Dugard helps McCallum Bagpipes launch recession busting technology

Thursday August 21 2014

The world’s favourite Great Highland Bagpipe maker, McCallum Bagpipes (MB) has opened up a whole new factory equipped with new, top of the range machines bought from Dugard Machine Tools. It’s from this factory that their new recession busting product, the plastic bagpipe has been launched.

Traditional wooden bagpipes are made from African Blackwood, which is not only expensive, but also needs to be imported from Tanzania or Mozambique. These materials are becoming increasingly harder to source and so with the installation of Dugard’s machine tools they have been able to launch this product at a cost of just 60% of the traditional wooden versions.  For the past 9 years, Dugard Machine Tools have supplied MB with 9 CNC machines, 7 CNC lathes and 2 Mini Mill Machining Centres, the latter of which have a 4th axis on either machine which enables MB to engrave on the finished bagpipe.  90% of MB’s products are exported, this equates to around 2000 bagpipes a year, 1500 of which are wooden ones and now 500 plastic ones. This development in technology is therefore going to reap huge savings for the company.

When talking about their machining processes, Stuart McCallum from MB explains “We initially searched the market for the right machine tool supplier and Dugard’s range of machines seemed the most obvious and suitable choice. It was great to see that they offered both new and used machines and their service is one of the main reasons we have returned to them every time we need a machine”

MB uses the CNC lathes and Mini Mill Machining Centres not only for machining the core product but also for spare part manufacture, including ferrels, mounts, practice chanters and pipe chanters.  MB has two specific CNC lathes set aside for the wood machining as they need to cut this dry without coolants, which would of-course contaminate the wood. The machining of the plastic parts is then done on the other machines.  For Stuart McCallum, “Having all of our machines from one supplier means we have just one point of contact, we can service all the machines at the same time and the setting and programming is completely compatible”. What’s more Dugard offer unmatchable value for money and their machines are reliable and easy to programme”.