Surface Treatment Grinding update for precision and quality

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

Cornwall-based Pharmaceutical company West Pharmaceutical Services developes pharmaceutical packaging components. For their moulds, they recently acquired grinders by Jones and Shipman for the surface treatment of their high grade stainless steel moulds.

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One of West Pharmaceutical’s two Jones & Shipman 524 surface grinders.
One of West Pharmaceutical’s two Jones & Shipman 524 surface grinders.
(Source: J&S West)

The specialised grinding section within the Bodmin, Cornwall, moulds and tooling manufacturing operations of West Pharmaceutical Services Cornwall Limited has maintained its loyalty to Jones & Shipman grinding machines following an investment and upgrade programme. Recently installed have been a Jones & Shipman Ultramat 650 Easy cylindrical grinder, two J&S 524 Easy surface grinders, and a Hauser H35 jig grinder – also supplied through Jones & Shipman.

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West is a leader in the development of pharmaceutical packaging components and delivery systems for injectable drugs. It prides itself in being at the forefront of pharmaceutical and biotech innovation, developing new therapies that will become tomorrow's healthcare solutions. In Bodmin, the extensive toolroom operation reflects the standards of the pharmaceutical industry – the machine tools and environment are spotless – and as John Chaffe, Manufacturing Manager at the plant, explains, there is a culture of not just cleanliness but absolute precision.

“Consistency, accuracy and surface finish are the mantras across everything we manufacture,” says Chaffe. “Mostly, we work in stainless steel with rubber mould manufacture predominating and these are bespoke to the many moulding machines in operation in West’s worldwide operations.

Primarily, the mould consists of two matching plates containing inserts that create the seals or stopper vials. Plates can accommodate anything from a few hundred inserts to the very largest we manufacture that contains 11,000,” the manufacturing manager explains. “There is no compromise on precision or quality and component repeatability is a major factor that frequently necessitates complex ground surfaces to low micron finishes. We always flood the component and work table in coolant,“ he adds, “a time proven way of negating thermal expansion.”

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