Family-run businesses seem to thrive in the subcontracting world. It’s a well-proven formula: Mum and/or Dad start and establish the business and lay the foundations; kids gradually get involved later, take the reins and drive the business forward. As Dave Tudor discovered, this is certainly what happened with BTMA (British Turned Parts Manufacturers Association) member, M&M Turned Parts based in Redditch.
Back in 1990, when M&M Turned Parts was established by Eddie Moss, CNC machining was in its relative infancy so those early days were focused predominantly on somewhat more traditional, manual methods of cutting metal.
Today, 13 employee M&M has evolved into a fully-fledged CNC turning facility with 24/7 lights out capability – but it still retains those family ties: Eddie Moss (Snr) is still steering the ship as managing director, with sons Tim and Edward (Jr) as commercial and technical managers respectively. Mum Rosalyn is also involved in the business as accounts manager.
As its BTMA membership implies, M&M is first and foremost a small part turning specialist but that’s not the whole story because it also offers assembly, milling via its Kitamura MyCenter 3-axis machining centre with twin pallets, and plating, anodising, heat treatment and grinding services through a trusted external supplier network.
But it’s undeniably turning where M&M really excels, serving customers in a variety of sectors including hydraulics, pneumatics and automotive. Its plant list is pretty extensive comprising five sliding head lathes (L20, L32) from Citizen – including some with LFV (low frequency vibration) technology – spanning diameter capacities from 2mm up to 35mm. All feature live tooling and 3.2m barfeeds.
On the fixed head lathe front, available machinery is even more extensive. Six Traub TNM turning centres cover diameters from 6mm to 65mm and two Miyanos (one also with LFV) come complete with twin spindles and Y-axes, taking care of diameters from 12.7mm to 42mm.
“We have a mixture of Citizen/Miyano and Traub machines,” says M&M’s commercial manager Tim Moss. “More recently however, we’ve invested mainly in Citizen/Miyano equipment because of the really strong relationship we’ve developed with the company over the years. They’re technically excellent machines – and we get great service and support.
“We look to buy a new machine every three years or whenever we reach capacity,” he adds. “Investment is usually triggered by customer demand or enhancements in technology that will benefit our operations. Recently we’ve purchased a new Miyano ANX 42 lathe with LFV which has been great for machining non-chipping materials.”
Operating from its 1,000ft² facility in Redditch, business is good for the ISO 9001 approved company. It was honoured to be chosen to manufacture parts for the VentilatorChallengeUK initiative during the dark days of the COVID pandemic and more recently the business has been recruiting with the appointment of a CNC setter operator and a quality supervisor.
For companies like M&M Turned Parts, membership of the BTMA makes sense. The criteria for membership are that precision machined components must be a core activity with at least 50% of turnover derived from subcontract work so M&M ticks all the boxes. The nice thing is that while BTMA members could well be competitors technically, there’s a collaborative spirit that binds everyone together for the greater good of the industry on a domestic and global basis. It’s all about helping each other.
The BTMA itself provides advice and guidance on legislative, regulatory and technical issues for its members tackling vital issues such as training and skills. It also works closely with other trade associations.
“The BTMA is useful for M&M in providing industry level information and support,” Mr Moss reveals. “Likewise, we are always on hand to help any other members with issues we have experienced. We also benefit from publicity from the BTMA brochure and website.
“Ultimately, MM Turned Parts is a business built on traditional family values,” he concludes. “We are a mixed metal machining company working in brass, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and engineering plastics. Our roots are deeply embedded in offering high quality products and services backed by exemplary service. We have a good mix of youth and experience within the workforce with many staff working at the company for over 10 years.”
M&M Turned Parts