Who's showing what at Southern

29 Jan 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Read our preview of what some of the subcontracting companies at Southern Manufacturing will be featuring.

Precision casting and machining

Expromet Technologies Group (M180) combines the capabilities of precision casting and machining businesses to deliver engineering solutions to its global customers.

At the show it will be exhibiting the wide range of design, casting, finishing and machining solutions provided by its subsidiary companies, Investacast and Haworth Castings.

Investacast is a leading supplier of investment castings with its UK manufacturing base in Devon and a global sourcing network spread throughout Asia and Europe. Haworth Castings specialises in manufacturing fully-tested, machined and finished sand and gravity die castings, with two UK locations in Hampshire.

Both companies serve customers throughout the defence, aviation, marine, medical, energy and automotive sectors.

The group says its wealth of knowledge and experience ensures a seamless manufacturing and supply process for its customers – from component design and prototyping through to casting, testing, finishing and stockholding.

Treatments and coatings

The Wallwork Group (L75), one of the UK’s largest heat treatments and hard coatings suppliers to aerospace, automotive, motorsports and surgical implant industries is starting 2019 with increased capacity coming online.

It operates from four locations, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge and Newcastle to provide a rapid service to customers in all corners of the UK. Operating capacity has increased as several new investments in equipment went live at the end of 2018. These include a large capacity Seco vacuum furnace and Rübig Plasma Nitride furnace in Cambridge. A new 1200kg payload furnace for processing aluminium is coming on stream in Birmingham and this will be followed closely by a new sealed quench furnace due to be in operation early 2019.

Processing aluminium and vacuum brazing, particularly, are seeing greater demand, so the new capacity is coming on stream just at the right time. In the light of REACH and also important is the in-house developed environmentally safe PVD coating that is a full HCP (hard chromium plating) replacement.

£3m investment in added value

Fife Fabrications (FiFab) (B85) is a manufacturer of precision sheet metalwork, electro-mechanical assemblies and precision machined components and has been in business more than 45 years.

It has invested |£3m in the last five years in state-of-the-art plant, lean manufacturing, CANDO, TQM and employee development to provide added value to its customers.

FiFab offers a complete subcontract service from design, manufacture, paint, assembly, delivery and support. At the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics 2019 it will be showcasing its next fibre laser & turret punching centre.

Celebrating biggest win

Grenville Engineering (J130), the Stoke-on-Trent-based sheet metal fabricator, recently secured their biggest contract win in its history. Following a successful year of exceptional growth, it sealed the £400,000 deal with a major player in the petrochemical industry.

The company aims to continue this success and is exhibiting at Southern Manufacturing once again after a positive show in 2018 where it acquired new customers from a range of sectors.

Exhibiting at the show will highlight the company’s complete fabrication solution from laser cut components to complete fabrications.

Sale Director Stuart Rawlinson said: "We are continuing to grow year-on-year, with continual investment in machinery, expanding our skilled workforce and taking on additional units, the business is strong and agile. This has increased our capacity and opportunities, whilst fitting into our overall long-term business plan. Having had another great year at Southern Manufacturing we are seeing more enquiries from outside of our traditional area - so the future is looking great!”

Prototypes with ease

With the latest technology in under surface digital printing and laser cutting, GSM Graphic Art (B190) is well positioned to produce prototypes and low volume production runs, offering fast turnarounds and without incurring tooling or origination cost. The company also offers screen printing and platen cutting, enabling it to manufacture full production runs using the most efficient process.

Overlays and control panels can incorporate LCD windows, secret-til-lit areas, embossed switches, clear led windows and a choice of durable finishes. A range of adhesives is available to suit the environment in which the overlays will be used. These can be selectively applied around the window and switch areas on the rear of the overlay.

Laser cutting resource

Midtherm Laser (L130) has one of the largest available resources of flat-bed laser cutting in the UK, serving a wide range of market sectors including transport and distribution, food and pharmaceutical, agriculture, oil and gas.

Its Bystronic laser machines can accommodate sheet sizes up to 4000mmx2000mm alongside offering secondary operations such as folding up to 4000mm on two Bystronic CNC press brakes.

If the need to avoid cross contamination is critical, Midtherm Laser offers a machine solely dedicated to non-ferrous materials.  

Midtherm works with a variety of materials including carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper and brass. The thickness range is from 0.5mm thick going up 25mm with tolerances of +/-0.25 and better.

Midtherm Laser has recently been accredited with BS EN 1090-1 (EXECUTION Class 4) CE mark.

More machining capacity

MJ Allen Castings & Machining (N90) has invested in two more additions to its machine shop. Both from Dugard, the HD 1886B and HD 2210B are heavy duty, box way, vertical machining centres which provide additional capacity for the machining of castings, fabrications and solid materials.

The Dugard HD 1886B allows for traverse in X of 1800mm, Y of 860mm and Z of 700mm, with a maximum weight of 2000KG, whilst its bigger brother, the Dugard HD 2210B has a traverse in X of 2200mm, Y of 1000mm and Z of 900mm, with a maximum weight of 3000kg.

Operating foundries alongside its machine shop in Ashford, Kent, M J Allen provide a “one stop shop” for aluminium, bronze and iron castings, machining, painting and assembly, all ISO Certified to 9001, 14001 and 18001.

CNC machining investment

Regina Industries (J130), which provides plastic injection moulded parts and tubular glass processors invests in its machining services with the introduction of a new CNC lathe and milling machine.

The investment is a result of increased demand from its diverse range of clients following its debut exhibition at Southern Manufacturing in 2017. The company is now able to offer precision machining as a standalone service complementing its toolmaking department.

In conjunction with sister company Grenville Engineering, Regina Industries will be showcasing solutions in plastic injection moulding, tool making, tubular glass processing, prototyping and precision machining.

Director and General Manager, Mike Beardmore adds "Regina Industries has been producing plastic injection moulded components for over 50 years to a loyal and diverse customer base. The recent addition in precision machining has opened up our capabilities not only to new customers but our existing customers also.”

New spring collection

The new Lee Spring (D245) catalogue of over 25,000 standard parts will be available with 2,000+ new items including 500+ new compression springs in metric DIN-Plus dimensions, new extension springs in SS316, new torsion springs in SS316 and added High Pressure compression springs, including new 600 PSI designs.

The Lee Spring philosophy makes finding the right specification simpler with many features such as grinding and plating options, alongside additional available services such as 1st Article inspection, blanket agreements and many material and finish options. Global Flexibility on the other hand means that wherever your design or production is based, Lee Spring can offer a service package from concept of new products to redesign of legacy items. Many spring examples will be on display with expert engineers to discuss your application.

Aluminium diecasting and machining

MRT Castings Ltd (C195) operates one of the most technically advanced gravity and high pressure die casting foundries in the UK, supported by an industry-leading in-house CNC machine shop, surface finishing, and electro-mechanical assembly facilities.  Principal markets for MRT are in the medical device, aerospace, defence, lighting, and electronics industries.

Many of MRT’s customers have little prior experience of die casting as a manufacturing approach, and hence MRT’s experienced team always enjoy working with potential customers’ design teams to optimise components for casting, to create the maximum competitive advantage for their component

Vacuum thermal processes

MSL Heat Treatment (E 175) was created from the acquisition of CNC Vacuum Processes by the Magnetic Shields group in 2017. Building on the former company’s legacy of quality vacuum heat treatment and brazing, it has been investing heavily to refurbish and replace its vacuum furnaces to meet the demands of modern manufacturing. Two vacuum furnaces were commissioned in December 2018 with the latest control and data acquisition technology designed to meet NADCAP standards. The company has also committed to improving the quality management system, recently achieving ISO9001:2015 and working our way towards AS9100 RevD.

Vacuum brazing is a process that is often overlooked when designing complex assemblies but holds many advantages over traditional joining techniques. As well as being able to join dissimilar metals in a controlled way with high joint strength and integrity, it is also useful for large batches of components or parts with many joints that can all be brazed at the same time, potentially lowering per-unit cost of the joining process.

Drag, drop, source!

Qimtek (K235) is returning to Southern Manufacturing for the second year running to showcase our Drag, Drop, Source! service. Drag, Drop, Source! allows manufacturing buyers to quickly and easily upload their drawings and in turn, receive multiple quotes directly from quality UK subcontract engineering suppliers.

Designed to save time and resources, Drag, Drop, Source! is a free, online service that is already used by hundreds of OEMs every year. Qimtek says it is passionate about introducing manufacturing buyers to subcontract suppliers and therefore, it wants to raise awareness of the doors it can open for both parties.

Alongside Drap, Drag, Source! Qimtek will also be taking the opportunity to speak with machinists, fabricators, sheet metal workers, plastic moulders and casting companies alike. It is always on the hunt for UK subcontract engineering vendors to join its membership and assist its buyers; in turn, Qimtek’s members are provided with a steady stream of live enquiries that match their in-house capabilities, complete with buyer contact details to provide a quote directly.

10 years of precision

Sub-CNC Precision (F100) was established in 2008 and has just celebrated its 10th year in business, providing quality machined turned/milled components to a diverse range of industry sectors.

The company says it has always accommodated customers’ requirements, be it a one drop order on a subcontract basis, or contract manufacturing. This includes stockholding for scheduled deliveries, just in time or Kanban, allowing the customer to benefit from large volume price breaks.

Sub-CNC Precision machines materials from mild and stainless steel to plastic and aluminium, and many more.

Continuous investment in the latest technology means all its CNC machines are less than 5 years old and have the very latest technology, 40% of which, have cutting edge Low Frequency Vibration (LFV) built in.

Technical plating information

Navigation enhancements to Twickenham Plating Group’s (B70) website are accompanied by additional technical information and specifications for individual finishes.

The company provides specialist technical plating services for electronics, telecommunication, aerospace, automotive and military applications. The plating production facility in Poole, Dorset, delivers a range of plating services for customers throughout the world, including selective gold plating, reel to reel plating, and barrel/vat/rack plating.

Finishes available include gold (pure and hard), silver, palladium, palladium/nickel, electroless nickel, nickel, black zinc nickel, tin, zinc cobalt (olive drab and black).

The company specialises in plating on various substrates from copper, copper alloys, such as brass and phosphor bronze, and ferrous metals, including stainless and carbon steel, to aluminium alloys and tellurium copper.

Multifaceted offering

Bowyer Engineering (C265) offers a subcontract piece part manufacturing service using multi-axis CNC and conventional machines. It also offers a design and build service for special purpose machines and manufactures temperature and pressure monitoring probes for aerospace engine applications.

In addition, it offers an EDM notching service to support NDT and NDE inspection techniques as well as a design and build service for robotic assembly jigs, assembly tooling, welding fixtures, inspection fixtures and robotic end effectors.

What is a micron?

Brandauer (E190) has invested heavily in new high-speed presses, ancillaries, grinding machines and the latest laser inspection equipment for the production of stamped metal components accurate to a tolerance of 20 microns.

Brandauer’s ‘What is a Micron’ video will be on display giving visitors an in-depth look into the technical aspects of precision metal stamping.

Sales spring up by 25%

Southern Springs and Pressings Ltd (SSP) (M170), has posted a record 52% increase in export sales in their 2017/18 accounts.

Having secured more press work throughout the last 12 months, the business has continued to re-invest with a new tool design and production office. The new office will allow the team to design components using the latest CAD tool design technology which will also link directly through to the EDM and machining centre. A new air conditioning system has also been installed throughout the building.

SSP also celebrated 70 successful years of trading having opened its doors for the first time in April 1948. With the continued demand for press work, SSP purchased a further two CNC Power Presses in order to increase capacity and is planning on increasing the work space and machines in this area over the next year. There are also plans to purchase new ovens and de-burring machines.

Technical plastic moulding

Precision Engineering Plastics (PEP) (H130) specialises in close tolerance injection moulded components.

Working in industries as diverse as automotive, electrical/ electronics, engineering, medical, ministry of defence and aerospace, it delivers a wide range of injection moulding, insert moulding, 2 shot moulding and secondary/ post-processing services.

It is a specialist in solutions involving challenging high-grade engineering polymers. It regularly works with materials including, PEEK, PPA, LCP, PPS, Polyesters, POM, PC / ABS Alloys, TPE, various nylons including PA66 & PA12 and glass-filled polymers (up to 65% glass filler) such as IXEF and Amodel.

See the full exhibitor list here 


Photo: MRT Castings Stand C195