Honorary degree

One of the West Midlands’ leading female industrialists has been awarded an honorary degree by Coventry University.

Carol Burke CBE, managing director at Unipart Manufacturing Group, was granted the title of ‘Doctor of Technology’ in recognition of her pioneering work in setting up the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering (AME) over five years ago. The experienced engineer was one of the driving forces behind the UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’, helping support a new approach to developing the graduates of the future by making them more industry-ready.
For further information www.ame.co.uk

Mazak posts strong machine orders

Yamazaki Mazak has posted strong results for machine orders in the UK and Ireland, and is looking forward with confidence to 2020. The growth has been achieved across all sectors and machine classes, with particularly positive performances in general subcontracting, aerospace, and the oil and gas sector.

Last year saw a strong performance from Mazak’s five-axis machines, specifically the Variaxis range and Integrex i-series. The company has also reported robust growth for its HCN series of horizontal machining centres, notably in the oil and gas sector, and the UK-built QT machines. In addition, Mazak’s laser division continued to make inroads into the UK market with a strong order book that has led to continued increase in market share, reports the company.
For further information www.mazakeu.co.uk

Aston Martin Lagonda opens plant

Aston Martin Lagonda last month opened its new manufacturing facility in St Athan, Wales. First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford joined Aston Martin Lagonda president and group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, at a ceremony to officially open the plant.

While Gaydon continues to be the home of the company’s sports car production, St Athan is the home of Aston Martin’s first SUV, the DBX. Upon the commencement of full production at St Athan in the second quarter of 2020, the company will have created up to 600 skilled jobs, rising to 750 at peak production.
In 2016, Aston Martin Lagonda chose the 90-acre St Athan site to be its newest centre of manufacturing excellence in the UK. Phase I of construction saw the creation of the customer and staff reception areas, administration and management offices, and the employee restaurant. Phase II got underway in spring 2017 after the ceremonial handover of the three super-hangars that now house the new manufacturing facility.
The final phase to fit out the now-converted super-hangars got underway in late 2018, ready for pre-production to commence in 2019.
For further information www.astonmartinlagonda.com

XYZ names premium products manager

Martin Barber has been appointed to the role of premium product sales manager at XYZ Machine Tools, where he will have responsibility for sales of the company’s five-axis machining centres and the Robo-Tend machine-tending system.

Barber brings to the role over 30 years’ experience working in production environments and machine-tool sales.
“Martin’s experience in selling high-value multi-axis machine tools will be a terrific addition to our team,” says Nigel Atherton, managing director. “To win over potential customers who may not be traditional XYZ buyers, we need a dedicated resource in this area.”
For further information www.xyzmachinetools.com

Large-format laser cutting from Bystronic

In order to increase fibre laser cutting productivity and the diversity of applications that can be undertaken, Bystronic has extended its CNC laser cutting system, ByStar Fiber, to include two additional extra-large formats.

Models 6225 and 8025 are able to accommodate sheet up to 6.2 x 2.5 m, and 8 x 2.5 m, on their respective tables.
Customers can select a laser source rated from 3 to 10 kW to suit their productivity requirements, and the types and thicknesses of material to be processed. Large metal sheets allow bigger parts or a more diverse range of smaller parts to be cut without interrupting the cutting cycle. In addition, larger sheets enable more efficient nesting and reduce pro rata the amount of metal left in the skeleton at the end of the program. BySoft 7 software supports users with smart nesting procedures that enable optimal cutting plans to be created for large formats.
As an alternative to positioning one extra-large sheet on the ByStar Fiber’s cutting table, it is possible to process several smaller sheets in a single operation by placing them side by side. This strategy enables increased machine utilisation compared with using smaller models by allowing the laser-cutting system to operate for longer in an uninterrupted cutting cycle, reducing non-productive time.
Available as standard, all ByStar Fiber machines, including the smaller 3015 and 4020 models, are equipped with the latest generation Bystronic cutting head. Additional options, such as a second operating terminal with touch screen, ensure an optimal overview during operation.
For further information www.bystronic.co.uk