Ton up for AMRC

The AMRC North West team has reached another milestone in its work – its 100th SME project in Lancashire.

ELE Advanced Technologies became the 100th business in the county to benefit from the ERDF-funded support programme.

Based in Colne, ELE is a leading manufacturer of specialist components for aerospace, industrial gas turbines and commercial diesel sectors.

ELE’s precision engineering capabilities enable it to produce complex parts for turbine blades, vanes and compressor blades. It also supplies turbo charger components to the automotive sector from its manufacturing plant in Slovakia.

The company has been an integral part of the county’s aerospace supply chain with a number of blue-chip clients such as Rolls-Royce, Safran, Siemens, GE Avio, GE Power and MAN Diesel & Turbo.

The business approached the AMRC North West team to help with the development of its additive manufacturing (AM) process as it looks to provide leading edge technologies to its customer base.

ELE technical director David Dudley says: “We have extensive experience of working with the AMRC in South Yorkshire, to improve both existing processes and the potential for adopting new disruptive technologies.

Following our introduction to the AMRC North West, we have now started working with them on new projects, using their expertise that could help place ELE in a strong position as a technology leader for future business growth.”

Ian Brooks, who is technical fellow at AMRC North West, says: “‘It’s a pleasure to be working with ELE to investigate the potential of integrating AM into their services.

The novel, high value manufacturing techniques they currently offer fits a similar business model to that of producing AM components and the innovative culture that exists within the organisation is accepting of new, potentially disruptive technologies.”

AMRC North West is currently operating from a site in Preston until it moves into a purpose-built research centre on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in March next year.

The flagship facility has been backed by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through growth deal funding and will act as a catalyst to boost the region’s manufacturing, helping in attracting more inward investment into the county.

The AMRC North West team is now 32-strong with staff specialising in digital manufacturing, battery assembly, machining, additive manufacturing, robotics and automation.

Opening doors

AMRC North West has helped Darwen-based manufacturer Pendle Doors design and additively manufacture a jig to allow it to apply pins to fire doors in an accurate and repeatable way.

The aim was to reduce the number of defective products and ensure current regulations are being complied with.

The company’s operations director Ryan Anderson says: “We are really happy with the end product as it helps us meet certification requirements that are vital in what we do, the product also helped improve efficiency, reduced down time and can help save lives.”

Morecambe-based Sonaspection International has also worked with AMRC North West as it looks to harness additive manufacturing to produce its products.

The SME is an internationally recognised manufacturer of flawed specimens in the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and Evaluation (NDE) industry.

Its group operations manager Max Yates says: “AMRC NW was great to work with, very knowledgeable and excellent when it came to communication.”

  • As it continues to work successfully with manufacturing SMEs across Lancashire, AMRC North West is now set to deliver fully-funded technical workshops. The aim of the different workshops will be to enhance the present knowledge about the Industry 4.0 technologies. Visit https://amrc.co.uk/events for details.
  • For further information and to discuss your manufacturing challenges contact Ian Brooks, Technical Fellow at AMRC North West on 07388 693636, 01254 947110 or at i.brooks@amrc.co.uk
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