SC21 recognition for AS.G companies at virtual FIA

Two precision engineering specialists were recognised for their commitment to quality and delivery performance last month as the Farnborough International Airshow went ‘virtual’.


Arrowsmith Engineering and TGM, both part of the £43m Aero Services Global Group (AS.G), were given the SC21 Silver and SC21 Bronze awards respectively for their ongoing ability to manufacture complex components for customers supplying some of the world’s largest airplane manufacturers and primes. The awards are a critical performance indicator for the sector and have helped the two manufacturers secure over £3.5m of new contracts during the past 12 months.
AS.G has made a commitment that all of its companies will work towards some form of SC21 involvement. This decision will immediately see the recently acquired AMF Precision Engineering start the journey, and German-based Ludolph target the SC21 Operational Excellence Award.
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Lotus to build technology centre

Lotus is set to create a dedicated and specialist advanced technology centre that will also be home to a new headquarters for the company’s engineering consultancy.

Located on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus, the new facility is established in partnership with WMG, a specialist in collaboration between academic research, teaching, training and industry. The substantial facility will consist of offices, workshops and laboratory space with ample opportunity for expansion. Initially, 130 engineers will move in, complementing the 500-strong engineering team at the home of Lotus Cars in Hethel, Norfolk.
“This is a big step forward for Lotus and our engineering consultancy,” states Matt Windle, executive director – engineering, Lotus Cars. “The new space, facilities and job opportunities at Wellesbourne will be in great demand as we rapidly build our portfolio of external projects.”
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Capability enhanced at Iron Mason

Iron Mason was founded six years ago by Chris Mason, who had worked in the film industry as a model maker and animatronics specialist.

The Derby-based company now provides engineering, fabrication and finishing services to a diverse customer base, including his old sector, film making.
Mason had recognised a lack of metal skills within the film industry so took the decision to ‘go freelance’. Diversification from the movies brought in work from classic car enthusiasts, as well as aircraft build and restoration projects.
“Basically, I will take on anything that comes through the door, I just have to be honest with myself and ensure it is within my capabilities,” he says. It was this notion that highlighted the need for CNC machining capability.
“Initially I was looking at a CNC vertical machining centre, but a customer beat me to it and made a purchase of their own, so I moved my focus to turning. My view was that, as a turning centre was a bigger investment, the competition
for available capacity in the local area would be less. I did my research and asked around, and settled on the CT65 Compact Turn from XYZ Machine Tools.”
Two of the key factors in the purchase decision were the build quality and control system.
“It was obvious that the CT65 was much more robust than other machines on the market thanks to its cast-iron base and box slide-way construction. I’m finding that it holds tolerances very well and repeatability is superb. The Siemens 828D ShopTurn Control is also very intuitive.”
Such is the intuitive nature of the control that Mason can adapt programs ‘on the fly’ and, in one case, reduced cycle time from
16 minutes to just six.
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Full steam ahead for MACH 2021

The events industry, endorsed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, has issued new guidelines – the ‘All Secure Standard’ – to ensure that exhibitions can go ahead in the coming months.

These guidelines will enable UK manufacturers to plan their attendance at MACH 2021 (25-28 January) in detail and with certainty. The MTA, which owns and organises MACH, has been closely involved in drafting the guidelines with the Association of Exhibition Organisers.
Marcus Burton, MTA president says: “I’m pleased the Prime Minister has announced that exhibitions and events can resume from 1 October. The supporting guidelines will help us accelerate our preparations for MACH 2021. We’re starting to see the early signs of recovery in a number of sectors and the timing of MACH 2021 could not be better in terms of helping UK manufacturers to invest in productivity improvements and plan for recovery and growth.”
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Aberlink CMM installed at Rowan Precision

Mantech Geometrics has helped Rowan Precision, a member of Made in the Midlands, to increase its capability with an Aberlink machine that has enabled the company to carry out critical work for the medical sector. Mantech provides measuring solutions that include CMMs by Aberlink.

Rowan Precision has been manufacturing high-quality, precision-machined components and turned parts for over 30 years. During this time the company has built a strong reputation for quality and service, supplying national and international customers in diverse industries that include aerospace, medical, safety, defence, lighting, automotive, electronics and telecommunications.
The firm has purchased an Aberlink Xtreme 500 measuring machine from Mantech that enables it to carry out ventilator work for the COVID-19 relief efforts. Mantech is the official distributor of Aberlink products in the West Midlands and has supplied numerous machines to other Made in the Midlands members, such as Currie & Warner and Parker Precision.
Matt Lowe, technical director at Rowan Precision, says: “After looking around for a new measuring machine, we couldn’t ignore the value for money we would receive with Mantech Geometrics. We now have a fully automated and programmable CNC operation, which we didn’t have before, improving both our capabilities and productivity.
“We received impeccable service from Mantech, including offsite training and aftersales care,” he adds. “The machine has especially helped us during these difficult times as we wouldn’t have been able to produce components for ventilators without it.”
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