Market News Bringing manufacturing back to the UK

Editor: Steffen Donath

A large investment by Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd (Gilkes) into Yamazaki Mazak to increase productivity and strengthen the UK manufacturing base.

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The turbine manufacturer now aims to profit from the investment in a Mazak machine.
The turbine manufacturer now aims to profit from the investment in a Mazak machine.

Gilkes specialises in the design and manufacture of hydro-electric turbines and cooling pumps for high horse-power diesel engines, with parts sourced worldwide. The company has acquired a Mazak Integrex e-1250V/8 vertical Multi-Tasking machine, with the intention of increasing capacity at its Kendal facility and also ultimately to re-shore the manufacture of vital components back to the UK.

Specifically, Gilkes currently sources fully-machined turbine runners from an Eastern European supplier. The new Mazak machine will enable the company to bring 40 per cent of this machining work back to its facility in Kendal.

The Integrex e-1250V/8 is one of the largest machines in the Mazak range, designed for the 5-axis machining of complex large workpieces. The Multi-Tasking machine is capable of performing a variety of tasks that would normally be completed by multiple machines, including milling, turning, boring and drilling operations. In addition, Mazak will be supplying a complete tool management system to reduce manual input and set-up times and a new 5-axis CADCAM system.

“Our current machine tools in Kendal are great workhorses, but we have gone about as far as we can go with them,” says Rebecca Sandham, Head of Operations at Gilkes. “With the Mazak we will be able to significantly increase our productivity levels which will enable us to continue be highly competitive in our global markets.”