Rotary Engineering UK Ltd, based in Sheffield, employs 20 personnel in the manufacture of automation equipment for the motor rewind and large generator repair industry, and the manufacture and maintenance of electro-magnets. The company also supplies wind turbines in the range 600W to 15kW. The company has invested heavily to create modern, well-equipped workshops and is constantly seeking ways to improve performance and reduce manufacturing costs.
An example of the way Rotary Engineering faces challenges and introduces solutions that enhance their service to customers is in the way they have addressed issues associated with the production of electro-magnets. They wish to supply a full range of magnets, but this would require patterns to manufacture the steel castings for every conceivable design. As Engineering Director, Simon Swallow, explains: “The patterns we currently own are uneconomical to repair, and the manufacture of new patterns to replace these, or for new designs, cannot be justified by the typical order volume. Nor can we afford the time required to manufacture patterns for each new order; this is a custom business and our clients require us to respond faster and faster. So it was exceptionally encouraging to learn that Cti had a process that could quickly and economically produce our steel castings without a pattern. The Patternless® Process is a perfect match for our needs, and given they are so close, it makes it so much easier and faster to deal with one another. Once we knew that the capability was available to us, we were able to bid for, and win, an order for a 1650mm diameter scrap-handling magnet. We have just secured an order for a 1650mm diameter heavy-duty deep field magnet with the promise of another one to follow. This business is worth more than £65k to us and our expectation is that we will now be able to grow this strand of our business. When I explain to customers that we can now make one-offs precisely to their specification, they are very impressed. One of our key philosophies as a company is to give the customer exactly what they want technically, and to exceed their expectations in terms of service. Patternless® casting enables us to meet both of these criteria.
We always try to use local suppliers where possible, so I am particularly pleased that all this is available within South Yorkshire, thereby benefiting the local community. The new opportunities will help secure jobs here at Rotary Engineering UK Ltd and gives us a good basis for continuing to grow the business”.
Cti developed the Patternless® Process as a means of producing sand moulds without the need for a pattern. This eliminates the cost of a pattern and speeds up the casting manufacturing process. The moulds are produced directly from 3D CAD solid model files by 5-axis, high-speed milling and the technique is best suited to customised production. Cti have transferred the know-how to companies all over the world, and has itself production-scale facilities that can accommodate moulds within an envelope of 3.6 x 3.6 x 1.2 metres. These are used to demonstrate the technology and to produce moulds for local companies.
One such company is Norton Cast Products Ltd, also in Sheffield. Managing Director, Simon Alexander, saw the benefits to his business a long time ago: “Most of our business is in ‘specials’ and we have achieved an excellent reputation for our rapid response to customer needs. Cti’s Patternless® Process has helped us enormously in developing our ‘FastTrack’ service and we were delighted to manufacture the steel castings for Rotary Engineering. Local supply chains are far more responsive and I am sure we will be working together for some time to come”.
The first 1650mm diameter electro-magnet produced
from castings manufactured by Cti’s Patternless® Process
Rotary Engineering has been able to respond to recent enquiries for 1950mm and 2000mm magnets that can now be produced more competitively. These will require Cti to produce exceptionally large Patternless® moulds that will be transported to Norton Cast Products early in 2007.
The support provided to Rotary Engineering UK Ltd was made possible through the Advanced Manufacturing Programme (AMP) funded by Yorkshire Forward and the European Union through the South Yorkshire Objective 1 Programme.
The Patternless® Process is a Registered Trade Mark of a technology developed by Cti and is available under licence, the terms and conditions of which are available on request.