Engineering Technology Group The start-up entrepreneurs who think bigger is better
UK – A newly established press tool design and manufacturing business located in Warwickshire, UK specialises in automotive ‘body and white’ tools. The partners behind the company have based their manufacturing capability on large envelope machine tools.
Supplied by Warwickshire neighbours Engineering Technology Group, the machines purchased by 2G Tooling Limited include a MV234P VMC - claimed to be the UK’s largest - with a machining envelope of 2000 mm x 762 mm, giving 2G the capability to service its tier one customers who in turn are supplying components to high-end OEM vehicle builders. The other Quaser is a smaller MV184E VMC with a very compact footprint that can still accommodate workpieces of 1000 mm in length.
Sector experience as key to business start-up success
“We have a lot of experience in this sector and from the outset were determined not to fall short in terms of machining capacity,” explains partner Chris Peters who with his brother established the company which started trading in January 2015. “Obviously, from a new business point of view, investing in two machines like these we were a bit apprehensive. But we had very positive feedback from the outset and a number of potential customers had been approaching us almost before we were in business,” he explains.
“Newly built premises to accommodate the new machines were acquired and from the New Year we haven’t looked back. The two Quasers are well built, have many features that on others are extras and came at the right price.”
“We spoke with ETG’s business finance team about the purchase details and they were most helpful. Obviously a business start-up is pretty demanding on the cash flow but Andrew Bullard and his finance team at ETG were both knowledgeable and accommodating and helped us over the first few months.”
The larger MV234P VMC is said to offer high speed, high power machining through a highly rigid cast-iron frame with large x and y travels accommodated in a compact footprint.
Its table size of 2000 x 762 mm with a 2,000 kg table load capacity accommodates 2G’s largest press tools. Supplied with a BT face and taper contact spindle, 48-tool magazine and thro coolant, the only addition Chris Peters made to the standard machine specification was the addition of thro air.
“Mostly we machine in tool steels such as Uddeholm Holdax and SV21 with some machined parts specified in aluminium,” he explains. “We also do a fair amount of prototyping, offering customers a full CAD-to-machining service using VISI Series design and machining software. These days, pre-build tools have to produce parts to meet similar standards to the final production parts so we value the accuracy and repeatability that the VMCs offer us,” he adds.
Working in tandem with its “big brother”, the MV184E makes use of Quaser’s spindle technology and grease replenishment system while offering coolant and chip management alongside machine thermal management. Both machines are equipped with Heidenhain controls.
Filling a niche with capacities to over two metres
Chris Peters is confident his new business is starting to fill a niche in an industry that has largely moved overseas. “Being a small operation we can be highly flexible and work very closely with our customers – to the point that they are often here to watch and contribute to prototyping.
“The fact we have invested in a machining capacity to over two metres demonstrates we mean business and that customers know they have a reliable UK-based resource almost on their doorstep,” he concludes.