Deal signed for FITMA-Latin America

Gardner Business Media and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) have signed a co-operation agreement to organise, produce and promote FITMA, Latin America’s premier manufacturing trade show connecting contract manufacturers, OEMs and equipment technology suppliers from around the world. After its successful launch in 2022, the first biennial FITMA event to operate in partnership between Gardner Business Media and AMT will debut in June 2023 in Mexico City.

Rick Kline Jr, president of Gardner Business Media, says: “After a successful launch of FITMA in 2022, the addition of AMT’s work with us going forward is going to accelerate the growth of this event and help us build a major metalworking opportunity in Mexico and for all of Latin America.”
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PECO fast-tracks another Sodick machine

A manufacturer of products for model railway enthusiasts has placed an order for another Sodick EDM machine. Devon-based PECO, which supplies its products to model shops across the UK and around the world, is about to enhance its toolroom with the addition of a Sodick ALC400G ‘i Groove edition’ wire-erosion machine from Sodi-Tech EDM. It will join three existing Sodick machines on site.

Established in 1946, PECO (Pritchard Patent Product Co Ltd) has its headquarters and manufacturing plant in the picturesque Devon fishing village of Beer, where the 150-employee business produces model rolling stock and track across eight different scales (from Z to G), as well as lineside/scenic and electrical accessories. Manufacturing in-house is clearly important to this progressive business, which is why the company runs a fully equipped tool room.

With its existing Sodick wire EDM passing a decade of service – and despite its ongoing excellent performance – PECO decided it would be prudent to look at a second wire-cut model.

“It was only ever going to be another Sodick,” states innovations manager Paul. Hitchcock. “Not just because of machine quality, accuracy and ease-of-use, but also the support and relationship we have with Sodi-Tech EDM. We saw a press article about the Sodick ALC400G with its ‘i Groove’ rotating wire mechanism and decided to undertake some trials.”

Applying rotation to the wire reduces wire consumption and allows the constant use of new wire surface for enhanced finishing and accuracy from the top to the bottom of the workpiece. This capability brings further peace-of-mind regarding precision and reliability, which is vital to a busy company such as PECO. The plant works a single shift but often leaves its Sodick machines to run overnight unattended.
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PP C&A signs new Winbro deal

A strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialist has signed a major new deal to support the development of a UK-built EDM drilling machine. PP Control & Automation, which employs over 230 people at its facility in the West Midlands, will assemble the EDM generator module that forms the heartbeat of Winbro Group Technologies’ new HSD-351 model.

A new production cell manned by eight PP C&A experts has been set-up to complete the build, with work on the first 25 units set to begin shortly for use in drilling holes in complex aerospace and industrial gas turbine blades and nozzle guide vanes. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that has spanned a decade and 10 different model variants, with the decision to outsource continuing to provide production ‘flex’, reduced assembly time and improved supply chain management for the Leicestershire-based firm.

Tony Hague, CEO of PP C&A, says: “If you’re going to write a book about strategic manufacturing outsourcing and how it can work, I’d like to think this relationship would be in the case study section. To work with a company that operates in such a demanding field for 10 years is some achievement, and we’re delighted to be entering our ‘testimonial year’ with a new machine tool to help them build.”

He continues: “The HSD-351 is an EDM machine that packs so much power in so little space and we have been instrumental in helping produce the heartbeat of the model – the EDM generator module.”

With a footprint of just 2.5 sq m, the HD-351 boasts a capacity of almost 700 electrodes across a range of diameters.
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Growth keeps coming at GM Group

Following a successful debut at the MACH exhibition in April, the GM Group has further expanded its team by appointing a new area sales manager for the south of the UK. Andrew Yeomans is a seasoned engineer with more than 35 years of industry experience. The new appointment will target sales of the Victor CNC portfolio and build brand and market awareness in the southern counties.

As the UK’s exclusive distributor for the Victor CNC machine tools, the GM Group has witnessed significant growth, which more than justifies both the company’s recruitment drive and its investment in a new facility planned for completion this autumn. GM Group is investing heavily in its factory expansion, new staff and infrastructure to enhance customer service, support and sales.
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MGP delivers business support plea

A business support programme that has created and safeguarded over 10,000 manufacturing jobs is urging local authorities to ensure assistance remains in place under the new funding landscape. Bosses at the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP), which provides grants and consultancy to SME manufacturers in 18 LEP regions, are warning that the potential gap between European Regional Development Funding and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund could see businesses left without the assistance they need. The MGP has delivered more than £13.5m in grants to 4300 companies over the past three years.
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