Coventry based Hyfore Engineering – a member of the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) – has recently completed delivery of the latest phase of workholding fixtures to the Amtek Group UK manufacturing sites at Witham and Coventry.
During the course of 2015, Hyfore has delivered 54 bespoke fixtures into the Amtek Group and as such has played a significant part in the re-emergence of the UK premium automotive Powertrain sector success story.
In Witham, Amtek operates a major aluminium die casting foundry and machine shop and casts components in the range of 400 to 2700t. The company works closely with its fellow Group member Coventry based King Automotive Systems Ltd which is predominantly dedicated to machining and for which Hyfore is also a major workholding and fixturing supplier.
The two organisations supply a wide range of components such as knuckles, aluminium bed plates, link shafts, conrods, oil-pans, cam caps, hubs and transmission housings for OEMs and Tier-1 customers including Jaguar Land Rover; around 45 per cent of output is directly for export.
The Witham facility produces mostly powertrain engine and transmission components offering customers a fully integrated die casting and machining facility with components delivered in assembly ready condition.
Hyfore, has a long standing reputation for designing, manufacturing and assembling bespoke workholding fixture solutions including, multi-part cube and tombstone with hydraulic (power) clamping.
Working with production engineers in Witham, Hyfore has custom-designed fixturing to optimise the machine centre’s in Amtek’s machine shop. Fixtures supplied cover the spectrum from cubes and tombstones to multi-part fixtures to suit various single spindle horizontal machining centres. Hyfore’s automotive process and machine tool know-how was a key factor in the successful installations.
Additionally it has supplied 4th Axis bridge plate type multi-part fixtures to suit both single and twin-spindle Chiron vertical machining centres which have been supplied by ETG.
All fixtures supplied use the hydraulic clamping method and before commissioning, all were subjected to rigorous CMM inspection in Hyfore Coventry to verify conformity to design specification.
Rigidity and repeatability in the machining operations are key criteria, putting the onus on the fixturing, particularly for larger components such as oil pans. The dimensions of all components machined are within a 500mm machining envelope and a high proportion of the operations involve milling, drilling and tapping with compound angle machining featuring heavily.
As Production Engineer Jeff Marshall explains, “we have worked with Hyfore very successfully for a number of years and they are our predominant workholding supplier.
“We involve them from the very early stages; once we have a casting specification they design and prove out the prototype before taking the project to a production fixture. We are always looking to optimise our machine shops capabilities so it is important there is a lot of trust between the two parties which is the case.”
And, with an increasing number of OEMs and Tier 1 companies wanting to outsource more, Amtek is well-placed to continue to help customers to do so, being a reliable company which continually invests in increased capacity and the latest casting and machining technology, supported by Hyfore Engineering workholding expertise.