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Fylde CNC all set for future growth
Fylde CNC all set for future growth
Fylde CNC all set for future growth
Fylde CNC all set for future growth

Fylde CNC all set for future growth

Added to MTDCNC by WNT (UK) Ltd on 06 August 2014

Fylde CNC Specialists’ move to its brand new facility in Kirkham, Lancashire, may only have involved a relatively short distance from its old buildings just off the end of the runway at Warton Aerodrome, but it will lead to a major step-change in how the company can now develop its precision subcontracting business.

Like many sub-contract engineering companies Fylde CNC Specialists grew out of the passion of managing director David Norcross who, 17 years ago, started machining parts in his father’s garage after coming home from the ‘day job’. 'Initially I had an old Bridgeport mill, a Colchester lathe and a pegboard automatic that I used to make small quantities of parts, mainly for friends who raced motorcycles,' says Mr Norcross. 'Through word of mouth I then picked up a major contract that allowed me give up the day job, as a design engineer, and switch to machining full time. This started the first phase of development for Fylde CNC Specialists which saw it grow into a significant provider of machined parts for a wide range of industries. However, due to space limitations the operation of the business on its original site was fairly impractical, with departments spread out over a number of buildings, which didn’t lend itself to lean and efficient production.

With business continuing to grow, thanks to demand for Fylde CNC Specialists high quality turned and milled components, with customers in the aerospace, automotive, hydraulics/pneumatics and medical sectors ordering batches varying between a few hundred to hundreds of thousands, the need to bring all of the manufacturing under one roof in order to maintain this growth became imperative. 'Every now and then you have to step back and look at what you have and what you want to achieve,' says Mr Norcross 'We had simply outgrown what we had and it was not sustainable or suitable for dealing with the customers that we have and that we want to attract. We have a very strong presence in the automotive sector, with customers ranging from high volume producers through to low volume prestige manufacturers, we even export to China. Therefore, having a facility that reflects our desire to be the most admired company in our industry and to represent the future of innovation in sub-contract machining was imperative.'

This relocation will also allow Fylde CNC Specialists to develop its links with the aerospace sector. Being based in the north west of England, at the heart some say, of the aerospace industry, the £1.2 million it has invested has created an environment that is conducive to their stringent quality requirements of aerospace customers. As a result of the move the entire business is now under one roof and boast an impressive plant list that includes 15 Citizen sliding head lathes, three Nakamura Tome turning centres, and three Hurco multi-axis machining centres, the latest of which, a VMC 20i with fourth axis capability, has just been installed. Environmental considerations have also been taken into account at the new facility, with state-of-the-art extraction systems fitted to every machine and up to 95 per cent of the cutting oil from the swarf produced by the sliding heads being recovered through use of a centrifuge system. 'With this investment in the environment we have made it a pleasant place for not only our 30 employees to work in, but also for visitors and potential customers to be able to get down on the shopfloor in comfort.'

To support this expanding 24/7 machining capability Fylde CNC Specialists has partnered with WNT (UK) which is providing cutting tools, on-site tool vending, technical support and a range of non-standard tools including specialist parting blades for the Nakamura Tome turning centres, through to precision stepped drills for high volume automotive components, all of which ensures that production runs as smoothly as possible. The purchase and management of tools is greatly simplified by having the WNT tool vending machine integrated into Fylde CNC’s systems, with orders generated as soon as minimum stock levels are reached.

WNT’s reputation for prompt delivery and service also extends to the specials used at Fylde, with typical lead times for non-standard items being five days, backed up by the next day, before noon, delivery guarantee for all standard items. 'We have worked closely with WNT, and in particular Technical Sales Engineer Matt Darbyshire, and the level of support and service that we receive is first class and can’t be faulted. The reassurance that the vending system gives us in terms of continuity of production is also very reassuring as we operate in areas of industry where delivery of parts is vital and just in time delivery is a constant part of our daily routine, which we could not commit to without the comfort of knowing that tools will be available, when we need them,' says Mr Norcross.

WNT’s Tool-o-Mat, tool vending system is linked to the company’s Europe-wide SAP Supply Chain Management software. A benefit of this from a customer’s perspective is that it provides enhanced security of stock availability and the peace of mind that the system is fully backed up and secure, further reducing the existing risk of any business interruption. Of greater importance to many businesses is the fact that customers do not pay for any cutting tools contained in the vending machine until they are taken from the machine. This helps with cash flow and negates any obsolete cutting tool stocks.

'As Fylde CNC Specialists have discovered, Tool-o-Mat is a valuable addition to any engineering business, irrespective of their size or volume of spend on cutting tools. Typically customers using Tool-o-Mat are reporting annual savings of between 10 and 20 per cent on their annual cutting tool budget, as a result of the efficiencies that can be made,' says Matt Darbyshire. 'Tool vending provides the perfect solution to ensuring that sub-contract manufacturing businesses can have access to a method of providing 24-hour access to tools, 7 days a week. It also ensures that they can deliver on their promises to their customers, while reducing manufacturing costs.'

WNT installs its Tool-o-Mat machines at no cost to any customer with a spend in excess of £1500/month with WNT. Again, as part of WNT (UK)’s commitment to its customer base, it does not expect them to sign up to any fixed-term agreement when it installs Tool-o-Mat. This gives the customer the reassurance that it can be removed at any time should their circumstances change.


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