Automation specialists Daifuku AFA and Jervis B Webb have confirmed the formation of a strategic alliance which will provide car makers and industrial manufacturers with a world-class, in-plant, turnkey automation partner. As subsidiary companies within the global Daifuku organisation, the two businesses can provide vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers with the most comprehensive offering of its kind in the industry. This is due to the close working relationship that has been established between Daifuku AFA and Jervis B Webb, as well as the unrivalled global experience gained over 80 years of continual growth.
Based in Milton Keynes, UK, both Daifuku AFA and Jervis B Webb have seen strong growth over the past 12 months. Together, the factory automation specialists act for automotive brands such as Bentley, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, PSA/General Motors, Tesla, Toyota, Volvo and VW. They also provide a range of automation solutions to tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers as well as raw material producers providing steel, aluminium or plastics.
Working more closely together will bring clear benefits to the automotive sector, which is facing significant challenges, such as hybridisation, mass customisation and the emergence of the autonomous vehicle, according to Ian Mole, managing director of Jervis B Webb (pictured). He said: “Since we were acquired by Daifuku back in 2007, our two companies have been working closely on a number of larger automotive and industrial projects.
“This more formal agreement will see Daifuku and Jervis Webb’s teams working even more strategically on elements such as marketing and development of best practice solutions. In reality, this is an approach we’ve been taking for quite some time already. This announcement formalises the partnership and makes it clear to the industrial market in Europe that we’re a major force in automation.
“Given our strong innovation leadership in Japan, our aim is to reflect that dominance across the European automotive and industrial markets, which are seeing strong growth right now.”
Daifuku AFA is well known for bringing innovation to plant process automation. with its use of proven technology that takes vehicles through every stage of the build process. More specifically, this includes bespoke automation solutions for:
- Press shop
- Weld shop
- Main assembly
- Trim and final test
- Paint shop
- Engine test
Jervis B Webb is probably best known in the industry for its long association with Henry Ford, having developed the original chain systems used for the production of the Model T. Since then, the business has continued to provide industrial manufacturing companies across the supply chain with a range of automation solutions. While it continues to provide chain systems and inverted power free systems for paint shops, Jervis B Webb is pioneering the development of next-generation autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs). In Europe alone, the company has installed more than 300 AGVs into OEMs in the past five years alone.