has ready-made technology making a real difference to delivering clean air in indoor spaces.

The Hampshire-based business has seen interest surge in its GRU-V® product, a wall-mounted UV Air Disinfection device that exposes ducted air to ultraviolet (UV-C) light to disinfect more than 99.99% of the SARS-CoV2 virus in the air (the virus that causes Covid-19), in addition to influenza and other airborne viruses.

Easily fitted, they are already in place in hundreds of workplaces across the UK, Europe and the US, as well as in residential, commercial, healthcare, medical and education settings.

The scenario

Jenton Group’s expertise traditionally lies in the development and design of innovative new products.

Whilst its manufacturing capabilities can produce small batches of fifty at a time, the management team had identified the need to find an outsourcing partner that could help it rapidly scale-up to cope with the potential of major increases in sales demand.

The firm had already been in discussions with PP Control & Automation about a new ventilator design and how it might use its manufacturing capacity in the West Midlands to create an urgent production line.

This particular project won the Engineer Magazine’s Collaborate 2 Innovate Award, but unfortunately never made it past the design stage, with the Government choosing instead to increase existing supply chains.

What it did do was create the platform for the two businesses to work together and Jenton Group, faced with escalating orders for its GRU-V® system, took the decision to place the first large order for production units with PP C&A at the start of the year.

Jenton Group » image2 Edited » PP Control & Automation

The PP Control & Automation solution

PP Control & Automation immediately created a dedicated manufacturing line at its Cheslyn Hay factory, with a team of engineers assigned to understand the build, before putting in place bespoke production processes that allows for consistent throughput and repeatable quality.

This was achieved in a matter of days from the first parts arriving on site and, from there, PP C&A has taken just a few weeks to complete build and lamp burn testing for the GRU-V® systems.

Supply chain management has also been outsourced meaning that Jenton Group simply provide the initial designs and then wait for first-off inspection and then delivery of the finished product – freeing up its engineers and designers to continue their R&D work and development of next generation products.

“Scaling up is a massive challenge for specialist manufacturers, both from an operational, capacity and sometimes an investment point of view,” explained Tony Hague, Chief Executive Officer of PP C&A.

“This sometimes prevents businesses from taking the next step, often missing that market opportunity in the process. For those that do gamble, many fail due to lack of experience of handling production lines of that magnitude.”

He continued:

“Jenton Group’s UV product range and its effectiveness to combat Covid-19 is gaining a lot of interest and the firm wanted the confidence of having a manufacturing partner they could turn to if volumes quickly escalated.

Tony Hague, CEO, PP C&A

“The order for the first 100 has allowed both parties to dip their toe into a working relationship and how ‘outsourcing manufacturing’ could work. So far it has been a seamless process and should pave the way for new opportunities.”

Jenton Group » Jen 1 Edited » PP Control & Automation

The results

Three months after the initial order was placed and the first shipment of GRU-V® systems has been successfully delivered to Jenton Group’s Hampshire facility…on time, on budget and to the exacting quality standards required.

Processes have been put in place at PP C&A that will speed up future production and the creation of a specialist lamp burn testing facility means everything can be controlled under one roof.

A number of supply chain improvements have been identified that could support greater configurability for future system designs or to enhance other products in the company’s UV range. Richard Little, Director at the Jenton Group, went on to add:

“Using UV disinfection to stop the spread of Covid-19 indoors has had very little coverage, but that is changing as the world adapts to the new normal.

“Our systems use lamps that are proven to kill 99.99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, creating safer educational, health and workspaces wherever they are installed. We have seen a significant increase in demand for GRU-V® and this accelerated the need for us to engage with PP C&A so that we can, importantly, satisfy existing orders and also have a blueprint on how we cope with future sales.”

Richard Little, Director, Jenton Group

He concluded: “There’s always an element of risk to outsourcing, no matter how calculated the decision is. So far, we’ve been really impressed with PP Control & Automation and how quickly it has got to grips with our system, seamlessly integrating production so it can make them as fast as we can.

“I’m confident that we have found a formula that works and look forward to seeing how the relationship develops going forward with higher volumes and additional products.”

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