16 October 2014

Annual job shop business meeting: tools for improving your business

  • Sector: Job Shop Business Meeting
  • Location: Amada UK Ltd, Kidderminster
  • Attendees: AILU Members and all Laser Job Shop Owners




All seems to be going well, with many in the job shop business as a whole reporting record sales. In the hope that the most difficult years are now hopefully behind us and aware of the renewed optimism in the market, this year’s ‘JS’ series of business meetings will focus more on opportunities for growth.

Beyond the specifics of the event, these annual meetings are designed to engender trust between businesses that, though they compete, can often share similar interests, problems and concerns. And I am particularly pleased that the annual job shop meeting this year is at Amada’s newly revamped Kidderminster premises. I for one am extremely happy as last time the meeting was held there (in 2009) we were looked after like kings and the day was a resounding success.

The strength and the benefits of the job shop group grows with the number of members we have and so, for the first time in many years we’re opening up this meeting to all laser job shops and laser user SMEs, not just AILU members. Our confident expectation is that those who see for themselves the benefits of belonging to a friendly group of competitors will want to remain members, but there will be no pressure to join AILU.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Prospering from growth in the UK manufacturing sector?’ The meeting includes a presentation about the exploitation of additive metal manufacturing in a small engineering company, with others addressing laser welding and the requirements of the new ISO EN 1090 standard testing for the cutting of structural parts.

Members continue to report that they have successfully won grants so we have invited representatives from the Manufacturing Advisory Service and Deutsche Leasing to discuss the availability of grants for subcontractors. Then, for the first time we have invited three competing software companies to to compare and contrast their offerings of MRP software.

Other topics include the ever popular overview of results of the 2014 user satisfaction with the breakdown services for flatbed cutting machines and last years gas survey; together with some short commercial presentations selected by the committee, on laser machines and associated equipment, materials and services.

After a good feed we will have our general open question and answer session led by a panel of jobshop owners. This is an open forum where everyone is welcome to participate and it usually gets rather noisy! Then finally we have what is sure to be a most interesting tour of the newly refurbished Amada Technical Centre to see some of their latest cutting, welding and pressing equipment.

Dean Cockayne Midtherm Laser Ltd
Job Shop Chair 2014

Download a flyer here


09:00 – 09:30 Registration & Refreshments

09:30 – 10:30 Presentations 1
Introduction to the meeting
Dean Cockayne Chair of the AILU Job Shop Group

Introduction to Amada
Matt Wood, Amada

Additive Manufacturing for SMEs: Commercial and innovative opportunities
Louise Geekie, Croft Additive Manufacturing Ltd

Laser Wedling as a job shop business
Gary Belfort, Amada

CE marking and the construction industry
Mark Thompson and Gavin Hedge, Initiative Quality and Safety Ltd

10:30 - 11:00 Refreshment break

11:00 – 13:00 Presentations 2
Financial support for SMEs
Huw Jenkins, MAS
David Henshaw. Deutsche Leasing

Software Systems for Material Resource Planning
Kevin O'Connor and Bob Thorne,Radan
paul Such and Peter Horne, Lantek
Chris Cooper, Sigma Nest

Something new: short commercial presentations
A series of short (less than 5 mins) commercial presentations

Overview of 2012/13 job shop surveys
Review of the 2014 Breakdown Service Satisfaction survey
2013 Gas Survey

13:00 - 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 15:00 Question and Answer time
'Prospering from the manufacturing sector upturn' - a panel of job shop owners lead a question and answer session, incluidng:
Dean Cockayne (chair), Midtherm Laser
Dave Lindsey, Laser Process
Mark Millar, Essex Laser Job Shop

Tom Mongan, Subcon Laser Cutting

15:00  Tour of Amada Technical Centre

15:45  Departure


Amada UK Ltd
Spennells Valley Road
DY10 1XS

Ample parking is available.

On arrival you will receive a name badge, a detailed programme and a delegate list. You will also receive a name and password which will give you access for downloading PDFs of the presentations from the AILU web site shortly after the event.

A buffet lunch (including vegetarian options) will be provided, together with refreshments throughout the day. Please advise us of special dietary needs.


This year’s annual workshop is open not only to all AILU members, but also to non-member laser job shops and SMEs that use lasers for materials processing in general.

Existing members need only give their name to the AILU office by phone (01235 539595) or email ( Non members should complete the registration form and post/fax it to the AILU office or register online with a credit card payment.

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNT: Members who register before 1 October 2014 and you will receive a 10% discount

AILU member rate GBP 75.00 + VAT (GBP 67.50 + VAT with earlybird discount)
Concession rate GPB 50.00
Non member rate GBP 95.00

If you later wish an other employee to attend in your place simply let us know; there is no extra charge.

For group discounts (three or more) please contact the AILU office.


Amada is located about 1 mile south of the centre of Kidderminster, to the west of Birmingham. For those travelling by car, see map below and (for Sat Nav users) use the above postcode.

Kidderminster station on the Severn Valley Railway, with a frequet service from Birmingham Moor Street station is only a 5 minute (1 mile) taxi ride away. A map of the location is shown here


The recommended hotels are:
Gainsborough House Hotel, Bewdley Hill, Kidderminster, DY11 6BS. T: 01562 820041

The Menzies, 35 Hartlebury Road, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 9JA. T: 01299 289955

The Mercure, Habberley Road, Bewdley, Kidderminster, DY12 1LA. T: 0844 815 9033

All above hotels have agreed rates of £60 B&B when you mention Amada at the time of booking.

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