“In our opinion, Qlixbi definitely is an important evolution for welding”

Norlec Sheet Metal embraces the new Qlixbi gas cylinder
Entrepreneurs & Professionals
14 April 2020

Norlec Sheet Metal – one of the UK’s premier sheet metal manufacturers – is based in Leyland, Lancashire. Its modern 55,000 square feet factory houses some impressive high-tech equipment, such as CNC laser profiling machines, CNC punching and folding machines, automatic power presses, and a modern, state of the art, powder coating process with an online Oxsilan pre-treatment system.

“Since the start of the business in 1973, Norlec has gradually evolved into a strong player in the sheet metal market”, explains Norlec’s purchasing manager Tony Trafford. “Today, we supply a wide range of industry sectors, such as construction, agricultural, automotive, trains, heating, switchgear and much more”

From mass production to one offs

Norlec produces sheet metal for UK customers, but also exports to several European countries and Canada. “Our production range is wide and very flexible. We can process an order for, let’s say, 20,000 metal brackets or a single cabinet. There’s no limit really, we can do almost anything related to sheet metal”, Tony adds.

“As a purchasing manager, my job is to make sure Norlec utilises the best products and services to get the job done. Of course, we pay close attention to the price/performance ratio of our suppliers, but we are aware that the cheapest solution is not always the best.”

“We strive for long-term partnerships with our suppliers, but when a new supplier comes up with a significantly better proposal, we might make the switch. Last year we decided to switch from our previous gas supplier to Energas, because they offered a better package and because Energas’ way of working fits us better. It’s an important decision for us, because gases are critical for our production. We use nitrogen, helium, CO2, and oxygen for our laser profiling machines, as well as different argon products for our manual welding stations.”

Qlixbi: safer, easier and saves a lot of time

“One of the first benefits we experienced when we made the switch, is that the ordering process at Energas is largely automated, which saves us a lot of time.”

“But the fact that we can now work with Qlixbi is much more important to us. In our view, Qlixbi definitely is an important evolution for manual welding. Simply put, it’s easier to use and it saves a lot of time. Previously, it was a lengthy, manual operation to change the cylinders, our welders needed to search for the right tool and it took them around ten minutes to change a cylinder. Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you have eleven welding stations in a company – as we do –, it adds up. When using Qlixbi with its unique click-on connector, this operation only takes 30 seconds. It’s also safer because with manual tools there is always the possibility of injury or accidents caused by slippage. Furthermore, because of the quick change there is no gas leaking when using the click-on connector.”

Our welders are all very positive about the Qlixbi, not just about the click-on connector but also because of the hi-vis gas reserve indicator. Before we had Qlixbi, we didn’t use gas level indicators so the welder had no idea that he was about to run out of gas.

Connected services

Using Qlixbi connected services, gas usage and stock are monitored online, and gas supply can be secured. The user is notified when it’s time to reorder or can even have the gas delivered automatically. “We don’t use the Qlixbi connected services yet, but we plan to do so in the near future. Knowing immediately when cylinders are empty will be a huge benefit to us.


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