Longstanding relationship continues between JC Engineering Products and Ellesco
The two latest generation Timesavers machines installed at JC Engineering Products are enhancing quality and productivity, while eliminating a need for manual deburring
Having purchased its first Grindingmaster deburring and graining machine from Ellesco almost 40 years ago, JC Engineering Products can genuinely claim to be a longstanding customer. Fast forward to 2020 and the company, as part of a large investment programme, has just taken delivery of two latest generation Timesavers machines. To ease the purchase, the original machine, along with another 30-year old Grindingmaster, both of which were operating daily, were used in part exchange.
The investment at JC Engineering Products is part of the company’s ongoing development strategy, which has benefited from a mix of organic growth and acquisition. Serving a range of industries, including retail, aerospace and electronics, the Reading-based business witnessed an upturn at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with business levelling off in recent weeks. “Covid had a limited impact on business as we initially saw an upturn with customers ordering for stock and while certain sectors that we supply, such as aerospace, dropped off dramatically, our spread of customers enabled us to continue to develop the business,” says Ashley Churchill, Director, JC Engineering Products.
The two new Timesavers machines, a 22 Series (22-900-W) machine for graining sheet material, along with a larger 32 Series (32-1100-WRb) that is capable of graining, deburring and radiussing thanks to the addition of rotating brushes. The latter was also equipped with a Climavent LW22P/5.5 kW extraction system. These new machines will be running 8-9 hours/day, typically six days/week and the reliability of Timesavers and the support available has been central to JC Engineering Products’ relationship with Ellesco. “The service we receive from Ellesco is pivotal in our relationship. Machines will run perfectly for 99 percent of the time, it is the one percent where you need to know that you can rely on a supplier and manufacturer,” says Ashley Churchill. A prime example of this support was when the initial inquiry was made. “We visited Ellesco and took with us a selection of the most difficult components we could think of. Nigel, our machine operator was expecting Ellesco to struggle with some of them, but nothing posed a problem for them.”
JC Engineering Products focuses its attention on producing fine limit, high-quality and accurate parts, along with the capability to meet customer needs in terms of lead times. The latter is part of the reason for buying two Timesavers at this time. The smaller of the two machines can handle deburring, while bringing in the larger 32 Series machine means that 2 m x 1 m sheet can now be processed, with the added advantage of deburring as well as graining.
“The technology in the new Timesavers also eliminates some of the black art of graining and deburring, eliminating the manual skills we used to rely on.”
Since the arrival of the 32 Series, Nigel confirms that he has not had to manually deburr a single part: “Another advantage is that the 32 Series machine can deburr laser cut pieces with the protective plastic coating still in place. This means that after processing through the Timesavers machine, we can then bend the parts and the coating prevents any bend marks appearing on the part. We are also seeing significant time savings thanks to the ease of use and consistency of the Timesavers machines,” says Ashley Churchill.
JC Engineering will now dedicate two operators to these machines, father and son team Nigel and James. Nigel has experience of the old machines and now Ellesco has provided training on the new product. With the two machines located next to each other, Nigel is passing on his knowledge to his son. “We always want a Plan B,” says Ashley Churchill. “So, having two operators capable of setting and running both machines gives us security of production.”
Other advantages that soon became apparent with the move to the latest technology included the working environment both external and internal of the machine. The Climavent 5.5 kW extractor fitted to the 32 Series, Timesavers is highly efficient at keeping the working area clean and free of dust. Internally, the new 32-Series machine has a self-cleaning capability and after a set amount of running will automatically go into a cleaning mode. This eliminates most manual intervention and ensures the machines are functioning at their optimum performance. The increased use of electronics and a reduced reliance on compressed air has also assisted the environment by reducing noise and energy costs.
MACH 2021 falls victim to Covid-19
Despite the sterling efforts of organiser the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) for the MACH 2021 exhibition to go ahead in January as planned, the UK’s largest manufacturing trade event has had to be rescheduled to April 2022.
With the continued uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and local lockdowns, the MTA decided to consult with its members and exhibitors who had booked a stand at MACH 2021 and gauge their opinion on whether to continue with MACH 2021 in January or carry forward to MACH 2022.
The overwhelming sentiment was that, in order to minimise the risks to visitors and exhibitors and to provide the best possible platform for both, the event should be moved to April 2022.
The event will be held in the same Halls at the NEC from 4th to 8th April 2022.
Roger Barber Publishing fully supports this move and will work hard to keep our readers fully informed about the advantages of the 2022 show.
MTA CEO James Selka says: “We believe that this decision, which has not been taken lightly, is in the best interests of the industry and those who work in it. Our first priority is, of course, the health and safety of the 30,000+ people who will visit and work at MACH.
“In addition, we believe that by moving MACH to April 2022, we will be able to offer a better experience for our visitors, and better value for our exhibitors, rather than holding it in January 2021 with the uncertainty that could still be with us. Add to this the Government’s recent announcement of a pause to the restart of live events and it was felt that a dateline in April 2022 was a much better option.
“In the meantime, visitors who planned to attend MACH 2021 to find out about new technology, look for new suppliers and research new trends will be able to utilise the existing MTA digital platforms. In addition, later this year, we will launch a new, virtual platform which we believe will perfectly complement the live show in 2022.
“We’re grateful to the NEC for working with us to facilitate this move and we look forward to welcoming visitors to MACH 2022 where they will be able to experience the best of modern manufacturing technology under one roof.”
All exhibitors booked for MACH in January 2021 have been offered the same space at the event being held on the new dates and the MTA is already in contact with exhibitors to discuss their participation. However, should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the organisers:
SurfaceTechnology Germany Exhibition
Due to the new scheduling situation this year, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY will now run parallel to parts2clean, the leading international trade fair for industrial parts and surface cleaning. The two trade shows are related not only thematically but are also located side by side at the Stuttgart Exhibition Center in Halls 7 and 9.
Current and future topics in the SurfaceTechnology forum|
One highlight at SurfaceTechnology is always the expert forum , where specialists from science and industry discuss current issues and present new trends. Under the heading of Cleaning and Pretreatment, topics include industrial cleaning with pulsed laser systems, activation of plastics prior to electroplating, and gas phase activation with SO3.
Another topic is lightweight construction viewed from the perspective of surface technology. The multi-material mix challenge for corrosion protection plays just as much a role here as innovative surface technology in the context of new lightweight construction scenarios or, more practically, the treatment of magnesium surfaces.
The forum also covers new processes in electroplating technology, including cyanide-free electroplating of bronze coatings as a potential nickel replacement layer, decorative and functional surface protection, friction-enhancing and friction-reducing coatings, and RT-hardening zinc lamella coating. In addition to energy and material efficiency and processes for physical surface treatment.
The speakers will also look to the future: high-speed deposition welding, cross-technology hybrid coatings, smart surface control or job planning with artificial intelligence – the expert forum shows how surface technology is changing.
Another subject of great interest will be Industrie 4.0, which covers quality assurance and process optimisation in surface technology, interface standardisation with OPC UA, intelligent service systems and augmented reality for the electroplating technology of tomorrow. Finally, REACh cannot be left off the list of topics.
Fraunhofer IPA presents Stuttgart Surface Technology Prize
One reason to celebrate at SurfaceTechnology GERMANY is the regular awarding of the Stuttgart Surface Technology Prize “Die Oberfläche” (The Surface) , which the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA is presenting for the seventh time. The award ceremony was postponed along with SurfaceTechnology GERMANY, so the application phase was extended to August 14. The award ceremony takes place on Tuesday, 27 October. The competition recognizes applications and technologies from all disciplines of surface technology that enable certain products or technologies. The jury also considers the criteria of innovation leap, sustainability and industrial feasibility.
GSF JUNE 2020
Mirka celebrates 20 years of dust-free sanding
For two decades, Mirka has been at the forefront of dust-free sanding, thanks to an invention that revolutionised workplaces all around the world. By developing an abrasive that features a net structure instead of a conventional paper backing, Mirka was able to introduce extremely efficient on-tool dust removal that improves both the work quality and working environment. Mirka simply called the new abrasive Abranet.
Manufactured with Mirka’s patented technology, the net structure of the Abranet abrasive ensures a sanding particle is never more than 0.5 millimetres from a dust extraction hole. This means that sanding grains are able to retain their cutting power and the resulting dust is safely removed. Abranet is highly resistant to dust pills and clogging and is easily cleared to ensure optimal use out of every abrasive. With every coarseness grade providing excellent results, the original Abranet and its many versions are best combined with Mirka’s efficient and ergonomic power tools and dust extractors. New versions of the Abranet continue to be developed and patented.
“The Mirka Abranet net abrasive is a product of true Finnish ingenuity and ability to think outside the box. What started out as a laboratory experiment quickly proved its worth and it’s a perfect example of the Mirka way of doing things,” says Hans Hede, development engineer and one of the “fathers” of Abranet.
Today, 20 years later, dust-free sanding is widely accepted as an industry standard, with many competitors having seen the advantages of the Abranet approach. Original Mirka Abranet abrasives and their patented technology come from the Mirka factory in Jeppo, Finland, where it all started.
Mirka is looking forward to many more decades of dust-free and safe working environments, made better every day by the products and solutions it continues to develop and manufacture.
ANCA joins the fight against COVID-19 – manufacturing components for life-saving ventilators
Manufacturing components for life-saving ventilators
Coming to the aid of a medical system crushed worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic, ANCA has joined an important consortium to rapidly manufacture invasive ventilators within Australia. This initiative directly addresses the critical supply of mechanical ventilation equipment to support COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation to survive. Banding together with other Australian manufacturing businesses, the consortium can harness various industry capabilities to make more ventilators sooner.
Building on over 45 years of innovation, ANCA has taken its industry know-how to pivot to COVID-19 related manufacturing to support national efforts to produce more ventilators. ANCA’s dedicated project team will draw on the skills and experience of engineers and manufacturing production teams to support this venture while maintaining business-as-usual production, service and support for its global customers.
Co-founder and managing director, Pat Boland says: “ANCA is an advanced manufacturer that supplies to a wide range of industries, a key one being the medical industry. In fact, ANCA has been classified in the US as an essential industry because so many of our customers are manufacturing medical components.”
ANCA is a manufacturer of CNC machines that produce quality precision cutting tools. Its experience in advanced manufacturing means it can guarantee a micron precision, a capability which means the company could pivot and utilise its machine shop to manufacture parts for the ventilators. Australian-based company, ANCA exports 98 percent of their product and boasts a global network to service customers worldwide. Fully Australian and privately owned, ANCA machines have the capacity to machine components in brass, aluminium, plastic and steel and has skilled assembly capabilities.
Pat Boland adds: “ANCA is Melbourne-based and we are very excited by the prospect of being involved with a home grown project and helping make a contribution to the manufacturing industry, making ventilator components and sub-assemblies to support urgent medical requirements.”
Around the world, it is predicted that total demand for ventilators could run into the tens of thousands, with existing manufacturers unable to meet demand.
“This is a global emergency and, in my view, it is incumbent on every individual in every organisation to do everything they can to help deal with it. In the case of ANCA, we have capabilities that are a good match and it’s the right thing to do. We are very good at manufacturing the kind of parts that are needed for ventilators and it is a really great way for us as an organisation to give something back to the community,” says ANCA Group CEO, Chris Hegarty.
“ANCA is a global company, but while we do have some resources offshore for manufacturing, most of our engineering is in Australia and a significant proportion of our manufacturing capabilities are here as well; so that’s why we are able to help.”
With production already in progress to meet tight timeframes; ANCA has hit the ground running with dedicated machinists willingly working weekends and over the Easter break to make parts and help combat coronavirus.
Production operations manager, Mark Patman explains: “With an extremely tight timeframe, we’ve jumped in and started manufacturing the parts. It’s a team effort across the business to get it done. As a well-established global business, a lot of the processes required to deliver this type of project are already in place at ANCA. We can leverage off all our systems to be able to deliver the project.”
ANCA is utilising a cross-functional team comprising manufacturing, supply chain, project management, stores logistics, and safety to support this crucial work.
Demonstrating agility in moving from machine tools to ventilators, ANCA already has a working relationship with the AMGC and is pleased to be collaborating with Grey Innovation to ensure that Australia does not have a shortfall in ventilators, critical for its COVID-19 response. Answering the call from the Australian Government, rapid production will continue to supply contracts and contribute to the coronavirus crisis strategy.
Video file: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXXUjVzvumw&t
Clean air from just £0.26 per employee per day
There’s not much you can buy for £0.26 these days, but it can buy you a breath of fresh air!
Leading industrial air cleaning specialist Filtermist Systems Ltd’s brand-new ATLAS service programme aims to make it as hassle free as possible for UK manufacturers to ensure their employees are breathing clean, safe air.
From as little as £0.26 per employee per day, based on a facility with 25 employees, with up to 10 Filtermist units requiring four site visits per year in a Bronze contract.
Filtermist can provide a bespoke service that includes routine and reactive maintenance, and thorough examination and testing (TExT) for Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems, so employers can be confident they’re protecting their workforce from hazardous airborne contaminants and operating in compliance with relevant HSE regulations including COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).
COSHH regulations require all LEV systems to be thoroughly examined and tested by a competent person at least once every 14 months, sometimes as frequently as once every month depending on the nature of the application.
“The current situation resulting from COVID-19 means cashflow is even higher on the agenda for most businesses than usual,” comments UK LEV and Service sales manager, Carl Latham. “ATLAS is designed to make it more manageable for customers to ensure they’re ticking that all important box of protecting their people and remaining compliant with HSE and Environment Agency Regulations, whilst keeping an eye on the bottom line.”
Signing up to an ATLAS contract also means customers no longer have to remember to book regular services and LEV tests. This is all handled by Filtermist’s dedicated service team.
The ATLAS programme includes packages tailored for oil mist, dust, fume and spray LEV systems across three service levels: bronze, silver and gold, enabling customers to choose the best option for their specific requirements. Each level can be paid for annually, quarterly, or monthly under contracts with periods that vary between 12 and 36 months, depending on the customer’s requirements.
All packages include service visits, an annual LEV test, a dedicated account manager and a 24hour response time for all breakdowns. Silver and gold levels offer additional benefits including weekend callouts, breakdown voucher visits, and even filter consumables in some cases.
“The name ATLAS comprises the first letter of each word that this service includes: Agreement for TExT of LEV, Aftersales and Service, meaning support/prop,” continues Carl Latham. “This is particularly fitting, as this is exactly what the ATLAS service aims to do, support our customers to ensure they provide clean air for their workforce with no admin headaches.”
Full details including a breakdown of each service level can be found at https://www.filtermist.co.uk/filter-servicing-and-spares/.
Established in Shropshire in 1969, Filtermist’s ethos is to protect people by ensuring cleaner, safer, more productive working environments. The company, part of the Swedish Absolent Group, provides an extensive range of products and services designed to ensure the air in production facilities is free from contaminants such as oil mist, oil smoke, dust, fume and VOCs. If left in the atmosphere airborne particles can be hazardous to health and can pose a fire and slip risk.
Filtermist is best known for manufacturing a range of compact, quiet and efficient oil mist filters which are trusted by world leading manufacturers in more than 60 countries.
In the UK, Filtermist offers a turnkey service that includes initial consultation and project planning, extraction system design, specification, equipment manufacture and supply, installation and commissioning.
Recent acquisitions mean the company is now responsible for a number of product brands in addition to Filtermist oil mist filters. These include Dustcheck process filters, venting filters and dust collectors, Gallito paint finishing solutions, FastClip ducting, XS Automation control panels and Ecogate energy saving technology.
Filtermist is also the UK distributor for sister company Absolent AB and offers comprehensive aftersales services including filtration consumables, COSHH compliant LEV testing, air monitoring and extraction system maintenance throughout the UK.
Are grinding machine safety guards overdesigned?
VDW tests the minimum wall thickness of safety guards
Guards on grinding machines are particularly important for ensuring operator safety. Grinding wheels seldom burst, but when they do, there is a great risk of serious injury to the machine operator. Recent studies suggest, however, that the enclosures commonly used in gear grinding machines, for example, could be overdesigned at present. Investigations conducted by the VDW, the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association, and the Institute of Machine Tools and Factory Management (IWF) at TU Berlin reveal that it is possible to use safety guards which are up to 70 percent thinner, depending on the width of the grinding wheel. These findings are now leading to changes in ISO standardisation.
Will overdesigned safety guards soon a thing of the past?
The minimum wall thicknesses for safety guards are specified in ISO Standard 16089 Machine tools – Safety – Stationary grinding machines. There is a directly proportionate link between the requirements concerning primary protective covers for gear grinding machines and those for the full enclosures located further away. The reason for this is that no specific safety precautions were initially specified for the safety guards of gear grinding machines, which do not normally have a primary protective cover. This is because the preceding standard, EN 13218 Safety of machine tools – Stationary grinding machines, did not explicitly include gear grinding machines. However, this proportionate scaling has been repeatedly questioned, for example by the Japanese association JMTBA, because it results in overdesigned polycarbonate safety guards and screens.
Major simplifications are possible
The member companies of VDW Working Group 5, which is responsible for machine tool component safety, therefore concluded that new specification tables were required for the full enclosures of stationary grinding machines. A two-year project was thus launched by the IWF (TU Berlin) in 2012 to develop the necessary test equipment.
“The ensuing burst and impact tests showed that the thickness of the enclosure wall can be reduced by up to 70 percent, depending on the width of the grinding wheel,” explains Simon Thom, group leader for machine tool technology at IWF (TU Berlin). “This is very good news for machine tool manufacturers, who are keen to avoid excess weight in their machines. Reducing the thickness of a sheet steel housing by half a millimetre, for example, will save 4 kg/m2 in weight.” This also yields indirect savings because the motors for opening and closing correspondingly lighter steel gates can be less powerful or are rendered entirely superfluous.
Unity among the partners
It is not only the industrial companies and the scientists who agree that guards are overdesigned in such machines. The DGVU (German Statutory Accident Insurance System) based in St. Augustin and the BGHM trade association in Hanover also carried out similar tests on a burst test stand, with comparable results. The burst tests were conducted over eight years. Then, at the end of 2019, the BGHM presented its report covering a total of over 400 burst grinding wheels and more than 800 usable impact events. Based on this, a safe design convention stipulating 3 mm for sheet steel with different grinding wheel widths was drawn up in conjunction with the VDW.
The consolidation of the results in Germany was motivated not least by comparable studies abroad. The Japanese JMTBA association carried out tests which found that some of the previous standard specifications set out in ISO 16089 could be reduced by up to 30 percent.
Finally, in January 2020, a standardisation meeting was held in Tokyo, where the Japanese and German findings were compared. The experts agreed that the Japanese results for adapting the specification tables for the primary protective cover, and the German results for the design of the full enclosure should be incorporated into the ISO standard. A consolidated working paper will soon be prepared by the ISO Secretariat at DIN in Berlin and submitted to the relevant public as a so-called “Committee Draft” for comments. This is scheduled for completion by October 2020.
Further investigations ongoing
Nevertheless, the existing results of the study on full enclosures in Project 20438 “Safely dimensioned machine enclosures” of the IGF (Industrielle Gemein-schaftsforschung) are being corroborated empirically and theoretically.
“We’re also using simulations to highlight the worst case scenario. As our burst tests have shown, this occurs when the outer edge of the fragment hits the guard. We can reproduce this type of impact in models with different materials, grinding wheel widths and safety guard thicknesses. In this way we have succeeded in simplifying the extremely complex burst tests,” reports Simon Thom. “Our plan for this year is to propose even simpler dimensioning procedures.” The reduced minimum wall thicknesses which are now to be specified in the ISO standard could therefore be made even thinner on the basis of the further test results.
Guyson provides critical cleaning machines for ventilator challenge
Guyson International Ltd, the UK’s foremost industrial finishing equipment manufacturer, based in Skipton, North Yorkshire, is urgently building precision cleaning equipment for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium. A consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors has come together to produce medical ventilators for the UK.
Guyson manufactures its Kerry branded ‘Microsolve 250’, a solvent based ultrasonic cleaning machine, which provides precision cleaning of components used in the ventilators and at present supplies them to one of the OEM ventilator makers. The Microsolve 250 Mono-Solvent system has three process stages, comprising of ultrasonic cleaning, followed by vapour rinsing and freeboard drying. Crucially the cleaning process utilising the Guyson System is already cleared by regulators and can support immediate upscaling of production.
The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is committed to support the NHS’ requirements to treat coronavirus patients and Companies in the consortium have now received formal orders from the Government in excess of 10,000 units.
Having already supplied two existing demonstration units to the consortium, Guyson is now focusing its attention on the manufacture of new systems. Guyson employees have been diverted to this critical manufacturing task and are working longer shifts and committed itself right throughout the Easter period to deal with production of the machines. The first of the new units will follow the most recent refurbished system in 2-3 weeks, a manufacturing lead time which is usually 8-10 weeks.
Guyson has liaised very closely with members of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, who have offered their own resources to facilitate the fastest possible delivery. Ultimately Guyson has reacted manfully and been able to call on its own supply chain and business partners and rise to the challenge.
Mark Viner, MD of Guyson’s Blast & Wash Divisioncomments: “The response from the team here at Guyson has been immense. Everyone is very much aware of the importance of this initiative and is keen to do their bit. Our welders, fabricators, fitters, electricians and test engineers offer literally whatever it takes to get the job done. Two of our team have even made the 10-hour round trip to our electro-polishing supplier, a critical part of the Microsolve manufacturing process saving us valuable assembly time.”
“I’m very proud of the response from the Guyson team and we are all grateful to be able to play a small part in support of the real heroes on the front line in the battle with the Coronavirus.”