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  • The Beginning
  • The Beginning
  • The Beginning

The Beginning

Esprit Automation was founded by Geoff Smith and Andrew Cooke in 1986 following successful research and development work conducted whilst studying Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Initially the business was established in Nottingham City Council’s Centre for Product Development located in Lenton, Nottingham. Here, the two founders started work raising money to fund the development cycle, whilst commencing the development of the first profile cutting machine designed to fully exploit the emerging plasma cutting process. Work also started on developing an integrated CAD/CAM system for plasma cutting using a mouse/windows interface. The company was initially supported by the Prince’s Youth Business Trust and the Department of Trade & Industry’s (DTI) Support for Innovation scheme.

The Early Years

CNC retrofits and Procut CAD/CAM sales commenced in 1987 – the company upgraded many older machines in the field to the latest CAD/CAM & Nesting technology. Sales of Esprit Lightning 3000 plasma cutting machines commenced in 1988 and by the early 1990’s the company was exporting a significant proportion of its production to countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Portugal. In 1991 the company moved to larger premises in Long Eaton, a suburb of Nottingham and series production of Lightning machines was started. Esprit selected Hypertherm as its exclusive plasma cutting system supplier in 1991, a partnership which has grown in strength to the present day. The Lightning H Series machines were introduced in 1992 to expand the company’s range: these machines were available in a range of sizes up to 5.5m cut width and 40m in length and were available with single or dual plasma torches and up to six flame cutting torches.

  • The Early Years
  • The Early Years
  • The Early Years
  • The Early Years
Lightning Brochure

High Definition Plasma Changes Everything

High Definition plasma was introduced in 1993 and prior to launch, Esprit commenced a design & development project to produce a machine quite unlike previous generations of plasma cutting machines. The High Definition plasma cutting process dramatically changed the parameters of plasma cutting and a machine with high rigidity, high speed and acceleration and smooth precise motion was required to get the very best from the exciting new process. The Esprit Lightning HD machine was launched later that year and took the market by storm – it became the benchmark for precision plasma cutting tables and the latest generation of the Lightning HD machine today maintains that position. In 1998 the company acquired Placketts Mill, a two acre site which houses Esprit’s head office and manufacturing facility in Sandiacre Nottingham. Since the introduction of the Lightning HD, Esprit has continued to innovate and push the boundaries of plasma cutting machine performance working closely with Hypertherm, Bosch and other key partners.

Present Day

Esprit Automation is a specialist company dedicated to innovating and producing leading edge plasma and flame cutting machines and ancillaries. We are continuously working to push the boundaries of plasma cutting machine performance working closely with Hypertherm, Bosch and other key partners.

The relationship is as strong today as ever and both Hypertherm and Esprit have continued to develop more and more tightly integrated solutions to achieve higher levels of precision, better cut quality, improved reliability and lower running costs. Our staff are experts in designing, manufacturing and supporting our range of metal sheet and plate cutting solutions.

Esprit design engineers work closely with counterparts within Hypertherm to ensure that the Esprit range of CNC plasma cutting machines is always at the forefront of technology.

Present Day


You’ve Read About Us, Now View Our CNC Cutting Machines

Click on a machine to find out more…
  • LightningHD
    Lightning HD
  • Viper
  • Multibevel
  • Lightning S
    Lightning S
  • Cobra
  • Lightning D
    Lightning D
  • Arrow

Contact Esprit Automation

We are always interested to hear from you whatever your reason – please feel free to write, phone or email!

Enquiries: +44 (0) 115 939 1888
General Switchboard: +44 (0) 115 939 1888


Plackett Mill, Church Drive, Sandiacre, Nottingham, NG10 5EE, United Kingdom

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  • "Having dealt with Esprit for 8 years now we have purchased 2 machines from them and found them to be extremely well built. The cut quality is excellent from the thinnest to the thickest plates. From sales and management to technical and service all of their team are knowledgeable, helpful and dependable. They have helped us to grow and as such we would always recommend Esprit."
    - John Ready I General Manager I Eggleston Steel Ltd.
  • "Thanks to our four Esprit Lightning HD1500 x 6.5 m machines the quality and quantity of BM catalysts being produced has increased exponentially."
    - Toby Massey I Managing Director I BM Catalysts Ltd
  • "Don't know why I didn't get one of these machines 10 years ago"
    - Ivan Patterson I Managing Director I Barker and Patterson