Backing Britain book unveiled

In a bid to showcase inspirational stories from members of the Made in Group, the Backing Britain book will include a series of articles based on how manufacturers have demonstrated strength in a time of crisis.

As part of the Backing Britain Live 2020 digital events reported in last week’s issue of MTI magazine, the book will also showcase exhibiting members and information about each company.
The 100-page Backing Britain book will replace the quarterly magazine called the Made Mag, which is not currently being printed due to the situation with COVID-19. Scheduled to be available in August or September 2020, The Made in Group would like the book to include as many stories as possible from its members. CEO Jason Pitt says: “The book will be an opportunity to show the British spirit to the world and broader business community, and showcase some of our amazing companies.”
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JCB heads back to work

JCB has initiated a partial re-starting of production at four of its UK factories.

The news comes as a comprehensive package of safety measures is rolled out to protect employees in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. JCB’s British production lines fell silent on 18 March and the vast majority of the company’s 6500 UK employees have been furloughed since April. The business has now resumed low levels of production, with a far-reaching package of safety measures introduced to fully protect employees. The Loadall division at the company’s global headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, as well as JCB Earthmovers and JCB Landpower in Cheadle, Staffordshire have resumed production. Two further sites have also recommenced: JCB Transmissions in Wrexham and JCB Cab Systems at Uttoxeter. The move means a return to work for more than 400 employees.
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Machine broker

Close Brothers Asset Finance has appointed machine broker specialist Neil Ainge as its regional manager of the finance for industry team, part of the manufacturing division.

His recruitment is part of the firm’s continued strategy of strengthening sales teams with sector specialists. Ainge has over 30 years’ experience in financial services, with the past 12 years spent at an asset finance and insurance brokerage, where he specialised in the sale of machine tools. He says: “I’ll be offering customers a guided approach to ensure they purchase an asset that is a sound investment and works for their business.”
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Efficient bending tool production

German press brake tooling and guillotine shear blade manufacturer, UKB Uwe Krumm GmbH, whose products range from 60 to 6000 mm in length and weigh from a few hundred grams to several tonnes, has 14 machining centres on its shop floor.

Across all of the company’s equipment, which is also employed for general subcontract machining, only two types of vice are used regardless of the size and geometry of the component and material being processed.
The work-holding devices are supplied exclusively by the Hilma division of the Roemheld group. There are around 90 vices in use from the firm’s NC160 and VL160 series. The standard base length of the vices is 750 mm, providing a clamping range of 508 mm, sufficient for most of UKB’s workpieces, while various top jaws enlarge the range to a maximum of 772 mm. Configurations vary from five vices on the smaller milling machines, up to 14 vices on a DMG Mori DMF 600 linear five-axis model with 6 m in the X axis.
UKB’s head of production Peter Diehl says: “We use the vices for everything from simple three-axis operations to complex five-axis machining applications requiring multiple set-ups. They are highly precise, always dependable and easy to use.”
In view of the requirement for high-precision machining, typically to within ± 0.01 mm, Diehl places special emphasis on process reliability.
“Clamping components with minimum deformation is of major importance to us,” he says. “With Hilma machine vices, we can hold the workpiece at maximum pressure for roughing – say to reduce a tough Hardox steel blank for a 5 m tool weighing 6 tonnes, to just 1.5 tonnes – then lower the clamping force for finish machining.”
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Mazak grows presence in Portugal

Mazak is to reinforce its presence in Portugal with the creation of a new direct sales channel.

The new sales operation, which is based in Porto and became operational on 4 May, is intended to support and enhance the work of Mazak’s current distributor, Normil. Armando Gonçalves, who has more than 17 years’ experience in the machine tool industry, will lead the new operation. Kevin Jackson, general manager – national distributor sales department at Yamazaki Mazak, says: “Our intention is to work closely with Normil to strengthen our offering in the territory and get closer to Mazak users in Portugal.”
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