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 15k to 24k 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 was also Hyfore workholding, Filtermist oil filters, Blum-Novotest laser measuring systems, a Robojob Turnassist and the latest robot from ABB present.
Martin Doyle, Managing Director of the Engineering Technology Group, commented: “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 continued: “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 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.
Gareth Jones, the new Managing Director at HK, 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,” explained Gareth.
“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 concluded: “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.”