Established in 1989, DCR Machines is a family business, acknowledged as the UK’s leading multiple industry suppliers of machinery for footwear, leather goods, textiles & garments, automotive interior, rubber processing, packaging and gaskets. They offer brand new and rebuilt machinery with UK delivery and installation.
As part of the UK Governments drive to make more PPE in the UK, DCR Machines were asked to supply 10 complete lines of surgical mask making machinery, 170 machines in total. From order to build completion including CE marking of the machinery took them 39 days, it was an amazing project which has opened up a whole new market for them.
DCR Machines are regular exhibitors at our Make it British Live! shows and are taking part this week in our first virtual version of the event.
We caught up with them ahead of the event to find out more about their business.
Can you tell us about the history of DCR Machines?
The business was founded in 1989 supply machinery to UK manufacturers, but by the mid-1990’s a lot of manufacturing had gone offshore and we did even consider opening a factory in North Africa. But we decided to remain in the UK to concentrate on the business which still remained here.
At the lowest point of UK manufacturing, our sales were over 90% export.
As the slow trickle of factories returned to the UK grew, we started to spread our risk over a wide range of industries.
Now our machinery goes predominantly into UK factories with only 10% being export. This is a great endorsement of how much UK manufacturing is growing.
How have you seen the demand for different types of machinery change since the business started?
Over the last 30 years, technology has changed vastly. Factories now demand faster more efficient machinery. Our most popular machines are swing arm clicker presses ad CNC programmable cutting systems.
What are the most popular machines that you sell?
We have probably the largest stock of cutting systems in Europe, and a vast range of new and rebuilt machinery for the sewing, leather and textile trades.
We supply machinery to people trading from their garage to multinational companies.
Tell us about how DCR Machines was involved in the supply of PPE?
As part of the UK Governments drive to make more PPE in the UK, we were asked to supply 10 complete lines of surgical mask making machinery, 170 machines in total.
Dealing with The Cabinet Office was a new experience for us. From order to build completion including CE marking of the machinery took us 39 days.
It was an amazing project which has opened up a whole new market for our business.
we’re now working with other UK factories who also want to make masks, gowns and scrubs. We have also supported the polythene industry who had the enormous task of supplying billions of aprons for the NHS – in 4 weeks we supplied over 80 cutting systems.
All this new PPE work allowed us to swell our workforce to 15 engineers and office staff.
Like many UK manufacturers, DCR Machines is a family business. What advantages do you think that gives you over other suppliers?
‘Working as a family business allows us the flexibility to work outside normal company restraints – ‘opening and closing’ times do not exist!
Whilst this is challenging, we do not really see it as work!
How do you find skilled engineers to work at DCR Machines and do you think schools are doing enough to encourage children to consider a career in engineering?
One of our biggest obstacles going forward is finding good engineers and we would certainly welcome more technical courses within schools and colleges.
What do you think the future holds for UK manufacturing?
Over the last 31 years, DCR Macines has ridden the highs and lows of UK manufacturing.
The growth in factories returning to the UK, existing customers expanding and new businesses starting, is very encouraging.
Certainly for DCR Machines the last 8 years have been very interesting!