Export boom lands Queen’s Award for Arrowsmith Engineering
Left to right: Jason Aldridge and Steve Jackson, CNC programmer at Arrowsmith Engineering
A Coventry-based aerospace supplier that has pivoted to supply critical parts for ventilators is celebrating after it received the Queen’s Award for International Trade.
Arrowsmith Engineering, which employs 76 people at its Bayton Road factory, secured the prestigious accolade after it recorded a 996 percent increase in export activity over the last three years, supplying precision components to global manufacturers including Rolls-Royce, GKN, ITP and Siemens.
The company’s parts are used in aerospace engines, landing gears and air frames, with recent wins seeing sales rise to £7.6 million and investment in the latest CNC robotics paving the way for 10 percent growth in 2020.
Bosses at the firm believe the Queen’s Award will play an important role in further expansion in Brazil, Germany, Singapore, Spain and the United States.
“This is the highest honour a company can achieve and is a fitting tribute to the strides we have made to become a global aerospace supplier,” explains managing director Jason Aldridge.
“To be able to display the Queen’s Award logo on our letterhead, in marketing material and across all of our communication channels will be a massive boost to our business and will definitely generate new opportunities in overseas markets.
“Importantly, the award is a massive thank you to our staff, who continue to go above and beyond in meeting the exacting standards of the aerospace sector, and in recent weeks, the NHS ventilator push.”
Arrowsmith Engineering, which is part of the Aero Services Global Group, has been lending its manufacturing expertise to support the frontline fight against COVID-19 after being invited by Rolls-Royce Control Systems and Rolls-Royce in Derby to join their ventilator supply chains.
Despite having 25 percent of shop floor staff self-isolating, the company responded immediately to the nationwide effort by creating a dedicated team to produce prototype and production parts for the Smiths ventilator assembly line.
In total, more than 60,000 ventilator components have been delivered and a further order has now been placed to manufacture prototype parts for a new type of ventilator currently undergoing testing.
“Our team are working two, 12-hour shifts every day and night to deliver the volumes expected, with all of the initial parts now supplied and being assembled,” continues Jason Aldridge, who is also chairman of the Coventry & Warwickshire Aerospace Forum (CWAF).
“This has been a phenomenal effort by everyone involved and we have successfully been able to transfer our precision aerospace engineering knowledge to create the necessary tooling and tolerances required for life-saving parts.
“All of this has been carried out with the Government’s social distancing measures in place, hence splitting the shifts in two and ensuring that 85 percent of office staff are set up to work from home. Our staff are fantastic and we have to protect them as well as supporting the NHS.”
Arrowsmith Engineering is a specialist in precision turning, milling, thread rolling and grinding, providing components to aerospace tier 1s and primes in titanium, nimonics, stainless steel, exotic metal and engineering plastics.
The company has also recently been awarded the ADS SC21 Silver Award for delivering world class manufacturing performance, with ‘On Time in Full’ at 98.5 percent and quality running at 99.95 percent for the past twelve months.
Vision Engineering wins Queen’s Award
Vision Engineering, a 61 year old British leading designer and manufacturer of high-quality visual inspection and measurement technologies, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2020 in the Innovation category, for its high tech ergonomic optical inspection microscope Lynx EVO.
The Queens Award for Innovation recognises exceptional achievement by UK businesses and is acknowledged as the highest UK award for companies. It is awarded to products or services that have been available on the market and can demonstrate outstanding innovation and commercial success for at least two years.
Lynx EVO is a high productivity eyepiece-less stereo microscope providing market leading ergonomic performance for intricate inspection and manipulation tasks. It combines ergonomic & optical excellence with digital real time information transfer capabilities. Developed using Vision Engineering’s globally patented ‘expanded pupil’ technology, it was developed to address the issue of operator efficiency.
Expanded pupil technology, based on patented optical microarray surfaces maximises possible head/body movement, hand to eye coordination, use of peripheral sensory information and allows operators to sit further away from the eye-piece, leading to improved user posture, reduced fatigue and improved accuracy and efficiency.
Lynx EVO was also developed to enhance multi-site design and manufacturing by improving the digital sharing of detailed real time information across complex manufacturing and distribution supply chains.
Lynx EVO has been widely adopted around the world for critical manufacturing operations, by large medtech, medical device, telecomms, aerospace, automotive and other manufacturers and their extended subcontract supply chains. 95 percent of Vision Engineering’s output is exported.
Managing director Mark Curtis comments: “We are delighted to be awarded the highest accolade that UK business can receive for our Lynx EVO eyepiece-less stereo microscope. It reinforces our belief that exploiting state of the art microarray technologies and addressing the digital expectations of our customers offer significant benefits of throughput, reduced wastage and workplace efficiency across a range of industries globally through improved operator comfort, accuracy productivity and communication of information across multiple locations.
“The development of Lynx EVO and other related products has enabled us to exploit our unique expertise in the complex science of multi-faceted surfaces, and enabled Vision Engineering to combine multiple leading-edge disciplines, to good commercial effect.”
Vision Engineering Ltd is a global leading-edge designer and manufacturer of patented ergonomic stereo optical and digital instruments, used for inspection, manipulation measurement and analysis of manufactured parts, by most of the world’s leading manufacturers and their extended supply chains.
Founded in 1958 and wholly British owned, Vision Engineering’s Global HQ, design and manufacturing facilities are based in state-of-the-art modern premises in Woking, Surrey, UK, with extensive manufacturing facilities in the UK and US. Regional sales and tech support offices are located throughout North America, Europe and Asia.