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Costa coffee boom boosts KMF production

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When Whitbread purchased Coffee Nation for a reported £59 million, the team at KMF (Precision Sheet Metal) was quick to react.

Having worked very closely with Coffee Nation in the development of its self-service coffee bars, KMF was well placed to meet the increased demands arising from the acquisition.

Initially the requirement was to rebrand existing machines and those on order, to meet the Costa Express brand requirements.

Within one month KMF had achieved this, but a staggering increase in demand for Costa Express machines resulted in a 300% rise in production requirements.

"This 300% increase was managed seamlessly by our production teams thanks to the combination of the people and systems that we have in place," said Terry Kimberlin, KMF UK Sales Manager.

"We carry no finished stock for customers, and everything is produced to an order schedule. The automated manufacturing systems that we use, along with ongoing investment in new capital equipment, gives KMF the flexibility and capacity to respond to increased production demands very quickly."

The production for Costa Express is made up of three products; Touch, Compact and Express Pod variants of its self-service coffee bars.

The Express Pod range of machines saw increased interest from universities, hospitals, railway stations and airports due to their use of chip and pin technology eliminating the need for cash.

KMF is scheduled to produce more than 3,000 Costa Express machines over the next three years with additional demand coming from new markets across Europe.

"The increase in business from Costa Express is making a significant contribution to our sales growth which should see KMF's turnover rise to more than £30 million," added Mr Kimberlin.

"This is helped by our ability to add value to our core competency of sheet metal production by integrating electronics and user interfaces to products for our customers, such as Costa Express."

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