RK International celebrates 70 years in 2021
Managing director John Schwarz looks back with pride
I am sure I can speak for many with us at these difficult times, when I say that we can all do with some positivity in our working lives and it is with great pleasure and pride that I look forward to sharing a few memories with you over the course of 2021, as RK celebrates its 70th year.
Back in 1951, my grandfather and former World War 2 Spitfire pilot Ray Schwarz, identified a void in the manufacturing sector for supplying tools and equipment. Based in South London, he approached his mother and my great grandmother, Kath, with a business proposal to start a company supplying this type of equipment, and with that RK began its business.
In the coming weeks and months, via the News section on our website and our social media channels, I hope you join me as we reminisce on earlier machine tool developments and changes in technology, along with stories from our industry and including a visit to RK’s facility by the Prime Minister.
If you or any of your colleagues have any memories or stories that you would like to share, of your dealings with RK, Ray Schwarz or my father, Mike Schwarz, please feel free to get in contact with me.
New chapter at Ellesco promises new focus and growth
After 40 plus years under the stewardship of the Simonis family, Christchurch-based metal finishing specialist, Ellesco, is now under new ownership, with Guy Newton returning to the business after taking a controlling interest from Vincent Simonis and his family.
This new chapter in this long-established, market leader, will inject a combination of fresh capital and enthusiasm to the business and comes with plans to double machine sales within 2-3 years, which Guy is confident of achieving. This ambitious sales growth will be supported by a raft of new approach to financing of machines and customer support. The innovative approach will see greater flexibility for customers in terms of staged payments, extended warranties and service, among many other developments, such as offering best practice pricing to facilitate the use of old machines in part exchange for new ones.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to progress Ellesco into its next chapter after over 40 years of success under both Leonard and Vincent Simonis. Returning to a known business, one with a long history and large customer base, has been an opportunity I embrace with enthusiasm. Ellesco will be reinvigorated with the new investment and plans for quicker lead-times through higher stock are already in hand.
Also, with over 2,000 operational machines in the UK and our own team of manufacturer trained service engineers, we are looking to enhance our service offer through more flexible packages, delivering greater value to the customers. In addition, service packages can be managed to provide extended warranties on new machines.
“I am grateful for the support of Timesavers and other long-term suppliers and look forward to our experienced team delivering improvements for the customers and, of course, seeing everyone again at MACH 2022.
Of course, while some things change, others remain the same with the core of Ellesco’s business concentrated on the Timesavers/Grindingmasters range of deburring and surface finishing machines. Here, the number of machines in stock and available for live or virtual demonstrations will be increased. Ellesco will also be developing a range of service packages that can be tailored to suit individual customers ranging from a general once a year service to multiple service visits and discount structures on consumable supplies and extended warranties.
Mirka’s decade of tooling evolution
Mirka’s award winning Power Tools division is celebrating its 10th birthday. In the last decade, this team has been at the cutting-edge of technology advancement and has created the DEROS sanders, which are two of the most ergonomic and easy-to-use sanders on the market and are amongst Mirka’s best selling products.
The division, founded after the success of the CEROS in 2009, highlighted to Mirka that a dedicated Power Tools division was required to help anticipate and fast track the development process of future products.
Caj Nordström, Mirka product development manager, says, “Developing new products and working with new technology has always been my passion. Mirka is well known for manufacturing abrasives, but abrasives are only a part of the complete picture when it comes to sanding. They are best matched with tools that have been designed for them to give the best possible result, and as our engineers are not just theoretical people, we like to use the products ourselves.”
The Power Tools Division has won many awards for its products over the past decade and Caj Nordström says: “Winning our first award told us we had got the design right, but the most important feedback of course comes from end users, who work with our power tools every day. The tool must be perfect for the user.”
Liebherr Performance Days Europe: real life meets virtual Tech Arena
Experience gear technology and automation systems virtually from 1st-3rd December 2020
With Performance Days, Liebherr has created an event that is synonymous with innovation, technology and networking. Liebherr will be using the Tech Arena as a platform to present new products, host live talks and a platform for technological exchange.
In the Tech Arena is exclusive information about new products and the current portfolio in the areas of gear technology and automation systems. In addition, contact persons are available for advice on all product areas and help to develop your technical solution.
In the gear technology product area, Liebherr will present first-of-its-kind innovations, such as the LGG 500 generating gear grinding machine and the LK 280 DC gear skiving machine, as well as many others. You can also learn more about the newlydeveloped SECLA clamping technology, which will soon provide a perfectly coordinated clamping concept.
In the area of automation systems, Liebherr is also taking on the challenges presented by technological change and introducing you for the first time to the innovative, automated concept for the assembly of battery packs. From the application cell all the way to the complete system, Liebherr is your one stop shop.
With its web applications and networking methods, Liebherr also offers tailor-made digitalisation solutions for all product areas. The spectrum ranges from simple monitoring applications to far-reaching Industry 4.0 scenarios.
Convince yourself of the solutions, register for the Liebherr Performance Days and step into the virtual Liebherr world. Registration and information can be found at: https://go.liebherr.com/86djg3
KLINGELNBERG nominated for German Innovation Award 2021
Machine manufacturer Klingelnberg has been nominated for the German Innovation Award 2021 with its “Done-in-One – Complete Measurement in a Single Stage” solution.
The German Innovation Awards honour products and solutions that distinguish themselves from earlier solutions primarily by their user centricity and added value. The German Innovation Awards are granted by the German Design Council, enacted into law by the German Parliament in 1953 and funded by the Federation of German Industries (BDI).
The nominated solution
With its “Done-in-One – Complete Measurement in a Single Stage” solution, Klingelnberg will enter the “Machine and Engineering” category in the “Excellence in Business to Business” competition class. The company’s approach is to perform various measurement processes in a single stage as one complete measurement (“Done-in-One”), all in the immediate production environment.
A Klingelnberg Precision Measuring Center (G variant) has rapid measurement capability for dimensions, shape, contour and surface roughness in one automated cycle. By combining measurement tasks traditionally performed on up to four different devices, it is possible not only to lower investment costs but also to decrease setup times and reduce quality costs.
The integration of measuring technology into the immediate production environment in particular helps to increase the productivity and output of the production plants.
“We are honoured to have secured a nomination for the German Innovation Award 2021 with the same award-winning solution that earned us the Best of Industry Award from MM Maschinenmarkt in June 2020,” remarks a delighted Martin Boelter, CTO of the KLINGELNBERG Group. “The nomination is a testament to our strong capacity for innovation. It is also evidence of our recognition in the market.”
The jury is made up of independent interdisciplinary experts from industry, science, institutions and finance. The submissions are judged on the criteria of innovation, benefit to users, and economic efficiency. The winners will be announced in February 2021.
Founded in 1863, the machine manufacturing firm Klingelnberg is one of the leading companies in the gear industry. Thanks to numerous innovations in the areas of calculation, production, and measuring technology, Klingelnberg considers itself a leader in this industry. With its acquisition of Höfler Maschinenbau GmbH’s core business in 2012, Klingelnberg added machines for machining cylindrical gears to its range of products, reinforcing its position as an integrated systems provider.
Headquartered in Zurich, the machine manufacturing firm currently develops and manufactures at its sites in Zurich, Hückeswagen and Ettlingen. The company also maintains a presence with sales and service offices and numerous marketing agents all over the world.
Klingelnberg solutions are used in the automotive, commercial vehicle and aviation industries, as well as in shipbuilding, the wind power industry and the general transmission manufacturing industry. Applications range from vehicle drives, aircraft turbine engines and cement mill gear units to drive systems for ships and oil rigs.
With over 200 patent grants, the company continuously demonstrates its capacity for innovation. Above and beyond this, its 14001 certification and participation in the VDMA’s Blue Competence initiative give credence to the company’s sustainable, environmentally sound business practices.
Master Abrasives installs Micromatic CNC grinding machine
Andreas Hohmann, managing director at Total Carbide, with Ian Meredith, applications engineering manager at Master Abrasives
Master Abrasives has installed the Micromatic PLUTO 18 machine at Total Carbide, a leading manufacturer of sintered Tungsten Carbide wear parts based at Westcott Venture Park near Aylesbury, providing an advanced materials and engineering base for Westcott Space Cluster.
Total Carbide was looking for a cost-effective new machine for its tungsten carbide measuring probes. The component has a chamfer on the front corner which was ground by interpolation on their previous machine. The required stock removal was 0.5 mm on diameter and surface finish was 0.4 um Ra with an outer diameter and length tolerance of +/- 0.25 mm. The new machine was to accommodate a volume of 2,000-3,000 pieces per month with FANUC CNC to grind OD, face, chamfer and corner radius features, allowing a smooth transition for operators and for work to continue in their toolroom.
PLUTO-18 has been specially designed by Micromatic Grinding Technologies to focus on compactness, high-performance and provide an economical grinding solution. It is best suited to produce highly accurate small components and can perform both plunge and traverse grinding operations. The effective guarding design makes it ‘total productive maintenance’ friendly and its standard configuration makes it adaptable for factory automation too.
A few features of PLUTO-18 include its suitability for batch production of shaft type components with a maximum wheel outer diameter of 400 mm (width 50 mm). A rigid anti-friction wheel head is utilised for better geometrical accuracies and an integrated table provides higher rigidity. PLUTO 18 measures only 1.66 m (W) X 2.2 m (D), which can help to save nearly 30 percent space compared to the footprint of a similar hydraulic grinder. Its customised user-friendly graphics screen helps ease in machine setting and operation.
Kelly Warrington, Customer Services team leader, provides vital assistance from the office for applications engineering support. Kelly worked closely with Master Abrasives application engineering manager Ian Meredith to provide Total Carbide with quotes and information on the Master range. This also included organising shipment to its facility and making contact with engineers to confirm delivery dates for the new machine.
Videos demonstrating capabilities of different machines by Micromatic Grinding Technologies are available on its YouTube channel. Master Abrasives can also show machines in action at its grinding and finishing showroom based in the Midlands, as well as superfinishing devices, metrology equipment and abrasives.
Master Abrasives is an independently owned company providing solutions for industry with a complete range of abrasives, power tools, tool services and machinery and equipment. The Daventry-based company has built an enviable reputation for quality and service that is as strong today as it was 50 years ago. The well-known trademark of ‘Master’ represents the high-quality product range and services offered by the company worldwide.
Micromatic Grinding Technologies, part of the internationally active Ace Micromatic group, manufactures a wide range of grinders in CNC, PLC and Hydraulic versions from its three plants in Ghaziabad near New Delhi. This includes cylindrical, centreless and special purpose build machines.
Versarien plc is an advanced engineering materials group. Leveraging proprietary technology, the Group creates innovative engineering solutions for its clients in a diverse range of industries. Versarien has eight subsidiaries operating under two divisions.
Total Carbide Ltd is part of Versariens hard wear and metallic products division and a leading European manufacturer of sintered tungsten carbide primarily for wear resistant applications and arduous environment.
ETG to offer gear grinding masterclass with KAPP NILES
From the 16th to the 20th November, KAPP NILES will be hosting a digital event for manufacturers to explore the variety of gear technologies and the latest gear grinding product advancements. As a world leader in this segment, KAPP NILES is allowing UK engineers to explore the digital exhibition booth at expo.kapp-niles.com while simultaneously running a series of technical seminars.
Exclusively available in the UK from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG), the KAPP NILES brand is renowned worldwide for its ground-breaking technology in the field of gear grinding production technology. So, if you have an interest in this fascinating field, you can visit the digital exhibition or register to participate in one of the technical webinars.
The webinar series will commence on the 16th November with an introduction to Industry 4.0 solutions through the theme of “Proven mechanical engineering geared to innovative IIoT solutions”. Under this motto, KAPP NILES specialists will guide visitors through the world of gear technology. The first webinar over the five-day event will be “What makes a generating grinding machine flexible? Special features of the KNG 350 expert”, an introduction to one of KAPP NILES’ industry-leading gear grinding machines.
On the 17th November, KAPP NILES Metrology Division will host a second seminar “How efficient is high-precision gear measurement?”, providing an overview of the special features of KNM 2X and KNM 9X gear measurement machines. This will be followed on the 18th with a webinar on “How can quality assurance be integrated into the gear finishing process?”. This insight will give practical examples based on an electric vehicle drive.
Seamlessly following this on the 19th November will be a webinar on “How do digital services simplify the use of KAPP NILES machines?” with a discussion on the KN Assist service software platform and its benefits in reducing set-up and production times.
On the final day, KAPP NILES will round-off the event with a webinar on “Which new possibilities does the familiar process offer?” – an overview of ‘Generating Grinding 2020’. Each webinar will be repeated each day and different times to suit the flexibility of the viewer. So, if you have a serious interest in gear grinding technology, follow the link expo.kapp-niles.com and sign up today.
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:
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.