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Interactive Needham Group Case Study

Play the video below and interact with hotpoints to learn more about the story behind the manufacturing partnership with Needham Group and the assembly of its N-Lase range of products.

N-Lase range

Needham Group first ventured into manufacturing laser marking machines in 2019 and has since spent time on fine tuning its range of products, which spans N-Lase Desktop, Desktop Pro, Benchtop, Handheld, Workstation and Integrated Solutions.

Outsourcing partner

The Needham R&D and engineering teams develop new innovative uses for laser technology but it was widely accepted that the department was hamstrung due to a lack of capacity, so the decision was taken to look for an outsourcing partner.

Project team

A meeting between the two businesses was set up and several visits to PP C&A’s world class facility followed, with a project team set up to build the desktop laser machine from a kit of supplied parts.

Free-up capacity

Needham advanced discussions around introducing low volume production – a decision that allows it to free-up capacity and also give it more surplus manufacturing capability.

Strategic arrangement

Once PP C&A proved it could build the prototype machine successfully, a more strategic arrangement was developed, starting with the Desktop and Desktop Pro models and then, over time, moving on to the rest of the N-Lase range.

Dedicated cell

PP C&A has a dedicated manufacturing cell in place boasting four staff supporting the build, plus a wider support team covering the shared functions of Engineering, Supply Chain and Customer Services.

Improving lead times

A few weeks into low volume production and the strategic partnership was already reaping dividends, with lead times halved to just two weeks from the bill of materials arriving.

Quality & efficiency improvements

Quality guidelines were surpassed, and several efficiency improvements identified, speeding assembly up even further and giving Needham designers the opportunity to modify standard models to encompass additional features.

David Needham, Chairman of Needham Group

“We’ve always had demand in this field but could only agree to a limited number of builds. These restrictions have been lifted and we are very excited to make the most of what could be a £multi-million opportunity.”


Needham Group (Interactive Case Study) » IMG 0557 » PP Control & Automation

The full case study

There are exciting expansion plans brewing at Needham Group in Whitchurch, one of the UK’s leading family-run technology companies.

The management team has unveiled a blueprint that will see it more than treble revenues to £30m between now and 2025, with the possibility of creating 30 new jobs in the process.

Founded by Roger Needham in 1962, the firm is looking to achieve this ambitious target by boosting export activity across its three divisions, increased investment in marketing, extending distribution networks and developing capacity to take on more bespoke projects.

Whilst its traditional coding and ink technology businesses will play an important role, it is laser marking – the newest addition to the portfolio – that is offering the fastest route to growth and the biggest global potential.

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