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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Mazak to open its doors in Worcester

Yamazaki Mazak is set to open the doors of its production facilities in Worcester to members of the public as part of the inaugural National Manufacturing Day on Thursday 7 July. National Manufacturing Day, co-ordinated by Make UK, aims to showcase the broad range of skilled, well-paid and rewarding career opportunities available to school leavers and graduates, as well and those looking to reskill at all levels. As part of its National Manufacturing Day open house, Mazak will be offering visitors guided tours of its European manufacturing plant. The site produces over 1000 machine tools a year.
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New ITC sales engineer

Ongoing expansion at Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) has seen the cutting tool manufacturer add a new technical sales engineer to its expanding team. The appointment of Ben Morgan will bolster the sales support provided to manufacturers in the south of the UK, predominantly in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire. Morgan entered the industry as an engineering apprentice in 2011, learning his trade as a multi-axis programmer and machinist in the aerospace industry. He progressed to team leader before moving to another prestigious manufacturer and subsequently joining ITC.
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Knowledge exchange

Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School has entered into a strategic partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Forum (AMF). A community of industry experts, the AMF brings together the northeast’s manufacturing and engineering sector to engage with the wider business community. A key remit of the AMF is to exchange ideas and knowledge in order to generate business growth, share opportunities and champion advanced manufacturing. The move will facilitate the dissemination of current thinking directly into industry, while allowing new questions and areas for investigation to emerge.
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Okamoto delivers pace and precision

Blackpool-based Beechwood Engineering recently upgraded its surface grinding provision with the addition of an Okamoto ACC 64 GX surface grinding machine from UK agent DF Precision Machinery.

Explaining the reasons behind the machine’s installation, engineering director Stewart Churchill says: “By using the latest machine tool technology, our skilled staff are committed to ensuring that every component is manufactured to the highest possible standards. Also, as we expand, in order to remain at the forefront of technology, we continuously update our plant list.

“In addition to serving customers operating in the general engineering sectors we also have clients working in demanding industries such as the aerospace, automotive, medical, Formula One and nuclear,” he continues. “Surface grinding is often the last process our workpieces undergo and many of the components we manufacture have very exacting specifications relating to dimensional accuracy, profile precision and surface finish.”

As part of the company’s quest to upgrade its capabilities on a continuous basis, Beechwood recently looked at the available advanced surface grinders with a view to replace an older machine with a model that would improve surface grinding precision and efficiency standards.

“After narrowing our search down to two machines we chose to purchase the Okamoto ACC 64 GX surface grinding machine,” says Churchill. “In addition to being aware of Okamoto’s reputation for machine quality, we considered that the ACC 64 GX was able to deliver the speed, ease of use, and precision standards we were seeking. Also, it helped that the knowledgeable employees of UK Okamoto distributor, DF Precision Machinery, were extremely helpful from our initial enquiry, through to the machine’s installation and operator training.”
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