Proto Labs wins Queen's Award for Enterprise
Posted to News on 20th Apr 2010, 22:29

Proto Labs wins Queen's Award for Enterprise

In recognition of its engineering innovation, investment in technology and its outstanding success in European markets, Proto Labs Ltd (of which First Cut Prototypes is a division) has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade.

Proto Labs wins Queen's Award for Enterprise

Proto Labs is based in the UK and has local branch offices in Germany and France. Since it was founded in 2005, the company believes it has radically improved the economics and delivery times associated with the production of prototype and low-volume parts for manufacturers. Customers are world-leaders in many different industry sectors, including medical, aerospace, automotive and domestic appliances.

John Tumelty, Proto Labs managing director, states: "We are absolutely delighted to receive the Queen's Award for Enterprise. This is richly-deserved recognition for the hard work and the dedication of our teams based in the UK, and in our local branch offices in Europe."

Proto Labs has achieved outstanding commercial success with sustainable year-on-year growth. The company's innovative services are used by product designers and product development teams who need prototypes or low volumes of plastic parts delivered quickly and cost-effectively.

Tumelty continues: "For a company working on a new or updated product, time-to-market is critical. To test and develop a product to the point where it is ready for manufacturing means making working prototypes. The longer this process takes, the higher the development cost and the more likely a competitor will launch their product first. Our services allow design and development engineers, even those with very little or no experience of metal-cutting or plastic injection moulding, to order and receive precise, high-quality parts more simply and faster than ever before."

Proto Labs offers two services:

  1. First Cut delivers CNC machined plastic or metal parts in small quantities of 1-10 units
  2. Protomold delivers injection-moulded plastic parts in quantities of 10-10,000 or more

Tumelty explains how customers use his company's services: "Many of our customers use our services sequentially. For example, they may develop a prototype requiring a few parts made by First Cut for initial testing and iterative design improvements, then move to injection-moulded parts from a Protomold tool for marketing trials, final testing or production."

What makes the Proto Labs process particularly innovative is the company's super-computer cluster and powerful software, both of which are continuously developed in-house. Thanks to these, a customer can upload a 3D CAD model of a part to the First Cut or Protomold websites and receive within hours a unique web-based quote, including a detailed manufacturability analysis and an accurate all-in production price. The customer can then place an order in much the same way as purchasing a book from an online retailer. Whichever service the customer uses, the company can ship orders in as little as one day from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility based in Shropshire.

"In just a few years Proto Labs in Europe has helped thousands of companies," concludes Tumelty. "Receiving this coveted Queen's Award makes us all very proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time."

Proto Labs Ltd

Halesfield 8

+44 (0)1952 683047

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