Company News PP Control & automation collaboration

Editor: Steffen Donath

A manufacturing collaboration born in the West Midlands is helping satisfy increasing demand for industrial inventory management solutions in the midst of Covid-19.

Related Companies

Both companies collaborated to produce a secure industrial vending machine cabinet.
Both companies collaborated to produce a secure industrial vending machine cabinet.
(Source: PP Control)

PP Control & Automation and Solihull-based inventory management at the point of use specialist Inventor-e has signed a deal that will extend its partnership to make the most of multi-million global opportunities to supply Smartstores Secure cloud-based technological innovation to customers around the world.

The relationship has seen the two businesses collaborate to develop a secure industrial vending machine cabinet, specifically designed for unmanned/remote stores. These are accessed via an app to effectively manage and control the usage of expensive items.

It is the culmination of initial discussions that first took place in 2013, before a more formal agreement was entered into in 2019 that saw PP C&A support the design, development and manufacture of the systems at its world class facility in the West Midlands.

A dedicated production cell was established to cut lead times by 20 % and help increase capacity to cope with new orders from high profile clients, such as Babcock International and Rexel.

“This is an ideal example of how important ‘outsourcing’ can be for technology disruptors looking to scale-up quickly and get their innovations to market. Inventor-e is continually developing new solutions for point-of-use vending and that’s what it needs to concentrate on to stay at the forefront of the market,” continued Tony Hague, CEO of PP Control & Automation.

“The company needed a manufacturing partner who can not only grow with it, but also contribute its own production knowledge to develop solutions that will improve the end service for the customer — something we have a proven track record of doing and have applied to this project.”

He continued: “It is a very exciting time for Inventor-e as Covid-19 has made firms consider how they minimise human contact but still operate effectively. Smartstores Secure delivers on an operational front and also on legal compliance, so sales are expected to accelerate quickly.”

As part of the ongoing agreement, PP Control & Automation has worked with Inventor-e to develop the products for the North American marketplace, ensuring all systems are fully approved to the relevant UL quality standards.