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One of the UK’s leading strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialists is celebrating a major milestone this month, when it delivers the 30,000th control system to Mazak UK.
PP Control & Automation has been working with the global machine tool builder for more than 27 years and the latest partnership has seen it play a key role in the design and production of the new CV5-500, a fully simultaneous 5-axis machining centre.
The company, which employs over 200 people at its state-of-the-art facility in Cheslyn Hay, used its expertise to support the design and build of a new configurable control system and interconnectivity solution that would facilitate both the efficient build within PP C&A and the simple and effective integration when building the machine tools at Mazak’s facility in Worcester.
This was even more challenging when you factor in the need to achieve a highly competitive price point that would allow it to successfully launch a world class machine for target markets across Europe.
“The relationship dates back to 1993 when Japanese senior management team saw something ‘different’ in our approach and a company-wide focus on quality, resulting in the placement of the very first order,” explained Tony Hague, CEO of PP Control & Automation
“As the years have gone by, the relationship between the two businesses has become more interlinked, with PP C&A increasingly invited to be involved in the design stage of new machine builds to support ‘Design for Manufacturing (DFM)’ and to understand how more specification can be added easily to new models.”
He continued: “For this project, our engineers worked closely with Mazak from the outset of the concept, looking at ways in which we can add value, eliminate unnecessary costs and standardise the build process, whilst still being able to deliver greater scope for the customer to configure machines.
“We are also now taking full responsibility for total supply chain management, including working with multiple Japanese manufactured parts to ensure that we reduce the hidden costs that can arise if the customer is having to manage this. Vendor reduction and rationalisation is a big driver.
“30,000 control systems to exacting global standards is some achievement and we look forward to the celebrating future milestones together.”
Thanks to the close partnership approach Mazak UK were able to successfully launch the CV5-500 5-axis machine in March 2020, one month before its expected global debut at MACH 2020.
Despite the UK’s largest industrial show being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest technology has been universally acclaimed by industry and is expected to be one of the Worcester-based firm’s most popular machines with significant sales already secured.
PP C&A’s dedicated manufacturing and assembly cell has played a key role in the successful introduction of this model, on-time and at a cost point that works for both the customer and the end-user.
Mazak UK Engineering Director Dave Fisher was delighted with the outcome: “PP C&A is one of our critical partners, supporting our ever-changing needs in both engineering and production.
“The relationship works because we both bring our own areas of expertise to the table, challenging and developing ideas that deliver mutual benefits and unrivalled machining performance for our customers.”
Alan Mucklow, Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales & Service Division at Mazak, went on to add: “The CV5-500 is the latest in a long line of Mazak machines to have been fully designed and built in the UK. Not only does it set a new benchmark in British machine tool building, but it breaks the mould for the compact, fully simultaneous 5-axis machining category as a whole.”
PP Control & Automation has been operational throughout Covid-19, supplying critical harnesses to the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium and continuing to provide manufacturing solutions to clients involved in healthcare and communications.
As part of a concerted drive to win new business, the company has recently launched a brand new website and a series of educational blogs looking at how companies can comply with UL508a – a critical standard for supplying into the North American market.
Tony concluded: “We had very ambitious expansion plans at the start of the year and, whilst certain markets are still besieged with uncertainty, we have seen new contract wins in other areas so are ploughing on with our original aim.
“Central to this will be the website, our digital marketing campaigns and our educational series where we look at some of the technical benefits strategic outsourcing can deliver.”
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