Editor’s comment for October 2021

Out on my travels a bit this month and some really interesting visits and conversations.

When you visit as many subcontractors as I have over the years you realise that they’re all different. Some invest regularly in new equipment and technologies like automation while others are a little more reserved in their approach. Some specialise while others paint on a broad canvas. There’s no right and wrong here. Horses for courses and all that.  

MCE Engineering in Derby is a company just taking its first steps into CNC machining. How bewildering must that be with so much choice around? Its expertise is firmly anchored in fabrication, but the firm is breaking with tradition and is on a mission to grow the machining side of the business.

It was interesting to learn about the company’s evaluation process for selecting its first VMC. Let’s be honest – it’s pretty much impossible to find a bad machine tool these days. Sure, different manufacturers tend to align themselves with certain markets but generally, even at the entry-level end of the spectrum, there’s some excellent technology around.

But instead of opting for a well-known brand for his first CNC investment, MCE’s machine shop manager/head of business development Mark Chesher put his faith in a 4-axis VMC from Pinnacle Machine Tools.

Why? Two reasons mainly. Firstly, because Pinnacle machines represent excellent value for money and are very solidly built and well-specced, and secondly because Mark knew Pinnacle’s sales manager Alan Robinson very well and trusted his judgement and vast experience. As I mention in my article, people buy from people at the end of the day.

Another really interesting visit was to Letchworth to see how HSM Aero are using MIETrak Pro ERP/MRP software to streamline their business. HSM is an establisher player in the aerospace/defence market, offering an end to end solution that encompasses fabrication and machining amongst other things.

Personally, I’m a big fan of using software to integrate the various aspects of running a business. Sales orders, quotations, purchase orders, stock control, scheduling, despatch, accounting – all important ingredients that in the overall scheme of things are inextricably connected.

For HSM Aero, ERP services and IT manager Dan Burborough says he couldn’t manage for a day without MIETrak Pro gluing everything together. His words not mine. That’s about as good as it gets in terms of a customer recommendation isn’t it?

And last but by no means least, continuing with the software theme and our cover story this month – 123 Insight has recently been acquired by Forterro, a European provider of ERP solutions. It looks like a great deal for both companies.

Related Articles

Thank you George Osborne!

During January 2013, I featured this article in PES following a chat with Haas UK's managing director Nick Remington at the recent Autosport
9 years ago News

Export help for SMEs

The world is becoming a smaller place and it's no coincidence that many of the UK's most successful companies have strong export strategies.
9 years ago News
Most recent Articles

Studer goes for the grind at Mazak

Investment in Yamazaki Mazak’s European Manufacturing Plant continues apace following the purchase of new Studer S41 CNC universal cylindrical grinding machine.
9 hours ago News

Login / Sign up