In the beginning, they were a small team working within Rolls-Royce plc, now MetLase operates as a global innovation platform at the forefront of the digitalisation agenda.
In 2007 the team of Manufacturing Engineers from aircraft engine and turbine manufacturers Rolls-Royce plc, moved to the Advanced Manufacturing Park, South Yorkshire.
Known as Pro-Laser, the team were responsible for producing high value aerospace fixtures and tooling for Rolls-Royce, using a bespoke innovation system that could rapidly solve engineering problems.
The system combined patented, mechanical joining features, laser-cutting and CNC press-brake technology. The approach delivered superior products (in terms of precision, quality and speed of production) through rapid-iteration, problem-solving and automated machining. Significantly, it involved no manual cutting or welding.
In 2015, multinational logistics and manufacturing business Unipart collaborated on a joint venture with Rolls-Royce. Recognising the huge potential for the patented, mechanical joining and laser-cutting technology in wider manufacturing, automotive and green energy sectors, the Pro-Laser division was officially separated from the wider business and MetLase was incorporated on the 1st September 2015.
Moving to a new and bigger space within AMP Technology Centre in 2016, MetLase has more than quadrupled in size in less than eight years. Now a wholly-owned business in Unipart Technologies Group, MetLase has retained its core automotive and aircraft solutions skills, whilst diversifying into construction, logistics and medical sectors through a new suite of digitalised tools and services.
By reinvented itself as an innovation platform, MetLase supports more customers to do what they do – but smarter, faster and more competitively. By collaborating with the wider Unipart Group, MetLase has evolved its fixtures, tooling and manufacturing systems offer, and created a suite of new digital products to take to market.
MetLase employs over 30 people across a range of roles including high value jobs in mechanical engineering, cybernetics, robotics and automation. The South Yorkshire based business enjoys strong working relationships with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University and currently employs two Sheffield Hallam University apprentices working as embedded electronic engineers.
By locating at AMP Technology Centre, MetLase benefits from close proximity to customers and partners also working in business critical markets, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive and med-tech. When talking about the location and the decision to position themselves within the AMP Technology Centre community, Sales Director Richard Gould, said:
“This is a superb location for MetLase. Our guests are always impressed when they visit us and the facilities across the site and the wider park really does help us to give that ‘big business feel’ which is important to our customer base. We have a high level of footfall here in the workshop and in our dedicated innovation zone. We regularly invite customers to host their external meetings here at MetLase, giving us the opportunity to showcase our world-leading process, and our growing portfolio of innovative products and services.”
MetLase has worked with many of the advanced manufacturing businesses and research organsiations on the AMP. Part of AMP Technology Centre’s innovation community, which is home to over 35 small to medium size businesses, MetLase benefits from game-changing proximity to supply chains, research and development partners, future talent and innovation networks.