Uploaded 16 Mar @ 15:36pm
A £4 million state-of the-art training hub was officially opened last week, with bosses urging other manufacturers to step forward to avoid a skills drain caused by the uncertainty of Brexit.
The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT), which is run by a consortium of Classic Motor Cars, Grainger & Worrall, In-Comm Training and Salop Design & Engineering, was unveiled in front of 250 people with many delegates receiving their first glimpse of the 36,000 ft2 facility.
Managing Director, Matthew Snelson, used the event to issue a rallying call for more firms to work together in a bid to stop ‘cannibalising’ the pool of industry talent in the UK. “If we continue to sit back and wait for others to solve the skills gap then we’re going to fall short of where we need to be in terms of skills and productivity in UK manufacturing,” he explains.
“We need to flood the market with new talent and ensure there are enough individuals to satisfy the growth expectations of industry. You only have to look at the West Midlands to see how firms are being held back due to a lack of key skills, both at the new recruits stage and with their existing workforces.”
An old storage facility for Grainger & Worrall, on the Stanmore Industrial Estate in Bridgnorth, has been transformed into the modern centre, to provide a high-tech environment for individuals to learn from engineering experts on the latest technology – all geared towards giving them opportunities to apply their new found skills on real life manufacturing situations.
It is equipped with over £2 million of state-of-the-art equipment, including dedicated fabrication, foundry, lathe, metrology, milling, robotics and vehicle trimming sections. There is also a 200-seat auditorium, smaller break-out classrooms and a CNC Zone that is full of 3-axis and 5-axis machines.
www.mcmt.co.uk be a major health issue The economic situation surrounding the UK offshore industry has been well documented for its difficulties in recent years. To rise above the uncertainty and build success where others have failed, Sub-drill has invested heavily in modern Mazak machine tools, Open Mind CAM software and a new factory, and the results are truly amazing.
Mark Paton, Operations Director, explains: “With difficult market conditions, we knew we had to invest in new technology to streamline the business, improve productivity, reduce costs and generate efficiency savings to improve our competitiveness. We invested in a number of advanced machine tools, the flexibility of the new machines, the ability to reduce set-ups and conduct one-hit machining has taken the production of large high strength carbon steel, stainless steel, P550 non-magnetic stainless, super duplex and Inconel components and projects from 20 - 30 weeks down to 8 - 10 weeks. The arrival of Open Mind Technologies hyperMILL CAM software has been instrumental in reducing lead-times and improving our machining capabilities.”
Prior to the arrival of hyperMILL, all components were programmed on the shopfloor. However, the new development and prototype tools and equipment at Sub-drill required much more complex geometries to be machined to achieve the desired performance from the new product range. Subsequently, excessive programming times and significant challenges with tool paths and production times were noted. Added to this, the company manufactures its own brand of ‘Handle Style Lift Caps’ for the off-shore industry. The programming was too complex to undertake at the machine and the only feasible solution was to look into CAM software.
Following recommendations an Open Mind hyperMILL CAM package was supplied with the latest MAXX Machining module, and hyperCAD-S. The results were almost immediate for the 20-strong company. The arrival of hyperMILL instantly made an impact. The programming times have been reduced from 4 to 5 days to around 8 hours. Complex tool forms that could not be programmed with the latest CNC control are now programmed on hyperMILL in 4 to 6 hours using cycles such as Shape Offset Roughing/Finishing and Open Mind’s trochoidal milling cycles to deliver efficient programming times.
Previously, Sub-drill was using the SolidWorks modelling package and manually programming the CNC control from the SolidWorks and AutoCAD drawings. Now, hyperCAD-S with its direct SolidWorks interface enables Sub-drill to receive SolidWorks CAD files, transfer the native file format in to hyperCAD-S and prepare the files for downstream programming with hyperMILL. This eliminates errors and streamlines the process with significant savings.
Demonstrating the remarkable performance of the MAXX Machining Package, Sub-drill is now manufacturing a number of its downhole tools in less than 10 hours. The machining time prior to the arrival of hyperMILL was over 40 hours.
Further reading: www.openmind-tech.com
Ben Hayes – Sales Manager, CWST
Materials & Manufacturing Technologies covers the range of lightweight materials and the techniques available when manufacturing lighter and stronger parts.
By targeting the materials tier supply chain and the top end users M&MT will provide solutions to key professionals across the ‘lightweighting’ sector in all leading industries such as Aerospace, Automotive and so on.Read more...