Express & Star

£1m machine investment proves just ‘Mint’ for the new pound coin

A Black Country-based supplier of high quality punching technology is playing a crucial role in the production of the new £1 coin.

From left: Adrian Haller of Bruderer UK with Mervyn Evans from the Royal Mint

Bruderer UK, which has nearly 50 years’ experience creating world renown precision high speed presses, has installed a state-of-the-art machine into the Royal Mint’s Llantrisant facility, giving the world famous institution additional speed, capacity and flexibility.

Capable of up to 825 strokes per minute, the BSTA 1600-117B2 is responsible for creating the hard cut blanks that form one of the first processes in the manufacture of the new £1 coin.

The machine has been specified with an 1170 mm press bed length and is capable of feeding material up to 500mm wide by 12 mm thick – ideal for tooling relative to different types of currency production now and in the future.

It also comes equipped with the latest B2 control system, meaning everything can be controlled from the Human Machine Interface (HMI), including full operation setting of the feed and speed, together with monitoring control of the whole stamping operation.

“At an investment of over £1m, this is the largest single order ever placed with Bruderer UK and certainly one of the most prestigious, in recent years,” explained Adrian Haller, Managing Director.

“Our relationship with the Royal Mint stretches back nearly 40 years, and as part of its latest round of capital investment, we were asked to tender for a new press. After spending time with the production/engineering team, we identified that the Bruderer BSTA 1600-117B2 as the ideal machine to meet their requirements for greater speed and power – taking them from 125 tons up to a special execution of 180 tons press capacity.”

He continued: “With the tender won, we then had to complete a 3-day factory compliance test with the customer production team ensuring the machine met stringent health and safety and engineering guidelines and delivered the promised performance.

“To give an idea of the machine production speed, it can do 14 coins per stoke and 750 strokes per minute, meaning 10,500 coins every 60 seconds. Extrapolating this shows that over 5 million coins are produced every day, based on a standard 8-hour shift.”

Working alongside the Royal Mint, Bruderer took six months to build the machine and just three days to install the new BSTA 1600-117B2, a process that would usually take over a week.

This was achieved thanks to careful planning, full co-operation of both parties and the expertise of specialist machinery handling firm Flegg Transport. It also took in initial training for more than 30 different staff, including a number of apprentices.

Mervyn Evans, Engineering Manager at The Royal Mint, explained: “We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Bruderer and I am delighted with the performance of the machine so far.

“It is delivering the speed and accuracy we need and is a fundamental part of a production process that will eventually produce over 1.5billion pound coins.

“The larger than normal tool bed also means that a range of materials for different denomination blanks can be processed on the new machine. This is an ideal solution for our growing international client base.”

The Bruderer BSTA 1600-117B2 contains decades of experience and technological advancement to deliver a high-speed, high-performance precision stamping press.

Important innovations have delivered a number of enhanced capabilities that allow the customer to adjust shut height and press speed, together with precision adjustment of the feed pitch accuracy.

These can all be achieved whilst the machine is in operation, allowing the operator to maintain high levels of quality product.

Adrian concluded: “You don’t always get to see what our machines produce, so it’s quite pleasing to know that every time you go to the shops - whatever the coinage used - a Bruderer press will have started the process off!”

Bruderer UK, which employs 13 people, has enjoyed a record 12 months, with turnover set to pass £5m for the first time in its history in this country.