Halesowen-based engineering firm, Hockley Pattern & Tool, has confirmed the latest purchase of a new state-of-the-art machine tool in order to keep pace with its rapidly expanding order book.
The firm, which was founded in 1979 by the father of current joint managing directors Neil and Gareth Williams, is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of jigs, fixtures, tools and moulds for the aerospace and automotive industries. Hockley Pattern has invested in a Yamazaki Mazak VTC 800 Vertical Travelling Column machining centre to expand its current machining capacity, and increase overall production output.
Hockley Pattern & Tool boasts an impressive list of clients, in both the aerospace and automotive sector, having supplied the likes of Rolls Royce, Triumph Structures, Spirit Aerosystems, GE Aviation, Bombardier, GKN, Bentley, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover. However, the company will use its new machine to accommodate a large tooling package order for aerospace giant, Airbus.
The VTC 800, which is also manufactured in the Midlands at Mazak’s European Headquarters and advanced manufacturing plant in Worcester, is ideally suited for the production of large parts associated with the manufacture of pattern and tool moulds required by the aerospace industry. The machine is also able to machine complex workpieces from a variety of different materials, including Invar, stainless steel and aluminium.
The Mazak will be Hockley Pattern & Tool’s ninth machining centre, and will play a crucial role as the 53-strong company looks to build upon its impressive £4m turnover over the next 12 months.
Neil Williams, joint managing director of Hockley Pattern & Tool, commented: “It’s a very exciting time for the business as we look to further expand into the automotive and aerospace industries. Technology is a vital aspect of staying ahead of the competition, which is why we chose to invest in a Mazak VTC 800, which we know is capable of processing large and difficult-to-machine workpieces to the exceptionally high tolerances required of the aerospace market.
“We were operating at near full capacity and Mazak were able to quickly respond to our urgent need for a new machining centre, to keep up with the new business coming through the door. The fact that they were able to send engineers out to not only install and set-up the VTC 800, but train our own engineers on the CNC program enabled us to keep people onsite and prevent any downtime throughout the process.”
Richard Smith, Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales Division at Yamazaki Mazak, added: “The Midlands has always been the spiritual home of UK manufacturing, from spear-heading the industrial revolution to being the home of some of the world’s leading manufacturers in the 21st century. Hockley Pattern & Tool are playing a vital role in the supply chain for a huge number of key players across the automotive and aerospace industries, and we are very pleased to be able to help them continue to grow through the supply of the latest machining technology.”