Production Engineering, Tooling & Machinery

The only way is up

“Kasto is passionate about engineering and manufacturing,” says Ernst Wagner, managing director of the German firm’s UK and Ireland subsidiary based in Milton Keynes.

In his view, in the markets into which he sells, the only way is up for automation of the two initial steps in manufacturing, namely storage of raw material and cutting it prior to the first production process. It is essential in order to stay competitive in world markets, yet Britain and Ireland lag behind most developed nations in their adoption of all types of mechanisation.

Selection boils down to performance

The world leader in kettle controls, Strix Ltd, has invested in the latest wire erosion technology As a result of its investment, the company has improved cutting speeds by 20-30%, saved significant sums in consumables and achieved far higher levels of reliability.
A tier one supplier of kettle controls to virtually all of the world’s major kettle OEMs, Strix estimates that its products are used around 1 billion times a day worldwide. In total, the company has a 38% share of the global kettle controls market, a fact that has helped it grow into an 800-employee organisation.

Securing the future

NDB Engineering is a highly specialist sub-contract fastener machining business. Its portfolio of fastener production contains many that are bespoke with most demanding high precision components machined from toughened and corrosion resistant higher grade super alloys including exotic materials, Hastelloy, Super Duplex stainless, cobalt and nickel alloys.
Andy Williams, Managing Director explains  “With customers in oil and gas, MOD, chemical processing and power generation sectors, machining capability and quality are critical to our business platform and as being a small global machinist company, we cannot begin to tolerate errors.”

Can apprenticeships solve the manufacturing skills gap?

It’s no secret that the manufacturing industry is experiencing a skills shortage. With demand growing and manufacturing being seen as a key industry for the UK following Brexit, one way that manufacturers can bridge this skills gap is by utilising their Apprenticeship Levy.

FANUC UK is one of the many UK manufacturers that welcomes apprentices to its Coventry facility. Working closely with its neighbours, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), FANUC has recently welcomed two of MTC’s ‘gold standard’ apprentices, Oscar Pickerill, 20, and Ben Farmer, 17. Here, they explain why they made the decision to seek a careerx in manufacturing.

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