ETG celebrates 25th birthday with showcase of the latest manufacturing technology
The UK’s leading machine tool supplier celebrated its 25th birthday in style last week, when it showcased its latest manufacturing technologies.
Engineering Technology Group (ETG), which recently acquired HK Technologies, threw open the doors of its Wellesbourne Headquarters to give over 450 industry delegates the latest insight into the world of turnkey solutions, with two new product launches, a UK debut for the Nakamura MX100 and an in-depth look at the latest additive manufacturing and wire EDM machines.
Orders for four new CNC machines were taken during the two-day event, which was used to celebrate the firm’s milestone birthday and to reinforce the growing demand for ‘lights-out’ manufacturing, automation and machine tools that offer world class precision and increased flexibility.
Sub-contract manufacturers involved in automotive, aerospace, medical and renewables were interested in the new Quaser UX500 twin pallet machine (with 15,000 to 24,000 rpm spindle), the dynamic 5-axis simultaneous machining power of the bavius TR80 Machining Centre and the compact footprint and powerful performance of the Chiron DZ15 machining cell.
Reinforcing the turnkey excellence focus, there were also Hyfore workholding, Filtermist oil filters, Blum-Novotest laser measuring systems, a Robojob Turnassist and the latest robot from ABB present.
Managing director of the Engineering Technology Group, Martin Doyle comments: “We wanted to make a big statement for our 25th and I believe we’ve achieved this, bringing the latest machine tools, automation and additive manufacturing technology to the UK.
“Our customers are telling us they want more ‘lights-out manufacturing’, machines that take up a smaller footprint and twin pallet capability so they can work quicker and smarter.
He continues: “Yes, there’s a bit of uncertainty out there, but firms recognise the need to stay ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to technology. By investing in new solutions that we can bespoke to their requirements, they can reduce cycle times, improve lead times and look at taking on increasingly complex components.
“We have to aim to be an extension to their production team and this is our focus going forward.
“It was also great to see so many of our technical partners exhibiting their own unique products and services, including Hydrafeed, Ceratizit, Bott and Jemtech.”
The ETG Open House also gave the company the ideal opportunity to introduce its new business HK Technologies to the market, with technical experts on hand to talk through Balance Systems, the Mitsubishi Wire EDM MV12000, Markforged’s MetalX metal printer and X7 Desktop Series for composite printing and 3D Systems’ ProJet MJP 2500 plus that provides bespoke parts and industry-leading attention to detail.
The new managing director at HK, Gareth Jones used the event to promote the importance of educating industry to the true benefits of additive manufacturing and why more companies, both large and small, need to see it as a way of delivering prototypes and low/medium volume production.
He also highlighted how additive technology fits into the ETG and Hyfore portfolio, offering manufacturers quick turnarounds for bespoke workholding, jigs, fixtures, soft jaws and robot grippers.
“When 3D printing first burst onto the scene, the sector got caught in the trap of making it too mainstream for domestic users, encouraging a scenario where we’d all own a printer at home and we’d start making our own mugs for example,” he explains.
“That’s not the reality. Instead, it needs to be seen as a next generation production technology, capable of producing repeatable quality, quickly and cost effectively. We’ve got a major task on our hands to get this message across and, one of our main aims for the future, is getting the technology out there and firms using it.”
He concludes: “There are a lot of new materials being developed and released to support changing industrial applications, not to mention the implementation of easy-to-use software. These factors, combined with the new technology and our internal technical experts, are helping us deliver tangible, bottom line results to our customers. It’s an opportunity the sector needs to make more of.”
Expansion that matches ambitions
The Vigilance Group, the engineering specialist holding company that incorporates under its corporate banner; Machine Tool Sales Online (MTSO), MACH Machine Tools and Vigilance Engineering Safety Products, has announced significant expansion plans that will, according to group managing director, Dave Andrew, ensure the Group’s long-term growth and future prosperity by providing customers with more choice and improved access to its technologies and solutions.
The first expansion will see an increase in floorspace at the Group’s existing Bristol facility in Fishponds.
Dave Andrew explains: “The Bristol site is home to our Machine Tools Sales Online and MACH Machine Tools business operations. Such has been the demand from customers in recent years and months for our high-quality used and new machine tools, that it became a real necessity for us to increase the floorspace available for both businesses.
“Fortunately, premises adjacent to our existing Bristol facility have recently become available and we grabbed this opportunity of virtually doubling our existing floorspace with both hands.”
By acquiring the new premises, the Vigilance Group now has 21,000 sq ft at its disposal.
This increase in space will see the company, in the near future, create a new and larger MACH Machine Tools’ customer showroom and demonstration facility and enable more new and used machine tools to be held in stock at any given time.
Although The Vigilance Group is based in Bristol, it has customers covering the length and breadth of the UK and in Ireland. To help increase the group’s national profile and to provide customers and prospects based in the Midlands and the North with improved and direct access to MACH Machine Tools’ and MTSO’s machines, services and solutions, The Vigilance Group has recently acquired the premises previously leased by DRMT Solutions Ltd in Leicester which has closed following the retirement of one of its Directors.
The 5,000 sq ft facility in Leicester, following significant refurbishment and modernisation, will be ‘shared’ by MACH Machine Tools and MTSO.
Says Dave Andrew: “The Leicester facility will enable component manufacturers in the North and the Midlands to access our technologies.In addition to taking on the premises in Leicester, The Vigilance Group has also increased its headcount by employing a number of sales and service staff, some of whom were previously employed by DRMT Solutions.
Dave Andrew concludes: “The expansion plans we have announced mean that we will significantly improve our UK presence, more than double our floorspace and increase our headcount. Last year we experienced our best-ever sales performance. This year, following a highly successful MACH 2018 show combined with the expansion plans just announced will, I’m confident, enable us to continue the upward trajectory.”