Customer Story _Crown_Bending

News Bystronic Provides Some Retail Therapy for Crown

Founded in the late 1990s, Crown Manufacturing has evolved into a true manufacturing success story, overcoming adversity and growing to become a business with a presence on two locations with a team of over 60 staff. Bystronic has travelled this journey with Crown Manufacturing almost since its inception.

Paul Read from Crown Manufacturing says: “We started in the late 1990s manufacturing Lambretta parts, which a hobby and passion of our MD, Dean Harvey and evolved into a business. Now, we manufacture for the retail industry, producing all the fixtures and fittings that are going into a store. We design and produce everything that is hung on a wall and on the mid-floor. Processing sheet metal work that is flat, we have to laser cut, fold and bend it; and in some instances, parts move from folding to our welding area for fabrication work or our paint shop for finishing and subsequent assembly. Ultimately, we start with flat metal sheets and finish with a complete assembly or product.”


As the Somerset manufacturer has evolved, so has the skill set and services. The company now offers everything from design engineering to tube and flatbed laser, folding and forming, fabrication & welding, painting and powder coating, joinery and panel work and more. To arrive at a point where the company can provide a complete solution without reliance on subcontract vendors, Crown Manufacturing has invested heavily in both its staff and technology. As Paul continues: “we found that being dependent on third-party suppliers wasn’t going to enable us to react in every area, to service our customers. So, over the years we have invested to try and bring all the services in-house. Our investment in the last year has been useful to close off that dependency on third-party manufacturers.”


The ongoing investment strategy has seen Crown Manufacturing invest in fiber laser cutting for both sheet and tube materials as well as investment in bending and forming equipment. 


“Another passion of our business is the Ford Willys Jeep, and we now have a website that is all about the refurbishment and restoration of Ford Willys Jeeps. We produce all of the panel work, to full restoration bodies and full restoration Jeeps - from each part to the complete Jeep.”

Like a Phoenix from the flames

A disaster struck the business in 2018 when a fire caught hold of the paint department, creating catastrophic damage to the business. Recalling this, Paul says: “On the day before my birthday in September, we had a disaster that would ruin most companies. We had a fire, a malfunction in our paint shop. One of the benefits of having great relationships with our clients was that they knew we were committed to them as a manufacturer. So, even with the disaster of the fire and having to reduce our staff after losing 50% of our factory - they could see that we were determined to deliver on our promises. The commitment of our customers to us was paralleled by our commitment to them. Now, with the support of our customers and suppliers, we have got back to where we were and exceeded it.”


One thing that the fire did provide, was an opportunity to review processes, workflow and production equipment. As Paul continues: “The fire was something that most companies would struggle to recover from. However, we have some excellent relationships and we had some great support from our customers and suppliers - and after the event, this was coming back to us. Our customers and suppliers could see that if we could build from the disaster, they would build with us and support us. The commitment from the clients was matched by our commitment to the clients.”


“One of the things that came out of the fire was a realisation that we could work smarter with the people and suppliers that we have. Now, we have our in-house development teams with software and apps that make all the processes across the whole business run smoother.”

Crown Manufacturing and Bystronic

Looking at the relationship with Bystronic, Paul says: “Sheet metalwork was always historically done in the 2D world because it comes in flat, and we form it. By bringing this into the 3D world, we have evolved nicely and the fire was the catalyst that brought that to light along with the new machines that we have invested in since that period - as 3D now exists on the machines as well. We can now create 3D models and send them through to the machines. The transfer straight from PC to machine is now a reality and something that Bystronic has supported us with.” 


Since the fire, Crown Manufacturing has invested in machines from Bystronic, and the plant list now includes the Fiber Laser with automation that can load up to 6 tonnes of steel, an Xpert Pro100t 3m, 3 x Xact Smart 100t 3m and an Xpert 40This high-end plant list is complemented by CAD/CAM systems such as Autodesk Inventor; Radan, Alphacam and Bystronic’s Bysoft suite that enables Crown to seamlessly take customers through from concept and design to finished product. 

Investing in tube cutting technology

The latest acquisition that arrived in 2022 was the Bystronic ByTube 130.  This machine features a fully automatic setup, bundle loading, 6-axis control and high-speed and precision cutting that allows Crown Manufacturing to take on and efficiently complete high-quantity orders to a very high standard. Alluding to this, Paul says: “Our latest investment is the tube laser. This takes away the dependency upon a third-party supplier that we did end up struggling with. Integrating the ByTube 130 into Crown’s arsenal of machinery has been revolutionary, as it removes bottlenecks in the manufacturing process by allowing us to schedule and prioritise tube laser work in-line with due dates and urgency.”


In conclusion, Paul says: “The passion for Lambretta scooters is what really started Crown Manufacturing. Our business grew from that to producing for the retail industry - and as much as the fire was a disaster, we bounced out of that to create far more productivity from being better organised. Having a new factory layout will help us to move onto the next level.”



Share page

Crown Manufacturing Parts
Crown Manufacturing Tube Cutting
Crown Manfacturing

Share page