July 2017

Delivering capacity growth at Protolabs with 26 new HAAS CNC machines

Protolabs, the rapid prototyping and on-demand digital manufacturing service provider, based in Telford, Shropshire, announces the acquisition of 26 new CNC machines from supplier, HAAS Automation, in the UK.

This expansion is reflective of the level of innovation in industry and strength in UK manufacturing.  As one of the world’s fastest digital manufacturing sources, Protolabs is in a key position to support manufacturing growth through the production of prototypes and low-volume production runs for businesses, designers and engineers across Europe.

HAAS Automation, the largest global CNC machine tool manufacturer, has supported Protolabs CNC machine requirements since 2005 when the company was established in the UK, with the delivery of 4 machines.  The supplier relationship with HAAS has developed with the current order of 26 machines, where 12 of which are provided with 5-axis capability. The order comprises: 6 VM3 machines and 20 VF2YT. Of the 20 VF2YT model, 12 are for complex CNC machining, with the remaining 8 for CNC machining of moulds and tools for injection moulding.

Lee Ball, Operations Director for Protolabs UK, commented, “Rapid prototyping and manufacturing mid-volume production runs at speed, are essential capabilities valued by our customers which these new machines help us to deliver. Critically, with this additional capacity, we can readily keep pace with production demand, as the requirements of our customers increase across Europe.

Pat Fenn, Commercial Director for HAAS, commented “We have enjoyed a strong partnership with Protolabs, since 2005 when they first established operations in Europe. Since the initial delivery of just 4 machines in 2005, Protolabs impressively has over 130 HAAS machines on-site in Telford and, with 26 machines delivered this month, Protolabs is the biggest user of HAAS machines in the UK.”

Delivered and commissioned in July and August, the latest HAAS machines selected, offer additional capabilities, which add value to Protolabs’ customers.  By introducing a model with 40 tool positions per carousel, this eliminates the need to replace tools on the carousel prior to each order, as the tools are available instantly when required.  Bespoke engineering is a feature of the HAAS relationship, with HAAS adapting the machines to Protolabs’ specific requirements to accelerate the rate at which customer orders can be carried out.  Supported by a programme of planned maintenance for all our HAAS machines, Protolabs has the capacity and capability to meet customers’ CNC demands from across Europe.


Notes for editors

About Protolabs

Protolabs is the world's fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. The technology-enabled company uses advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding technologies to produce parts within days. The result is an unprecedented speed-to-market value for designers and engineers and an on-demand resource throughout a product’s life cycle. Visit for more information.

For more information, please contact:
Sara Richardson at Protolabs:
Communications Manager, Europe
D: +44 (0) 1952 683540
M: +44 (0) 7808 876855

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