Fledgling subcontractor hits the ground running

A new precision machining subcontract specialist has invested in ten Doosan machines from Mills CNC in its first three months of operation. PES reports.

Gateshead-based, ISO 9001 approved EAG Precision was established in March 2019 and operates from its 14,000ft² facility in Ryton-on-Tyne, Tyne & Wear. EAG is a privately-owned company specialising in the small and medium batch production of complex, high-precision parts for the defence, marine, medical and renewables sectors amongst several others.

To differentiate itself in the market, and from its competitors, EAG specialises in machining complex components (including prototypes) to tight tolerances and exacting surface finishes for customers based in the UK and the US. The company, also designs, manages and implements complex turnkey projects for its customers.

To maintain its growth and profitability EAG relies on the dedication of its highly-skilled workforce, the experience and expertise of its directors and senior management team and, of course, on the advanced machine tool technologies it has at its disposal: the majority of which have been supplied by Mills CNC.

Investment from the start

Not many new start-ups have the confidence or wherewithal to invest in ten new machine tools straight out of the gate. But EAG is unlike many new start-up companies: “Although the new (EAG Precision) enterprise started trading in March 2019, a great deal of preliminary planning was initiated and completed well before then,” explains EAG’s managing director, Dave Graham.

“The strategic business plan we created, and which we used to help obtain funding for the new company, was both robust and ambitious.”

Covering all aspects of business, the plan identified key markets and customers and detailed how EAG would approach and build relationships with them. It highlighted, in depth, the company’s key capital equipment investment plans, that included the number and type of CNC machine tools it would be looking to acquire initially (and in subsequent years); and it established and reinforced EAG’s mission, vision and values.

Mr Graham continues: “There were, and still are, three guiding principles that direct all our company operations: (1) delivering high-quality manufacturing solutions to customers; (2) providing a rapid response in order to meet customers’ requirements efficiently and effectively; and (3) ensuring value for money and achieving cost efficiencies. Everything we do is measured and benchmarked against these principles.”

Machine tool imperatives


The directors and senior management team of the new company had over 100 years’ collective experience of working in the precision manufacturing sector. Their knowledge and expertise was invaluable when approaching potential customers to secure new machining contracts and orders and was also critical in identifying and selecting the right machine tools that would meet EAG’s immediate and future capacity and capability requirements.

Although the business canvassed the market looking for the best performing and best value machine tools available, the directors’ previous positive experiences of dealing with Mills CNC and of using Doosan machines gained prior to EAG being established, put Mills in the box seat.

“We knew that owing to the depth and breadth of the Doosan machine tool range we would be able to find machines perfectly suited to our needs and requirements,” Mr Graham adds. “It was also a big positive – especially for a new start-up in terms of time and logistics – if the machines could be acquired from a single source.”

EAG’s machine tool requirements were as follows:

New vs used


Many start-ups initially invest in used/pre-owned machines to get up and running. EAG opted to invest in new machine tools from day one:

“The cost differential between used and new is not as great as you might think. We decided on new machines from Mills CNC as they were competitively-priced and were backed by full warranties and Mills’ excellent applications and aftersales support services,” Mr Graham says.

“We were also able to take advantage of Mills’ machine tool financing operation, which gave us access to flexible capital equipment funding packages.”

Immediate availability


Mills’ stock policy means that many machines – over 70 at any given time – are available from its Campus facility in Leamington ready for immediate delivery to customers in the UK and Ireland.

“It was important that we hit the ground running from day one as we had already secured machining contracts from a number of customers. The ability to order and get our machines delivered, commissioned and installed in double-quick time was critical,” Dave Graham recalls.

Multi-axis machines


To improve operational efficiencies, optimise manufacturing flexibility and help with lead-time fulfilment, EAG invested in a number of advanced and proven multi-tasking Doosan machines.

These included Lynx long-bed lathes with Y-axes, sub-spindles and driven tools, a large-capacity Puma lathe with full mill-drill capability, Doosan DNM machining centres supplied with fourth axis units and a high-productivity twin-pallet vertical machining centre.

Fanuc controls


All ten Doosan machines acquired by EAG are equipped with Fanuc controls. This enables programmes to be transferred quickly and seamlessly between machines when required, and as such prevents production bottlenecks from occurring if, for some reason, a machine is out of action for maintenance or repair.

Flexibility


EAG machines precision components for a wide range of sectors and customers. As a consequence parts are made from a range of materials that include steels, aluminium alloys, Duplex and stainless steels, plastics, Inconel and titanium.

The Doosan machines, with their rigid structure and build characteristics and advanced spindle technology are versatile and capable of machining such diverse materials to high geometric tolerances and surface finishes.

“The Doosan machines provide us with manufacturing flexibility. Our DNM machining centres enable us to machine prismatic parts (up to 1m x 1m x 1m), and the largest of our Doosan lathes provides us with a maximum turning diameter of 550mm.”

EAG Precision https://eaggroup.co.uk

Mills CNC www.millscnc.co.uk

Company

EAG Precision [**]

UNITED KINGDOM

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