Titanium parts produced 25% faster

Heller Machine Tools has supplied a large, heavy-duty machine to GKN Aerospace Filton, near Bristol, to rough titanium aircraft components. The machine was installed on budget and ahead of schedule, and has started producing a family of five structural components from titanium forgings, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Six years ago, there was a possibility of the Integrated Machining Facility at Filton also being contracted to finish-machine the components. This work has not materialised, but it meant that a large, five-axis machining centre (from a different supplier) had to be installed at the outset so that both roughing and finishing operations could be completed.
During 2017, the customer doubled the lot sizes to be manufactured, mirroring a similar increase in 2016. A second machining centre was therefore needed to cope with demand, but as the contract remains for roughing only, leaving a 3 mm stock allowance ± 0.127 mm over the entire surface of each part, a more cost effective four-axis CNC machine was deemed sufficient for the task.
Six potential HMC suppliers were considered, half of which were shortlisted. John Hendry, project improvement engineer, and Mike Davis, engineering group leader, opted for a Heller H 1600 with a high-torque spindle. Additionally, despite the machine’s size and rigidity, its installed weight at less than 50 tonnes allowed it to be positioned in the Filton facility (where there is a solid 300 mm thick floor) without the need for any special foundations.
“The Heller machine was the best value solution for us at the quality end of the market,” states Hendry.
For further information www.heller.biz

EMP invests

Lasers have been the mainstay of manufacturing processes at Havant-based EMP Tooling Services for a number of years, with the company previously investing in five laser welding systems and two laser markers.

Most recently, growing demand for precision laser marking across a diverse range of components proved the catalyst for the company’s most recent purchase, a new Foba laser marking system from TLM Laser, this time with the latest ‘Point & Shoot’ technology. Point & Shoot is said to make it easy for the user to position the marking content on the intended product.
For further information www.tlm-laser.com

Apprentice places wanted

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) near Coventry is looking for Apprenticeship Levy-paying companies to take on 60 of the centre’s ‘gold standard’ apprentices from next year’s intake.

MTC is offering manufacturers the chance to use their Apprenticeship Levy to fund engineering apprentices who will get training in product design and development, including the latest emerging manufacturing technologies at the MTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC). The apprentices will begin in September, and will be based at the AMTC for their first year, with secondments to their host employer.
For further information colin.bancroft@the-mtc.org

Global lubricants deal struck

Burckhardt Compression and ExxonMobil have signed a global lubricants collaboration agreement to help deliver increased productivity, reduced costs and greater value to customers.

The collaboration supports new product technology that is engineered specifically for the performance requirements of reciprocating compressor systems. Burckhardt Compression has preferentially endorsed this new product technology for use in its equipment. The offer also includes enhanced equipment performance, and lifetime – as well as lubrication – related services.
For further information www.exxonmobil.com

ETG places emphasis on service

A UK machine tool supplier has appointed a new service manager to help it meet increased demand from precision engineering companies looking for maximum performance from their machines.

Engineering Technology Group (ETG), which has seen sales rise to a record level in 2018, has promoted Tim Dean to lead its new service and maintenance offer, and help customers reduce downtime.
The former apprentice has been at ETG for six years, initially joining the company in 2012 as a field service engineer before becoming a specialist on the German machine tools in the company’s range, including Bavius, Chiron and Stama. Dean is looking to implement a cross-training programme that will see all of the firm’s 20 service engineers develop a level of skill across the machines it sells and supplies.
For further information www.engtechgroup.com