Now celebrating its tenth year in business, Norfolk-based CNC machining specialist Stokes & Rowe has rebranded as Accuturn.
As well as the rebrand, 2018 has seen directors Nicola and Robert Stokes invest in new CNC milling capability, gain ISO9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards and hire their first mechanical engineering apprentice.
Nicola Stokes said: "We are investing in the future of our business to enable our expansion within our customer base in the automotive, motorsport, construction, water filtration and medical sectors.”
The expanded milling capability comes from a new Haas Super Mini Mill with a machining envelope of 406 by 305 by 254 mm. It features an upgraded, faster tool changer, faster spindle and higher rapids for improved production and part finish.
Accuturn manufactures a range of safety critical devices for a range of sectors that require precision machining and a very high-quality finish. It has developed its machining processes to remove the need for additional post machining polishing for specific projects.
Nicola Stokes added: “Achieving the ISO 9001:2015 Quality and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental standards this year has been recognition of the quality procedures and workmanship that we put into all our contracts and will support the business as we grow."
Accuturn’s new apprentice is sixteen-year-old Joshua Mallett, who originally came to the company on work experience from Reepham High School for two weeks, he stayed in touch with the business and after finishing school this summer joined as its first engineering apprentice.
Nicola Stokes said: “We were thrilled to be able to support our local high school with their work experience placement scheme and when Josh came with us with such enthusiasm, we didn’t hesitate in offering him an apprenticeship for when he left school. We were delighted that his placement sparked such a passion for engineering. As a company, we have experienced first-hand through our attempt to recruit skilled engineers that there is a skills gap, so we know the importance of encouraging young people into the sector. We can see already how having an apprentice has benefitted our business and are making a commitment to take on further apprentices alongside the planned growth of the company.
“Given the current skills shortage in the engineering sector we recognise the need for investment in skills and training as a key part of our growth and so are working closely with Harlow College and their new Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Centre (HAMEC) on developing their programmes.”
Joshua is attending City College Norwich for the next 2 years, on day release, studying for his Mechanical Engineering Level 2, on completion it is planned he will go on to a third year to complete his Level 3.
He said: “I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands. I loved looking into how things worked and were made and was always taking things apart and rebuilding them. This was mainly computers and on cars, but when I saw the opportunity for some experience in a proper engineering environment, I jumped at the chance. The two weeks I spent at Accuturn in 2017 were brilliant, from working with the people there as well as seeing how everything was made and how the machinery worked. This confirmed that I wanted to have a career in engineering. I was thrilled when Nicola and Rob offered me the chance for an apprenticeship in what I love doing. I feel really supported and am excited to grow my skills along with the growth of the company.”