Nikken pre-setting increases efficiency at motorsport specialist

The Nikken tool pre-setter system at Ilmor
The Nikken tool pre-setter system at Ilmor

Northamptonshire-based engineering consultancy business, Ilmor primarily operates in the design and manufacture of motorsport power trains, including Formula 1, Nascar, Indy Car, motorsport GP and more.

Additionally, the precision engineering company supports motorsport and aerospace customers with more conventional manufacturing requirements, including Nikken’s own partner, Boeing.

Established in 1983 by Mario Illien and Paul Morgan, Ilmor has a rich history and is now a leading supplier within its chosen industries. With a mission to constantly expand capacities and increase the quality of its services, Ilmor identified a need to reduce costs while consciously becoming more sustainable within its production process. Having an established strong partnership with Nikken dating back to the 1990s, Ilmor turned to the pre-setting specialist to find a solution.

Working with its business manager, Jack Varley, to review its current production processes, made up of eight Matsuuras and a Mazak machine, it was identified that Ilmor controlled its tooling with a manual Kelch tool setter, causing each tool to be measured individually and written down on an engineer’s hand or on a sticker, increasing the potential for errors or inaccuracies.

Opting for an Elbo Controlli Nikken tool pre-setter and tool management system has enabled the subcontractor to significantly increase efficiency and productivity, eliminating the potential for error and allowing for tools to be freely changed across machines reliably and with absolute accuracy.

The prime benefits include data being carried over automatically and the confidence in building tools using the pre-setter first cut. In addition, the visual enhancement on the pre-setter has allowed Ilmor to count each insert and experience an increase in the visibility of where each tool assembly is and the tool life around the floor – something which wasn’t possible for Ilmor when using the manual Kelch machine.

This new capability and control, along with Nikken’s precision tool holding solutions is allowing Ilmor to complete its current portfolio of manufactured parts and components more effectively, including large capacity power train parts through to smaller, multi-faced 5-axis machined products – both in aluminium and steel.

“I cannot fault Nikken’s service and support; we needed solutions with high-quality, good pull-out resistance, accuracy and run out to reduce energy consumption and costs. By providing this in conjunction with the new management and control solution for the pre-setter, Nikken has surpassed our expectations.

“Their next-day availability and competitive pricing, provided us with an opportunity too appealing to pass up and was exactly what we were looking for,” comments Chris Old, Ilmor’s operations manager.




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