CAM helps Multax hit £3m turnover

Buying its first machine in December 2016, Multax Engineered Precision Ltd has already hit the turnover landmark of £3m. This growth is a credit to a core philosophy of automated production and reduced man-hours, and of course investment in the latest manufacturing technologies.

Like any small business start-up, nothing would have been possible without the dedication and determination shown by company founders John McNab and Ashley Mizen, two ex-work colleagues who were working around the clock in their respective posts while setting up the new enterprise. To achieve automated production utopia, the first machine installation was a 10-pallet, five-axis Mikron HSM600U machining centre supported by CAM software from Open Mind Technologies.

The Andover Company now has 17 staff, and has invested close to £3m on 10 machine tools and supporting equipment since its inception.
Director Ashley Mizen says: “Five of our six five-axis machines are automated, and we try to maximise our automation as much as possible. We have skeleton staff working overnight and offer night-shift programming, so that jobs can be delivered ‘next-day’, if required.”

Taking a closer look at why this rapidly-growing automotive, motorsport, aerospace, medical and scientific subcontract manufacturing business places such glowing plaudits upon hyperMILL, Mizen adds: “I was an Open Mind user before we decided to start the company. It is a ‘game-changer’ for our business and we now have seven seats of hyperMILL. It allows staff to check the datum of the part, produce the tooling sheet, put the NC code into the machine and run the verification cycle to prevent collisions.”

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Large contract for Glacier Energy

Glacier Energy, a provider of specialist products, services and engineering solutions for energy infrastructure, has won a contract worth circa £1m. The order, from PBS, is for the provision of export gas coolers that will see service on Total Exploration and Production UK’s (TEPUK) North Alwyn Platform in the North Sea.PBS is a new organisation based in Aberdeen which consists of three separate companies: Ponticelli UK Ltd, Brand UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd.

The scope of work includes the design, fabrication, assembly, inspection, testing and supply of four shell and tube heat exchangers. This work will take place at Glacier Energy’s heat transfer solutions division, based in Aberdeen. Work has already commenced on the units with four heat exchangers due for delivery before the end of this month.

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Mills CNC opens automation centre

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has opened a state-of-the-art ‘Turnkey & Automation Centre’ at its campus facility in Leamington. The facility gives Mills a dedicated area to demonstrate its latest industrial and collaborative robot (cobot) automation solutions, and provides a focal point for the company’s successful turnkey and process improvement business which, over the past few years, has grown exponentially.

Says Tony Dale, Mills CNC’s technical director: “More and more manufacturers, as a route to improving their productivity and increasing their efficiency and effectiveness, are taking a much more holistic and comprehensive view of their manufacturing operations. And, rather than just acquiring a new machine to increase capacity, they are investing in turnkey solutions, many of which include advanced automation systems.”

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Fastener investment at Bumax

Bumax has recently invested several million SEK in three new state-of-the-art machines to further enhance its operations. Two bolt-pointing machines and one flat-die thread-rolling machine have arrived at the company’s headquarters in Åshammar following a year of planning and preparation. “The machines replace five older semi-manual pointing and thread-rolling machines, and enable us to produce fasteners even more efficiently and safely,” explains Anders Sjölund, who is both manager of the company’s service and maintenance function, and project manager.

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Digital summit success for Lantek

Manufacturing IT expert Lantek had another successful year at EuroBLECH – albeit virtual. The EuroBLECH 2021 Digital Innovation Summit, which took place at the end of last year, was the online version of the trade show for sheet-metal manufacturers. Lantek reports that its full range of manufacturing solutions proved popular with delegates at the digital show.

In particular, the presentation ‘Data: The other raw material of sheet metal – challenges and opportunities’, by Lantek area manager José Antonio Lorenzo, was attended by many online visitors.

“Sheet-metal processing is our business and your business – and we do everything we can to ensure that you work as efficiently as possible,” said Lorenzo during his presentation at the EuroBLECH Digital Innovation Summit.

Lorenzo’s appearance was part of Lantek’s contribution to the EuroBLECH virtual lecture series. In the 15-minute presentation, his main points were solidified with short explainer videos. In a live Q&A that followed, Christoph Lenhard, sales manager for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, posed frequently-asked customer questions to Lorenzo.

In addition to their participation in the lecture series, visitors could also register for personal meetings or connect in real-time with 17 Lantek experts. In these live chats, company specialists answered visitor questions face-to-face and made initial business contacts.

“Interested visitors and customers have embraced this new way of meeting very well,” says Lenhard. “Numerous conversations centred on specific use cases in which our portfolio can be helpful. Many potential clients have realised – through the current crisis – how quickly they must digitise their processes.

“It was a completely new format for all of us, and proved a very good alternative to in-person trade shows,” he adds.

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