Midland Machinery (Heavy Lift) Ltd will soon be celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The family-run company, which is based in Wednesbury, West Midlands has contracts throughout the UK and Ireland, and has become one of the UK’s leading providers of heavy-lift transportation. The company’s fleet consists of specialised heavy-goods vehicles with low loaders, semi-low loaders, trailers with loading ramps, lorry-mounted crane vehicles, Versa-Lifts and fork trucks, and fully-equipped site vehicles. Midland Machinery has its own escort vehicles for abnormal loads.
Recent investments include a Scania tractor unit in 2017 (pictured), which offers up to 78 tonne capacity. New to the fleet in 2018 is a 25/35 Versa-Lift, which provides lifting capabilities of around 16 tonne, while up and coming for 2019 is a new Faymonville four-axle, low-loader curtainsider, which is currently being manufactured. Additional services available from Midland Machinery include internal machinery relocations and storage for abnormal large equipment, if required. All health and safety regulations are handled comprehensively with the provision of method statements, risk assessments and bespoke lifting plans.
For further information www.midlandmachinery.co.uk
A recently signed annual ‘Preferred Partnership Agreement’ has been signed between Glasgow-based Walker Precision Engineering and Seco Tools UK.
The agreement, with its emphasis on continuous improvement and best-practice methods to help WPE increase productivity levels, reduce operational costs and optimise machining processes, provides the company with preferential and priority access to a range of Seco’s technical consultancy services, including: on-site and off-site technical support; turnkey and process improvement; documented cost reduction (DCR) programmes; custom tool design, manufacture and supply; STEP (Seco Technical Education Programme) training courses; regular updates on new technologies and process developments; and new tooling and service introductions and upgrades.
To ensure that the agreement is focused, proactive and maintains momentum, regular monthly planning and quarterly review meetings with key personnel from WPE and Seco are scheduled.
Within the first few months of the agreement being signed, the partnership was delivering results, most notably with the machining of a complex precision chassis part-manufactured by WPE for a defence industry customer. Working in partnership with Seco’s product and technical staff, and employing process improvement strategies and a focused DCR programme, WPE has been able to reduce cycle times for this part by 40%.
At one of the planning meetings, Seco presented an overview on My Pages – the company’s digital portal that provides customers with access to Seco product information, cutting data, previous purchase history and test reports. Benefits include the ability to quickly and reliably find the most appropriate tool for any specific application, which is achieved by searching the on-board SUGGEST database and selecting specific component characteristics, machining priorities and machining strategies that will be employed.
For further information www.secotools.com
In 2016, Surrey-based GPR Ltd made its first strides from three to five-axis machining, and it was cutting tool manufacturer Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) that fully supported the subcontractor in selecting the optimum cutters for the new machine. Now, ITC has stepped in again to solve a new challenge.
GPR managing director Vernon Ward says: “We won an initial order for 20 sets of mobile phone test-bed housings and each set consisted of six parts. However, with upward of 300 holes per set, we had an average of three drill failures per set. We persevered with existing HSS drills for a while and then won an extended order for 80 sets of the mobile phone test-bed housings, so we called ITC.”
ITC immediately suggested the Widia range of VDS solid-carbide through-coolant drills to eliminate tool failures and the associated time and costs involved with changeovers.
“We completed the entire batch of 80 sets, which consisted of 480 parts and approximately 24,000 holes, with a single set of drills,” says Ward. “After the project had finished, the VDS drills were still in an ‘as-new’ condition. The drills may have been more expensive than our previous tools, but they paid for themselves by the time we machined 20 parts.”
When GPR won another order for drilling oil well monitoring equipment, ITC again recommended the VDS drilling range. The batch of 10 Duplex bars required four 10 mm deep holes per part and, with a pre-drilling and drilling cycle, the complete drilling time was 4 minutes 58 seconds per component. Aiming to reduce this cycle time, the VDS drills reduced the cycle time to just 44 seconds, a cycle time reduction of over 400%.
For further information www.itc-ltd.co.uk
Axiom Product Development, the Chichester-based machining and tooling business, has further strengthened and diversified the skills of its management team with the appointment of Alayna Legg as head of finance and Simon Serpenskas as design engineer.
The pair join Axiom at an exciting time following the recent acquisition of the assets and trade of FRH Technical Machining in May 2018 and a subsequent period of investment in people, skills and experience to broaden the company’s capabilities.
For further information www.axiompd.co.uk
Matsuura Machinery Ltd recently held a welcome evening for the four successful candidates who comprise the company’s next intake of technical apprentices.
Their families were also welcomed along to find out more about the company and the staff who will guide their sons through their time at Matsuura. Long-serving members of staff from each department spent time with the young recruits and their families, providing them with a good understanding of the company, its products and customers.
Roger Howkins, UK managing director, says: “It was a pleasure to welcome these young engineers into our business and meet their families. They are the future of our company and vital to the wider economy and UK manufacturing community going forward. Each of our successful 2018 intake will receive a full technical apprenticeship and work in every department of our operation over their term, achieving the standard of excellence that customers demand from our highly valued engineering team.”
For further information www.matsuura.co.uk