Three days of innovation at Subcon

Subcon returns on 7-9 June 2022 at the NEC in Birmingham. Now in its 45th year, Subcon remains the UK’s premier event dedicated to subcontract manufacturing buyers, enabling them to source suppliers, benchmark capabilities and form new manufacturing partnerships. This June, Subcon will once again be co-located with The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management Show, bringing together even more of the best suppliers, latest innovations and practical advice.

Across the three show days, Subcon will deliver the contacts, connections and content that UK engineering and manufacturing businesses need to succeed. Visitors will be able to harness new innovations from over 200 suppliers to help increase capacity, optimise productivity, improve flexibility and drive down costs. Subcon exhibitors span a range of manufacturing and engineering businesses, including assembly, CNC machining, fabrication, 3D printing and many more.

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GM emerges as the victor at MACH

The debut appearance of the GM Group at MACH 2022 in April can only be described as a resounding success. The company presented the Victor Vturn-A20YCM and the Vturn-S26/60CM single-spindle turning centres, as well as the compact Vcenter-P76 machining centre. All three were well received with several machine sales and some very serious enquiries taken.

GM Group director Nicola Howard says: “As a first-time MACH exhibitor we didn’t necessarily expect to sell machines off the stand, but we did. The Victor brand has been well respected in machine shops nationwide for decades due to its build quality and longevity, and the feedback we repeatedly had from show visitors is how delighted they were to see the re-emergence of the Victor brand in the UK. Our attendance at MACH has elevated the Victor profile and may have helped to awaken a sleeping giant. We’ll definitely be re-booking for MACH 2024 as this show has given us a debut to remember.”

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Third five-axis VMC at PB Machine

Established in 1988 and employing over 150 staff, family-owned Irish manufacturing firm PB Machine Tech produces more than 5000 customised hydraulic cylinders per week at its factory in Bagenalstown, County Carlow. To boost production capacity, in November last year the company purchased its third Taiwanese-built Leadwell V-40iT five-axis VMC.

Supplied by sole sales and service agent in Ireland and the UK, WH-Lead, the 12,000 rpm BT40 machine was required due to increasing demand for its hydraulic products from manufacturers around the world in the agricultural, access platform, construction, environmental and materials handling sectors.
Ray Kehoe, general manager – component division at PB Machine Tech, says: “We introduced one-hit manufacture in our factory some years ago following heavy investment in turn-mill machines, and were keen to replicate this on the prismatic machining side of our business. We started that process in June 2018 by augmenting our three-axis VMC capacity with the purchase of our first five-axis machining centre, a Leadwell V-40iT. With one-hit machining, perfect components are produced easily every time. Multiple sequential set-ups on several machines are a thing of the past, as is the manufacture of expensive fixtures.”

After seeing the benefits in terms of raised quality and reduced lead-times resulting from installation of the first V-40iT, its capacity was quickly filled, prompting investment in a second at the end of 2020 and now a third. Control is by Fanuc 0i-MF Plus that, in the case of the machines supplied to Bagenalstown, is able to interpolate four CNC axes simultaneously, although full five-axis operation may also be specified.

Kehoe’s concluding remark was that PB Machine Tech is happy to recommend both Leadwell machines and WH-Lead as important partners in addressing the current economic challenges facing Irish and British manufacturers.

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MACH beats expectations for XYZ

Reflecting on last month’s MACH 2022 exhibition, Nigel Atherton, managing director of XYZ Machine Tools, says: “From day one, our stand at MACH 2022 was busy, and the level of enquiries and new orders resulting from the week are very encouraging and indicate that April will be an even better month than March, which was our best-ever month with a sales order intake of £3.4m.”

By the end of the exhibition XYZ Machine Tools had recorded almost 500 leads, 100 of which were described as “hot”. Indeed, 32 visitors to the stand have already placed orders, with another 192 indicating they would be placing orders in the next 2-3 months, and a further 162 suggesting a six-month lag to placing an order. New orders that can be directly attributed to MACH 2022 currently stand at 37 machines from 32 customers, made up of a mix of three manual machines, 20 ProtoTRAK-controlled mills and lathes, and 14 Siemens-controlled machines (a mix of vertical machining centres, turning centres and five-axis machining centres). The value of these sales is in excess of £2.4m.

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Sempre partners Third Dimension

Industrial metrology specialist The Sempre Group is now partnering with non-contact gauging systems manufacturer Third Dimension. The collaboration will expand The Sempre Group’s non-contact optical profile measurement portfolio to include Third Dimension’s automated 2D profile measurement technology, giving manufacturers easier access to automated metrology and the accuracy, repeatability and traceability benefits that it offers. For instance, Sempre Group customers will now have access to Third Dimension’s flagship product, Vectro2, which can integrate with conventional industrial robots and collaborative robots (cobots).

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