One of the UK’s leading die-casting companies is increasing its manufacturing space by 60 per cent and will open a new foundry with the help of experts from the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre.
An SME team from the MTC’s Manufacturing Support Services operation worked with managers and operators from Queens Award-winning die-casting supplier MRT Castings, helping them with the layout for their new facility, automation and technology selection and robotic handling.
MRT Castings, established in 1947, supplies aluminium die-castings and machines components to leading companies across the UK and Europe from its factory in Andover, Hampshire. The company approached the MTC to help with the planning of their new 20,000 sq ft foundry, designed to accommodate the latest technology and improve productivity while at the same time providing a first-class manufacturing environment.
MTC engineers, working with MRT employees and managers helped plan the layout for the new foundry, creating 3D CAD models of all existing and proposed equipment, laying it out within the architects’ plans for the building, and running workshops for MRT’s team, using virtual reality technology to enable staff to visualise and optimise the layout before the construction was even completed.
MRT Castings managing director Phil Rawnson said,
“The new foundry underlines our commitment to providing our customers with the most flexible, productive and technologically-advanced die-casting facilities in the UK, while providing an exciting, world-class workplace for our valued team. We are grateful for the help the MTC gave us and our people were impressed by the capabilities and vision of the MTC engineers.”
Following this successful initial project, the partnership has continued, with MTC engineers moving onto projects with MRT to select and implement robotic loading solutions for their CNC machining centres, and to develop 3D printing approaches for manufacturing bespoke grippers for these automated loading cells.
Dean Baker, director of the MTC’s Business Launch Centre and Manufacturing Support Services team, said the work with MRT Castings had demonstrated that as well as helping start-ups bring products to market, they could also use their expertise to improve productivity and competitiveness in well-established and leading SMEs.
“We are able to provide a de-risked environment for SMEs with the support of our team of engineers, and we were delighted to help with the planning of this great new facility for MRT.”
Based in the MTC’s Sopwith Building the Manufacturing Support Services team works with SMEs to improve productivity and processes. They have access to the MTC’s world-class advanced manufacturing and research facilities, as well as the MTC’s team of engineering and manufacturing experts.
The team has worked with more than 500 SMEs, and at any one time has more than 150 live projects.
The MTC was founded by the University of Birmingham, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and TWI Ltd. The MTC’s industrial members include some of the UK’s major global manufacturers.
The MTC aims to provide a competitive environment to bridge the gap between university-based research and the development of innovative manufacturing solutions, in line with the Government’s manufacturing strategy. The MTC is part the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported by Innovate UK.
Pictured: High-pressure die-casting operations at MRT