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38 Cam Autos replaced with a total of 8 Star sliding head lathes
38 Cam Autos replaced with a total of 8 Star sliding head lathes
38 Cam Autos replaced with a total of 8 Star sliding head lathes

38 Cam Autos replaced with a total of 8 Star sliding head lathes

Added to MTDCNC by Star Micronics GB Limited on 08 January 2015

This year family-owned DKW is celebrating its 45-year anniversary.  DKW Engineering, a business specializing in the manufacture of precision-engineered components, is celebrating its in the industry. DKW Managing Director, Nick Iacobucci, has provided an insight into how the small company has transformed from a  7-employee operation into an engineering revolution.

Two years after purchasing DKW in 1986, the company secured several new contracts that necessitated the business acquiring larger premises to accommodate additional staff and machinery. This noted the acquisition of Cammatic Suisse, a subcontractor who specialised in small turned parts using a fleet of 60 cam-operated, single spindle machines.

The Portsmouth firm integrated their staff and machinery and used the extra power, abilities and space to produce both high-volume small turned parts, as well as larger milled and turned components. From 1997 and 2004, DKW lost  huge amounts of work to China. The result was the introduction of CNC machine tools to enhance capabilities and efficiency. This started with the acquisition of two CNC sliding head machines from Star Micronics, a SR-20 and SR-32. In the next 10 years, the remaining 38 Cam Autos were replaced with a total of 8 Star machines.

DKW soon took advantage of the Star machinery and used their technological advantages to compete directly with Chinese subcontractors. This enabled them to maintain current work and return previously lost contracts back to the UK. Focusing mainly on precision-critical applications such as sensors with customers such as Rolls Royce that demand each component to be 100% accurate and thoroughly inspected, many competitors were not prepared to take on the same level of responsibility. This allowed DKW to thrive.

Since purchasing the first, Star machine in 1997, DKW reports that the maintenance and downtime on each machine has been minimal and the machine tools can cope with a variety of materials including carbon steels, titanium, plastics and stainless steels.

Nick has been a long-standing member of the BTMA Officers Committee and has just taken over as President of the association. He has plans for the next two years and will begin by increasing interest in the Association by promoting the benefits of sharing knowledge throughout the industry. Nick wants to enhance the openness of competing companies by providing a friendly environment to discuss performance, profitability, staffing issues and advice. Working alongside partners and Trade Associations, the events hosted by the BTMA will ultimately contribute towards the UK economy and help competition between Europe and the Far East.

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