A £1.8m investment in a custom-built finish machining facility will enable a West Midlands company to become a fully integrated supplier of grey iron bearing housings for engine turbochargers.
The investment at Chamberlin & Hill Castings Ltd will see the installation of three high specification Chiron Scherer Feinbau automated mill/turn centres supplied by the Wellesbourne based Engineering Technology Group (ETG).
“Without investing in machining capacity, the customer made it clear that it would have to review Chamberlin & Hill's position as a supplier,” said Kevin Nolan, chief executive, Chamberlin & Hill Castings Ltd.
“In contrast, if we did make the investment, we were probably going to become the most significant supplier of turbo bearing housings in Europe.”
Chamberlin & Hill has many years' experience as a specialist supplier of light and medium castings to the automotive industry, but in recent times has embarked on repositioning itself to become an assembly ready Tier 1 component supplier to the automotive turbocharger sector.
A major, long standing customer is Borg Warner who had earlier advised Chamberlin & Hill they were seeking an “integrated supply” in order to streamline its supply chain.
Three Chiron machining cells were ordered, two of which were commissioned in February 2017, with a third scheduled to arrive in November this year. The capacity provided by these three machines has already been sold, bringing about additional revenue worth several million pounds per year.
The company is currently machining one turbo bearing housing every 81 seconds per cell floor-to-floor time.
Ultimately, the investment in Chiron technology is set to facilitate growth from the foundry of 30% in 2017/18, and, when the three machining cells are fully utilised, an additional £3 million of business from the machining facility.