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Holford Engineering select Mazak

Holford Engineering select Mazak

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 01 September 2014

Resurrecting the manufacturing industry one company at a time is an admiral task, and one that the Holford Engineering organisation relishes. The management team at the St Neots based umbrella of companies has established a strategy to acquire businesses in difficulty and turn them into once-again thriving businesses – a strategy that has successfully been in place for over 30 years.

The latest addition to the now 10 company cluster is Sheffield based Arnold Wragg, a Citizen sliding head machine shop with a manufacturing expertise imbued in turning, since its inception some 50 years ago. Commenting upon bringing Arnold Wragg into the Holford family, Mr. Martyn John Barber, Group Share holder and Director says: 'Our vision for growth is not solely by acquisition. We strategically buy into companies that have highly skilled workforce and a high level of technology on the shop floor. Throughout the recession and during the recent upturn in the fortunes of manufacturing sector, we have turned businesses in difficulty into sustainable organisations that can grow organically with the expertise of our management team.'

Of course, part of the strategy for Holford is to create a synergy between companies whereby technological expertise, innovation and the staff can thrive. This is clearly demonstrated at Arnold Wragg, where the company recently won an ‘Employer of the Year’ award for its investment in engineering apprentices and graduates.   

The Holford organisation has an overwhelming expertise in manufacturing for all industry sectors with the marine, oil & gas, aerospace, automotive, motorsport and medical markets all being catered for. To work in such demanding sectors, Holford has invested heavily in new equipment with over £2.5m spent on a number of new machine tools in the last 18 months. Three of the marquee investments included in this spend are a Doosan DNM750L, a 5-axis Mazak VTC800/30SR for the production of parts up to 3 by 2m for the aerospace and oil & gas sectors and an Amada LASMAC LC 2415 IV NT laser machine for fabricated work in the rail and aerospace industries.

However, investment in technology and staff are not the full story for Holford. The business has invested considerable time and effort in achieving accreditation to standards such as AS: 9100 and ISO: 9001 as well as conforming to standards set by BAE, Rolls Royce and Airbus.

As Mr. Barber continues: 'To achieve and maintain accreditation to so many prestigious standards is a tough task simplified by our investment in technology and our ability to provide full traceability from material through to delivered part. In most instances, we have on machine probing to guarantee precision and this is followed by secondary checks with our Faro measurement technology to deliver full SPC and traceability for the end user that is all underlined by impeccable quality.'

This ongoing acquisition period that has spanned almost three decades, now gives the Holford organisation the flexibility and capability to specialise in anything from small components for the watch-making industry that demand micron precision through to rail, aerospace and oil and gas work beyond 3m. However, with 10 facilities across the UK, Holford can offer specialised services such as painting and plating in-house. Combining this with its diverse range of machine tools, the company can maintain strict controls over its quality, precision and lead times by providing the engineering marketplace with a one-stop solution to a remarkably diverse range of demands – regardless of sector, materials, component complexity and precision.

Looking to the future, Mr Barber concludes: 'Our long term vision is to further improve the synergies between our companies to ensure we can service the diverse demands of the numerous sectors we serve. Added to this, we will continue to invest heavily in the latest technology and the staff, which are the lifeblood of our business model. However, as the organic growth of our organisation continues, we may yet look at more business acquisition opportunities that will add to the value of our company.'


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