Perfect bore invests £1 million

Having just celebrated its 30th anniversary, Perfect Bore Manufacturing Ltd has invested £1 million in its deep-hole boring services.

The acquisition of a Tibo machine will allow the company to offer shorter lead times in its increasingly busy Large Deep Hole Boring division, which specialises in producing bores from 25 to 165 mm diameter, and up to 2500 mm in length.
To support Perfect Bore’s ‘one-stop solution’, the investment includes a dedicated honing machine that will enable capacity to be released on CNC and vertical honing machines. In addition, the company has extended its premises to enable it to store additional material on-site. Perfect Bore also reveals that its Grinding division is thriving. In fact, this division has doubled capacity and has been attracting a lot of interest, especially since the company’s involvement in a NATEP project to grind a hard-chrome replacement coating.
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Digital ecosystem drives lights-out production

A sheet-metal specialist is providing the perfect example of how a small company can build a successful digital ecosystem, bringing its factory in line with the Industry 4.0 philosophy of smart production. Laser subcontractor AFDL operates with between five and eight employees at any one time, and has installed the WorkPlan MES job management solution, which connects seamlessly with its Radan sheet-metal CADCAM system. Both products are from the Hexagon portfolio, geared towards supporting data-driven smart factories.

Installing the WorkPlan job management and quotation with Radquote module has allowed AFDL (Atelier Forezien de Découpage Laser) to become completely autonomous, from quotation through to invoicing, by providing a full overview of orders received, outstanding and delivered, and of the company’s turnover.
Site Manager Stéphane Noailly says: “Previously, we didn’t have production management software, and invoicing was managed by our parent group, Decofor, involving double entry of all our delivery notes.
“We needed to invest in this type of software because of strong growth, and more employees,” says Noailly. “It was becoming too complicated to manage the company’s activities with Excel files. We opted for WorkPlan as it comes from the same stable as Radan, which we’ve used as our sheet-metal production software for over 10 years.”
Focusing on both thick and thin laser cutting, from 0.2 to 25 mm, across a range of steels, stainless steel and aluminium, AFDL has also developed its activities in bending and welding, producing stainless steel tables for the furniture industry, and working for pharmacies and the public sector.

The company has grown recently, and now produces up to 50 orders a day, comprising individual unit parts, through to large series. Prior to installing WorkPlan, Noailly managed everything from order entry to manufacturing, but since the installation and deployment of the software he has been able to free up time to develop the company’s activity.
Combining the WorkPlan and Radquote interface with the automated system for time analysis, production cost estimation, and quotation generation for sheet-metal parts and assemblies, means AFDL has become more responsive, accurate and fair in terms of price, compared to its competitors, says Noailly, which has allowed the company to successfully manage an increase in demand.
AFDAL was created at the end of 2013 with Decofor being its only customer, yet today half of its customers are external.

“I use WorkPlan to generate precise quotations in connection with Radquote, and either duplicate or modify them for similar new orders; quickly transform them into orders; view all orders at any time; or give autonomy to the workshop to generate delivery notes by simply entering the order number, which also avoids missing invoices.
“Recurring orders from Decofor are now managed with just a few clicks,” he continues. “The file is sent in CSV format, and WorkPlan transforms it into a command – no more re-entries or errors. It’s a real time saver, as production can commence immediately.”

AFDL inherited a CNC machine tool which had originally been purchased at auction by Decofor with Radan already installed, and Noailly decided he wanted to continue using the software. Production is now carried out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with Radan currently powering two Trumatic 3050 laser-cutting machines and an Amada HFT press brake. There are plans to replace one of the laser machines with a Trumatic 3030 automated fibre laser profiling centre, which will enable the company to move into copper and brass cutting for the electrical sector.
According to Noailly, Radan makes the production process as simple and efficient as possible.
“Customers provide us with files in a variety of formats, including: a DXF 2D plan, which we can use immediately; a 3D STEP file which we open in Radan 3D to unfold before working on it in 2D; PDF files which we have to completely redesign; or directly with parts to reproduce them identically. As soon as the file is validated it’s imported into Radan 2D or 3D to be nested and put into production.
“The drawing features built into our Radan 2D module mean we can efficiently design a 2D part,” explains Noailly. “The software also gives us a quick and simple method to repair or simplify geometries from other systems.”
With around 20 regular products to redesign, or files to use, production is divided 50/50 – firstly, a series of parts, comprising more than 50 pieces; and secondly, individual units.
“Thanks to Radan we can produce up to 30 pieces on the same day that the order is placed, which means we can readily adapt to our customers’ urgent demands when they require something immediately,” says Noailly.
“We are only a small company, but the integrated solution of WorkPlan and Radan has brought our factory in line with the Industry 4.0 philosophy of smart production adopted by companies many times our size.”
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Precision packed in a small footprint

Headquartered near Barcelona, in Catalonia, Vilardell specialises in the production of precision parts with high added value and comprises two divisions, the Medical Division and the Industrial Division. Within the Industrial Division, manager Jordi Roy Torras says Vilardell has focused on the production of highly complex parts for some time: “This is our core competence; something we have developed year-after-year and part-by-part.

“We employ 165 staff and they are very important to us,” continues Torras. “Each and every one of us has to remain innovative – irrespective of his or her position or function within the company – that’s essential for our business.”
Luckily, the company has invested in technology from Tornos. The long-standing collaboration means that Vilardell now boasts an inventory of equipment which includes a small number of single-spindle cam machines (T-4, R-10 and MS7) and a large number of multi-spindle models (AS 14, SAS 16 and SAS 16 DC). In terms of CNC machines, the company’s fleet includes the Deco 10, Deco 13, Deco 20, Sigma 20 and EvoDeco 16 machines.
Recently, Vilardell purchased a MultiSwiss 6×16, but what made the company opt for this machine?
“The choice was driven by rational motivation,” says Torras. “In terms of technical specifications, the machine is simply the best on the market. However, we had to also consider the restricted space in our plant. The MultiSwiss boasts the most compact footprint and is definitely the most efficient machine available.
“At first sight, small footprint may seem to be trivial, but it makes all the difference,” says Torras. “The machine is really doing well and the fact that it is equipped with a container comprising all peripherals is a key advantage.”
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MAN appoints latest chairman

Adam Cunningham, CEO of Muller Holdings, has taken over the reins at the Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), a collaboration of eight West Midlands-based subcontract manufacturers and an engineering design agency, just as a new order takes its combined efforts to over £75m of sales generated since formation in 2003. Focus is now on increasing this number to £100m, says Cunningham, who takes over at MAN from Brandauer’s Rowan Crozier.

Says Cunningham: “We are fairly unique in being able to bring together such a wide diversity of engineering disciplines under one banner,” says Cunningham, who started his career with Concentric Pumps in Birmingham. “Our core philosophy is to work together to win new contracts, as this is what keeps us all in business and, over the years, we’ve been very successful in doing that. A recent order from the renewables sector has actually taken us over £75m of sales for the group.”
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Trio of installations for ETG Ireland

Three machine installations gave Engineering Technology Group (ETG) in Ireland a strong finish to 2019, with bosses predicting a rise in demand for twin and triple-turret format models, and smaller five-axis machines, over the next 12 months.

ETG delivered a Nakamura AS200LMYT to the Limerick Institute of Technology’s training facility and a Quaser MV184 EH vertical mill for one of its longest-established customers in Northern Ireland, taking the firm’s total of machines sourced from ETG to nine. A further Nakamura AS200LMSY sub-spindle lathe headed to Sligo, with a mould-making specialist investing in new technology to help it increase market share in the aerospace and medical sectors.
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