Investment incentive extended

To give “a much needed confidence boost to the marketplace”, Ward Hi Tech has extended its incentivised purchasing scheme to October 2021. The move means that customers can secure a new machine tool today and have it distributed within a fortnight to any premises in the UK or Republic of Ireland, but not start paying for it until October.

Ward Hi-Tech is anticipating an impending uptick in business, stating: “With three vaccines about to be rolled out in the next few weeks, a ray of light is now clearly visible at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel.” Alongside the long-term payment holiday and attractive cash-flow scenario, together with a significant saving in interest costs and potential reduction in year-end tax bill, the company describes the benefits of the scheme as “endless”.

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Transmission of quality at Ricardo

A recently installed Studer S33 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine is helping operators at Ricardo Driveline and Transmission Systems to maintain their high-precision grinding standards.
The Leamington Spa facility operates four Studer CNC universal cylindrical grinders, including a recently installed S33 model. Since its installation, the Studer S33 has been busy undertaking the grinding of development and prototype components, as well as small production runs.

Production team lead Victor Smith says: “When compared with the other grinding machines that we considered, the Studer S33 proved to be the ideal solution for our demanding needs. Also, considering its impressive specification, we were surprised that it was only marginally more expensive than its less capable competitors. Further factors that influenced our decision were the consistent high-quality of the components that we grind on our existing three Studer machines. Also, over many years we have enjoyed excellent aftersales support from Studer and the company’s UK agent Micronz.”

The components produced by Ricardo have demanding technical specifications related to parameters such as surface finish, roundness and dimensional tolerances, and the Studer S33 is helping the company to adhere to all of these requirements.

Studer supplies the S33 with optional distance between centres of 400, 650, 1000 or 1600 mm, and a centre height of 175 mm. The maximum workpiece weight is 150 kg.

An automatic swivel with 1° Hirth serration positions the wheel head. The machine also has an external wheel head with a grinding wheel on the right with degree separations of 0°/15°/30°. An optional C axis is located on the S33 work head for thread grinding, while the workpiece table features a double T-slot to accommodate dressing devices.

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Dormer Pramet moves to Industry 4.0

Global cutting-tool manufacturer Dormer Pramet has started to incorporate Industry 4.0 within its production processes and is currently working with IBM on several key projects.

This work includes using large amounts of data to map the value chain throughout every department of its production unit in Sumperk, Czech Republic, and incorporating computer software to identify defects in tools during the early stages of manufacture.

All of the project’s digital elements aim to enhance Dormer Pramet’s existing manufacturing capabilities. The company will use these elements to further improve its production, increase the quality of cutting tools, reduce waste and advance the service provided to customers. Each of these digital tools form part of Dormer Pramet’s ‘Make the Shift 2030’ activities, which will ultimately help to create a more sustainable business.

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New MD for Addison Saws

Midlands-based metal-cutting machinery supplier, Addison Saws Ltd, has appointed Chris Wilson as its new managing director. Wilson was previously the company’s UK sales director and will be taking over from previous managing director Gary Knight. Knight drove the company forward in his role for 16 years and is now handing over the reins to his second-in-command for good, after Wilson demonstrated his abilities in a short but successful period as acting managing director during the COVID-19 crisis.

The shift comes at a crucial time for all manufacturing businesses and, having spent 15 years at Addison occupying various roles, Wilson is fully equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to continue pushing the company forward. He has more than proved his capabilities in leading the business over the years by building solid relationships with both customers and suppliers.

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Productive sliding-head partnership

NSR Engineering, a Bristol-based subcontractor specialising in turned and milled components, is celebrating 20 years of success through its partnership with sliding-head lathe supplier Star Micronics GB.

Buying its first Star lathe in 2000, the immediate advantages of incorporating sliding-head technology enabled NSR to quickly expand its machining portfolio just 18 months later. With the additional two Star machines it acquired, the company’s expanding order book soon led it to outgrow its workshop. In response, NSR purchased its own dedicated 5000 sq ft facility in 2002 and transferred its full capacity of three Star lathes and 14 cam auto machines.

With work for its sliding-head section increasing in demand, and each machine already in production around the clock, the company structured a continuous improvement programme which would see each of its cam auto machines systematically upgraded to Star sliding-head lathes. Furthermore, NSR became the very first company to take delivery of a Star SR-20RIII following its launch in 2007.

Fast forward to today, NSR has a total of nine modern Star lathes running 24 hours a day, offering over 1500 hours of machining potential per week.

Company owner John Duerden says: “The performance and reliability of the machines often allows us to compete with prices abroad, and the short set-up time between jobs gives us truly dynamic production capabilities to suit the demands of our customers. As our components come off the machines complete, running the Stars lights-out means that each morning we are presented with nine bins full of parts.”

The company’s most recent investment is an SR-20JII Type B: this latest addition to Star’s 20 mm SR range offers enhanced power on the spindles and live tools, more tooling positions, increased rigidity and the latest Fanuc control.

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