Advanced Forming Research CentreIndustry case studies


About the customer

Award winning social enterprise, Haven, is part of Momentum Scotland and the wider Rehab Group. A commercially viable and efficient business, Haven is first and foremost a social enterprise organisation providing long term employment opportunities for disabled and socially excluded people. 

Haven operates from a number of key sites across Scotland, delivering a range of services to a client list ranging from international blue chip firms to local businesses. One of the organisation’s primary focuses is on contract packing. 

Customer issue

Haven approached the AFRC to help it demonstrate the laser etching of wooden whisky boxes used by a long-term customer - an international spirits company based in Scotland. 

Haven wanted to develop a new capability to help achieve the long term objective of returning the manufacturing of the 60,000 wooden whisky boxes that are required by the spirits company each year, from China to Scotland. 

Currently on a 16 week lead time, the move would shorten this to a matter of days, dramatically improving response times to new commercial opportunities.

How did the AFRC help?

Using an Epilog Laser Fusion Etcher, the AFRC successfully demonstrated the process capability and more importantly, the quality output, to Haven. 

The centre’s engineers also showed the company how it would be able to begin developing its own capability in this process that it could then sell to other customers, enabling a market growth for the organisation.

Business impact

Supported by Scottish Enterprise, the successful delivery of the project saw Haven secure funding from Resilient Scotland to purchase three Epilog Laser Fusion Etchers of its own. 

The organisation is now in advanced talks with the spirits company regarding the reshoring of its whisky box manufacturing process. The technical support provided by the AFRC has been vital to the success of these discussions, as the customer is very much focused on quality. 

Ultimately this project could see Haven employ six of the country’s most disadvantaged people.