News

Automation and Materials Handling

Focusing on the future

Understanding what the future looks like is key to the continued growth and success of L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling.

Talk to anyone at L.B. Foster‘s Automation & Materials Handling business and you will quickly discover the passion behind the people. This is a business that is creating world-class, automated engineering solutions - from debanders for the food and beverage sector to smart bumper assembly machines for the automotive industry. The extraordinary quality of our customer base is captured in just a handful of names. Think of sector leaders such as Britivic and Landrover Jaguar.

Paul Parkinson is Head of Sales & Marketing at L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling. He is leading the charge and sees daily the innovation, experience and expertise that is applied to the advanced, robotic solutions developed at L.B. Foster‘s ‘Automation Centre of Excellence‘ in Nottingham. “We enjoy an unrivalled reputation as innovators and for being able to get the job done. But sometimes you have to delve deep into what you are brilliant at to give focus to your business. That’s exactly what we have done and it has enabled us to identify a number of core strategic areas on which we will focus as the business continues to develop.“

Global reach, local expertise

Over the years, we have serviced a wide variety of clients across a myriad of sectors - from food and beverage to retail, heavy engineering and bulk handling.

Now, as part of L.B. Foster Company - the NASDAQ listed global engineering solutions group - we are looking at ways of bringing together our group capability, drawing on learning and applications beyond our traditional reach that gives us a truly unique competitive advantage.

Alex Morgan is Automation & Materials Handling’s Technical Manager. He explains: “We are part of a $500+ million business. That gives us the resources to take the lead in areas where we know that our innovations are in demand.

“There are few markets more competitive than the automotive sector. It’s a market that we know and understand in depth. What we bring to the table is years of experience and understanding, aligned with capability and proven delivery. We design, build, test, install and service robotic solutions - from automated door assemblies to bumper assembly stations and exhaust leak testing.

“But where we know we can really make a big difference is through the convergence and application of skills from across L.B. Foster Company.”

Our expertise stretches into remote performance monitoring of assets, software development and advanced telecoms. Bringing all of these together and imagining how they can be used to add value to our automation and materials handling solutions opens up amazing possibilities.

Alex Morgan, Technical Manager, L.B. Foster

A clear vision and purpose

Going forward our focus is on three core areas:

  • automatic mechanisation

  • mechanised handling systems

  • bringing together automatic mechanisation and mechanised handling systems in class leading continuous automatic solutions.

Paul Parkinson explains: “At its purest, our strategy is designed to create smart solutions that take away production pain points for our customers. Integral to that is value, safety and efficiency.

“We will achieve this by rationalising and streamlining our solutions portfolio, focussing on core markets in which our reputation shines. That’s about not getting distracted by peripheral opportunities.”

Investment in detailed market intelligence will help shape how the business responds to ongoing market opportunities. Parkinson concludes: “These are very exciting times at L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling. The depth of experience and expertise across the business puts us in a strong position to really push on. With the clear strategic direction that we are now pursuing, ours is a name that will become more and more visible through our association with innovative automated production solutions in each of our core target markets.”