Martin Cairncross Engineering Ltd

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Martin Cairncross Engineering Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Highlighting best practice
Martin Cairncross, founder and
managing director
Fingertip touch pneumatic
scraping system
Martin Cairncross Engineering supplies equipment to
attach to coating machines in the metal decorating
industry to over 120 countries. Founded 40 years ago by
Martin and Linda Cairncross, the company has responded to the
sharp contraction in the UK market by developing export markets
– these now account for some 80 per cent of turnover. Its key
selling point is to offer longer-lasting components at cheaper
cost than available from original equipmentmanufacturers.
During the past decade, government regulation has forced aggressive coatings
on the industry, culminating in new challenges to the life of the existing tools and
equipment, reducing their “life expectancy” to hours rather than days.
Our challenge, therefore, is to develop robust solutions using state-of-the-art
AutoCAD design equipment and to manufacture using the latest computer
numerically-controlled machinery.
It has taken several years of research and development until we found the solution –
the fingertip touch pneumatic scraping system. This led to a patented solution which
would keep the can-making lines running for 48 to 72 hours with five-minute
breaks as opposed to stopping about every seven hours with a one-hour break. The
system also has a unique feature of extending scraper blade life by a factor of four,
and the extra-hard-duty scraper cylinder has an increased lifespan of 20 years.
We launched our new product to the industry at international trade shows in
Germany. These are ideal environments to meet and greet future clients and
personally offer reassurance about our products.
»Founder and managing
director: Martin Cairncross
»Established in 1966
»Based in Caldicot,
»Services: Component
»No. of employees: 6
»2016/17 turnover increased by
70 per cent
»Sales to 120 counties
Martin Cairncross
Engineering Ltd
Given our success at these trade shows
I would strongly recommend attending
with an overhead projector to show
videos. International trade shows
attract businessmen from around
the world and we are very keen to
capitalise on these opportunities. The
ability to handle the product makes
them feel comfortable with the
potential. We decided to apply for the
innovation award at the first outing
and we were delighted to win silver at
the Essen trade fair. This was a strong
recommendation and reassuring for
the clients to see the possible merits of
the new system.
Demand for the equipment pushed
sales up 70 per cent over the 2016/17
financial year and initial installations
took place in the UK and France
followed by the Czech Republic, Israel,
Dubai, Netherlands, Belgium and
Turkey. In recent times the largest
can maker in the world, based in the
USA, heard about our system and sent
a fact-finding party over to assess its
potential. They liked what they saw
and asked us to design a bespoke
system to meet the requirements
of their machines. Our design was
accepted and orders were placed
to run in several of their plants in
The can-making teams agree that the
time taken for expected stoppages
is now only a fraction of what it
was previously, increasing weekly
production by 15 per cent or gaining
one day during a seven-day-a-week
production. This massive increase in
output offers a payback time of a
couple of months.
We see our future as designing more
efficient systems working with new
can-making equipment which will be
capable of increasing production in
the challenging areas that are often
avoided. This is the essence of our
fingertip touch scraping system.
Detecting mist on
Increasing weekly
production by
15per cent or
gaining one day
during a seven-
production – this
massive increase
in output offers a
payback time of
a couple of
Highlighting best practice
Our whole culture is to apply
innovative ideas in a pragmatic
approach, using our knowledge gained
over 40 years within the can-making
industry combined with our dedicated
workforce. This sends out a clear
message to our clients that nothing
is too much trouble and we are more
than willing to meet their demands at
short notice.
Future innovation for quality
Five years of research and
development and several thousand
pounds developing electronics
produced a “mist detection unit”
which allows the can maker to
improve the quality of their product
and reduce wastage. This system
helps the operator locate sheet
contamination the instant it occurs.
On detection, the unit stops the sheets
being fed into the machine, thus
saving thousands of sheets fromruin.
The device also has the ability to
send a message to the print office
showing the time and printing line and
number of sheets which have been
contaminated, or a text message to the
supervisor’s mobile phone.
Consistent export orders
repair and return
The range of our services includes
the servicing and refurbishment of
associated components working
with our equipment. Each year we
import/refurbish/export thousands of
components which are designed to
wear and be periodically resharpened.
Our revolutionary resharpening
technique extends the life of the
scraping edge. The finished components
are checked and certificated on our
quality control system, which replicates
the customer’s production line. This
ensures zero time-wasting when the
component is put into production. It
outperforms our competitors’ service in
many countries, culminating in weekly
batches of components arriving from a
radius of several thousand miles away.
Martin Cairncross Engineering Ltd is
taking a leading role in the development
of sheet preparation with aggressive
can coatings. Fortunately, the industry
supports us in our endeavours and is
very interested when our new products
become available. This reinforces the
ethos of our company that the value of
a business is the people who produce
consistently good products.
Demand for the
pushed sales up
70 per cent
over the
financial year,
and initial
took place in
the UK and
France followed
by the Czech
Republic, Israel,
Dubai, USA,
Belgium and
Mobile sending mist
detection message
Extra-hard-duty scraper
cylinder and blade

This article was sponsored by Martin Cairncross Engineering Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.