Industry News

Mapal is key supplier at Ford Bridgend Featured

Ford’s Bridgend plant produces over 750,000 petrol engines a year and is a key asset in the company’s European supply chain. Ensuring the facility hits its SPC targets and precision levels on critical engine components, the company has engaged in a cutting tool partnership with Mapal. 

As a core tooling supplier to Ford Bridgend, Mapal has an engineer, Wayne Keepins, based permanently at the plant. “Mapal tools now account for upward of 90% of all PCD tools on-site, 80% of the milling tools and an ever increasing share of the solid carbide drilling products,” he says. “We are committed to helping Ford hit targets of improving productivity or reducing costs by 10-15% year-on-year.”

With an annual tooling supply to the plant well in excess of £1m per annum, a large portion of Mapal’s products are applied to engine block milling and hole-making applications. 

“One example is the machining of valve seats for the 1.5 and 1.6 litre engine line,” says Keepins. “The previous process relied on three different indexable insert tools to undertake four processes. Here, operations included machining the throat blend on intake ports, semi-finishing the intake valve seat, piloting the valve guide and then finishing the valve seat and guide. Instead, we developed a new combination tool that has reduced the overall process from three tools to two, reduced costs and set-up times, and enhanced productivity.”

By removing the stock material in a single pass, Mapal has eliminated the need for a separate throat blend and valve seat tool. The new combination tool reduced cycle times from 64 to 34 seconds, cut tool setting times by 30% and lowered the number of tool changes by 800 per year.

For further information www.mapal.com

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