Editor’s comment for April 2022

PES Editorial Director, Dave Tudor
PES Editorial Director, Dave Tudor

Two heads are better than one; a problem shared is a problem halved – you get the picture. Basically the gist here is that teamwork is usually the best way to solve problems.

In manufacturing this is often the case. It’s why a machine tool company for example will work closely with a tooling specialist, a CAD/CAM developer and/or a cutting fluid expert. It’s because the companies concerned are much stronger working together than they are as separate entities. Partnerships are a vital ingredient in the manufacturing industry.

The benefits of collaboration are the main subject of our cover story this month – but they’re not always preconceived. Sometimes they just happen and that’s why our cover article is such a positive story and a shining example of how, when companies work together, they can achieve great things.

Once upon a time there was a precision subcontractor based in Amersham called Track Components. This is a decent sized, successful family business that invests regularly in new equipment and technology, producing high-quality work for a wide range of customers.

Like all manufacturing businesses, Track comes up against its fair share of operational challenges – and two particular thorns in its side were general corrosion issues and brown staining problems on parts made from 7000 series aluminium.

Track Components likes continuity with its machine tool suppliers and buys a lot of equipment from Mazak so it turned to the Worcester-based machine tool specialist for advice. One of Mazak’s preferred cutting fluid suppliers is Oemeta, so in turn, they were consulted to see if they could help.

Oemeta recommended that Track Components install a water treatment plant to improve mains water quality. Track took the advice and that cured the corrosion problem. It’s important to note that at this time, Track and Oemeta hadn’t met. Everything was channelled through Mazak.

But the staining on aluminium components persisted so Track again turned to Mazak. This time Mazak introduced Track to Oemeta and the two companies started working together to come up with a solution. Oemeta had seen this staining issue before with other customers and knew exactly how to eliminate it through a particular product that contained the required inhibitors. Job done.

The nice thing about this story is how all parties concerned were focused on solving Track’s conundrum. Mazak were pivotal – and now Track Components uses Oemeta for all its cutting fluid requirements. Importantly, a strong, hopefully longstanding, relationship has evolved.

Partnerships are based on reliability, knowledge and expertise, quality of products and services, and most important of all, trust. Track Components, Mazak and Oemeta are living proof of just how powerful these partnerships can be.              

Take a look at the full article on pages 18-19. I really enjoyed doing this one.

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