ACE goes for gold with Collins Aerospace

A Shropshire-based manufacturer of precision components has been selected to take part in a prestigious supplier development programme by Collins Aerospace.

Advanced Chemical Etching (ACE) is working with Collins Aerospace on a host of continuous improvement and training activities to help the firm strengthen its ability to supply group factories across the globe.
The company is now setting its sights on securing ‘Gold Supplier’ status, which could be achieved over the next six months if it continues to meet 100% on-time-in-full (OTIF) delivery and stronger collaboration on root cause analysis.
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New safeguards for return to work

The Nuclear AMRC in Sheffield has begun the second phase of restarting vital R&D projects while maintaining the highest levels of health and safety protection for staff.

In the first phase, a skeleton team implemented new safeguards, including markings to help people maintain safe distancing from the car park to the shop floor, a one-way flow system around the building, protective shields in reception and hand-sanitising stations with temperature measurement throughout the facility. The centre has produced a five-phase plan for returning to work while keeping staff safety as the number one priority.
“The measures that the team have put in place are excellent,” says Nuclear AMRC CEO Andrew Storer. “Of course, we still have a long way to go. The biggest challenge, in my opinion, will be ensuring sufficient desk and recreational areas for staff in the office space as our numbers ramp back up. This is something we are looking at closely. It is vital we only have essential staff on site at this stage, with others working safely from home.”
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Manufacturers urged to take skills pledge

In-Comm Training, which operates three academies at Aldridge, Bridgnorth and Shropshire, has launched a new campaign to ensure apprenticeships are protected as manufacturers seek ways of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

HK Technologies / In-Comm

The company is asking firms in the West Midlands to sign-up to its ‘Skills Pledge’, which will see them commit to supporting apprentices, raising the profile of vocational learning and ‘upskilling’ their workforces.
‘Powering the Engine’ will last for over a year and will ensure industry does not sacrifice the investment and time it has channelled into developing talent as manufacturers begin to restart production.
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ESL takes Europe’s first CMM of its type

Basildon-based ESL Group recently became the first company in Europe to take delivery of Mitutoyo’s Crysta Apex V CNC CMM.

ESL Group quality engineer Dave Humphrey says: “We have used Mitutoyo CMMs for over 20 years and been very impressed with their ease and speed of use, as well as their reliability and accuracy. In addition, we always receive excellent service from Mitutoyo UK.
“Recently, we found the need to further increase our inspection capacity,” he adds. “Having installed a Mitutoyo Apex S CNC CMM less than two years ago, on contacting Mitutoyo UK it was interesting to hear about the technical improvements made to the new Mitutoyo Crysta Apex V CMM range.”
Although ESL Group considered that advances in areas such as software enhancements meant that the new CMM represented a further step forward for Mitutoyo, before committing to purchasing a Crysta Apex V machine, the company followed its normal commercial practice of considering the merits of other CMM brands in terms of their capabilities and price. As previously, the new Mitutoyo CMM proved to be the most attractive option and an order was placed.
“Our new Crysta Apex V and the existing Mitutoyo CMM are now located in our environmentally temperature-controlled quality department,” says Humphrey. “As the new machine is an evolution of its predecessor, it was easy for our three quality department staff to quickly become accustomed with its operation, and already they are able to swap from machine to machine with ease.”
The Mitutoyo CMMs have become the mainstays of quality provision at ESL Group, which uses them to perform first-off in-process and final inspection routines, and a multitude of other high-precision measuring and inspection tasks, such as the generation of full FAI and SPC reports.
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Backing Britain book unveiled

In a bid to showcase inspirational stories from members of the Made in Group, the Backing Britain book will include a series of articles based on how manufacturers have demonstrated strength in a time of crisis.

As part of the Backing Britain Live 2020 digital events reported in last week’s issue of MTI magazine, the book will also showcase exhibiting members and information about each company.
The 100-page Backing Britain book will replace the quarterly magazine called the Made Mag, which is not currently being printed due to the situation with COVID-19. Scheduled to be available in August or September 2020, The Made in Group would like the book to include as many stories as possible from its members. CEO Jason Pitt says: “The book will be an opportunity to show the British spirit to the world and broader business community, and showcase some of our amazing companies.”
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