Surface grinding quest provides perfect result

The Engineering Quest, which has manufacturing facilities in both Milton Keynes and Great Gransden, Bedfordshire, has extended its surface grinding capability with a Perfect PFG 4080 AH semi-automatic machine from RK International Machine Tools. This choice followed a strategic review of existing capacity and the changing requirements of customers, particularly in the oil and gas sector, where the company was witnessing increasing volumes.

Surface grinding at the Milton Keynes facility was mainly manual and this limited production to single components per set-up. With the addition of the semi-automation that the Perfect machine brings, along with its 400 x 800 mm maximum grinding area, it is now possible to load the table with up to 20 components, in some cases increasing productivity by 400%.
The construction of the Perfect grinder uses a spindle design featuring P4 class contact bearings that give runout of less than 2 μm. In addition, the spindle is a cartridge-type that is sealed and lubricated for extended life, while the use of Turcite-B on the slideways further aids precise movement, as well as the elimination of stick-slip.
“We took our time over the decision to upgrade our surface grinding capacity and our cell supervisor played a strategic role in the final selection; we need to know that staff will be happy with the equipment which we provide,” says managing director Steve Matheron. “The choice to go semi-automatic was driven by several factors, one to improve efficiency and two to provide a cost-effective solution that matches the way in which
we utilise machine tools.”
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Online MAS helpdesk

Made in the Midlands has launched the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) as a dedicated online helpdesk and signposting service to support Britain’s manufacturing industry. The launch event was attended by over 150 Midlands manufactures. MAS was initially a Government initiative that was introduced as part of the Business Growth Service (BGS). However, in 2015 the service was ended as a result of funding cuts — much to the dismay of businesses and entrepreneurs. With the launch of the MAS helpdesk, Made in the Midlands hopes to create something that lasts and evolves. “This is the business community showing leadership,” says Jason Pitt, chief executive of Made in the Midlands. “At times of political uncertainty, as we have seen in recent years, this is vital. The UK’s industrial strategy needs to be strengthened, and businesses need to
lead the way and help the sector grow.”

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Semta Skills Awards

An industry-backed set of engineering awards is now open for nominations – and the body responsible is urging talented individuals and companies to put themselves forward to be in with a chance of winning. Semta has been running its annual Skills Awards for five years. The 2018 awards – which will be hosted by BBC journalist, presenter and former Young Engineer for Britain, Steph McGovern – will take place on 1 March at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London, with entries open until 30 November. Over 500 people attended the 2017 awards ceremony, including senior names from industry and politics.

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ActOn appoints Master Abrasives

Master Abrasives has been appointed as an official agent for the range of vibratory finishing machines manufactured in the UK by ActOn Finishing. Companies looking to introduce mass finishing to their manufacturing process can now turn to Master Abrasives for complete solutions and applications advice, whether the process is deburring, descaling, cleaning, polishing or superfinishing. Vibratory finishing machines are available as bowls, troughs, duals and dryers, each with their own advantages. ActOn machines are built with a wear-resistant polyurethane lining to prevent damage and keep maintenance costs low.

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Barometer highlights free trade hopes

SME manufacturers have underlined their hopes for a free trade arrangement with the EU following Brexit, according to the latest National Manufacturing Barometer. The quarterly survey, which questioned 331 industry leaders, asked SMEs to share their concerns about leaving the EU. Maintaining a free trade arrangement was cited as a key priority by around 50% of respondents, as well as the need for the government to move more quickly through the negotiation process.

Conducted by SWMAS (part of the Exelin Group) in partnership with Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), the survey also asked about the impact of the Brexit process on business to date. Worryingly, 41% of manufacturers said it had already had a negative impact, while 47% anticipate that business conditions will get even tougher once the UK leaves the EU.
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