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Case Study Scottish importer decides to make its own submarine goods

Editor: Eric Culp

Bowtech Products was established 22 years ago as an importer of articles used for underwater applications. Now the company designs and produces its own equipment.

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Scottish underwater components supplier Bowtech has realised that making tooling in-house can save time and money.
Scottish underwater components supplier Bowtech has realised that making tooling in-house can save time and money.
(Source: Hurco)

Exports at Aberdeen, UK-based Bowtech Products account for two-thirds of turnover, which has helped to double the size of the company's business over the last five years, one reason it won the Subsea UK Global Export Award 2012, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise.

Manufacture of components has historically been subcontracted but is gradually being brought in-house to control costs and quality as well as to shorten lead times from weeks to days. Two CNC lathes and a machining centre from Hurco are said to underpin this activity at Bowtech's production facility on the Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce.

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Typical batch size is 100-off, which is now more economically produced on-site, while small runs and prototypes are machined much less expensively if sent to external machinists.

Cameras and LED lights core Bowtech products, particularly those mounted on remotely operated underwater vehicles. Business has been brisk enough for the addition of internal capacity to reduce subcontracted manufacture; Bowtech's new, dedicated machine shop is slated to open in 2013.

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