EKC Group plans for the future with major investment in engineering skills

Students at Dover Technical College at the two new XYZ machines
Students at Dover Technical College at the two new XYZ machines

With support from central government funds, EKC group is investing significantly to develop engineering centres of excellence across three of its six community colleges.

This investment includes 25 machines valued at around £500,000 from XYZ Machine Tools covering CNC machining and turning centres as well as an array of manual machines, which are located at Dover Technical College, Canterbury College and Ashford College, with the latter seeing a state-of-the art building being created to house all of the college’s engineering services. 

Speaking of the investment Dover Technical College principal, Paul Owen, says: “The project has been funded through the T Level development fund which at Dover means we have been able to develop three separate areas: a design and prototype room (including 3D printers); a CNC workshop containing an XYZ CT52LR turning centre and an XYZ 500LR machining centre; and a quality control room.

Peter Halloway with a typical student test piece
Peter Halloway with a typical student test piece

“What we have now at Dover is the ability to deliver T-Level Engineering skills with students able to undertake the whole process from design, through prototype and manufacturing. With the investment in the XYZ machines, students can undertake and experience industry-expected processes on state-of-the-art equipment, that aligns itself with industry standards while developing the skills needed for employment within the sector.”

With the two new machines installed at Dover Technical College the environment has moved on from basic manual machines to equipment in use by local businesses such as Stevens and Carlotti (https://xyzmachinetools.com/machine-shop-investment-provides-opportunity-for-growth-at-stevens-carlotti/), a long-standing XYZ customer.

The new CAD suite at Dover Technical College
The new CAD suite at Dover Technical College

Initially, the machines will be used by T-Level students, but will be made available to all engineering students in the future. Commenting on the two XYZ machines, engineering lecturer Peter Halloway says: “Having these machines allows students to work on complex test pieces developed on AutoCAD, as well as real-life projects working with other departments and local businesses to produce actual components to deadlines.”

Over at Ashford College the creation of the engineering centre of excellence is a longer-term project, with construction of the purpose-built engineering facility due for completion later this year.

That hasn’t prevented the first of 20 machines for Ashford being housed temporarily in the existing facility. Mirroring the machines at Dover the first machines to arrive were two XYZ CT52LR turning centres and two XYZ 500LR machining centres. These will be used by an array of students, with part of the college’s efforts being focused on encouraging more adults back into engineering. Once the new building is complete these machines will be joined by eight XYZ 2000 manual mills and eight XYZ 1330 VS manual lathes.

Alexandra Syrotiuk and lecturer Andrew Livesey with two mature students at Ashford College
Alexandra Syrotiuk and lecturer Andrew Livesey with two mature students at Ashford College

“The Ashford area was once a powerhouse of engineering and with new investment in the rail and other sectors it is being regenerated, particularly with the growth in reshoring initiatives. We need to be in a position to provide the necessary skills that these businesses will need, and this investment will help us to achieve that.” says Ashford College deputy principal, Alexandra Syrotiuk.

“Having these machine tools and the facility they will be housed in will also be of great importance in highlighting what engineering is and the numerous career pathways that it can provide. As we progress with this centre of excellence we hope to be able to work closely with local industry partners to develop the best training opportunities for students.”

XYZ has a long history of working with the education sector through its XYZ for Education initiative, which provides special pricing on its full range of machine tools, with ongoing training programmes that ensure college workshops are kept up to date with the latest industrial production processes.

Two further XYZ machines awaiting installation at Ashford College
Two further XYZ machines awaiting installation at Ashford College

“We see it as vital to educate and inspire tomorrow’s engineers in order to maintain the UK’s position as a leader in engineering development and manufacturing,” says XYZ’s managing director, Nigel Atherton.

XYZ Machine Tools

EKC Group

Related Articles

Technology collaboration

The MTC in Coventry is exhibiting the Porsche 919 Hybrid racing car in its reception area until the start of the MACH show when it will move to the DMG Mori stand at the NEC in hall 5 on stand 5610.
7 years ago Features

Loads better

Mills CNC reports that it is increasingly being approached by manufacturers to help design and implement what, in many instances are innovative manufacturing turnkey and process improvement solutions.
7 years ago Features
Most recent Articles

Citizen Machinery appoints new sales engineer

With 25 years' experience working in the machine tool sector, Eric Tollett has been appointed by Citizen Machinery UK as area sales engineer for territories in north-east England, where he will be responsible for sales of the company's Cincom sliding-head and Miyano fixed-head lathes and related automation solutions.
15 hours ago News

MoU signed for net zero combustion engines

MAHLE Powertrain and Clean Air Power have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combine their efforts in providing rapid and cost-effective solutions for net-zero fuelled internal combustion engines.
2 days ago News

Login / Sign up