22 March 2018
Silverstone Park occupier EDM Precision Technologies has invested in more state-of-the-art machinery to meet extra demands from the world of Formula 1 which, it hopes, could lead to opportunities in other high-tech sectors…
EDM, a leading name in the art of wire and spark erosion, has long-served a number of teams in F1. Its exceptional capabilities in manufacturing components – many of intricate design – and the fact that it holds the AS9100 quality standard have also led to important contracts within aerospace, defence, marine, medical devices and nuclear,…
Now, with the start of the new F1 season just days away (in Australia), EDM Managing Director Paul Waldron explained: “We’ve been requested by one team in particular to increase our capacity in machinery and not necessarily for our speciality in wire and spark erosion – more for our milling and turning capabilities.
“We can’t tell you which team or which parts for their car, but it’s clear they want one company overseeing full manufacture of certain components and we can give that to them.
“It’s meant EDM setting up a new team of four people and recruiting ex-Flybrid machinist Tom Atkinson to head that team. It’s an exciting time.”
Hence two new Doosan machines imported from South Korea have now been installed at EDM’s 6000 sq ft premises to help it meet extra demand. It now has 19 CNC machines on site.
Paul continued: “These are very high performance and we have added extra features to enhance the capabilities. The demand for high level machined parts is tremendous and these machines will help us address this.
“Other than the cost of the machines – we’ve invested around £20,000 in new tooling for them and another £8000 in upgrading our Mastercam software.
“The beauty of this is that it can be used on our existing mill and lathe and syncs fully across four machines. This gives us great flexibility and allows us to move work between machines with ease and, as a result, will help open up the possibility for us to enter new markets.”
Paul admitted to being flattered that EDM is in such high demand from F1 – for many, the pinnacle of high-tech engineering.
And he said: “Our speciality is wire and spark erosion… not many companies do this type of machining, and even fewer to the quality and speed that we are able to provide.
“However this latest investment means we’ll have greater control of important finished components for customers – from buying in the raw material from supply chain companies, to it then being milled or turned through to the stages of spark and/or wire erosion. Parts will still go to a few other local companies for heat treatment or to provide surface coating but we will be more in control with lead times and quality.
“There are always two sides to any component whatever the sector – the people who invent and design it and then the people like us who manufacturer and make it.
“Another of our strengths is that we will take on one-off parts or very small batches and there is a real demand for this flexibility too in high precision engineering.
“On the face of it, it’s a simple process but there is a lot that happens behind the scenes to make it look simple and that is where we come in.”