Dugard lathe wins far eastern work back

Thursday August 21 2014

More Spindles For Less Money: that makes our business a hugely attractive proposition.

During the early part of the last decade, it became the global manufacturing trend to scour the globe for manufacturers who could produce components at the lowest possible prices.  As a direct consequence of this ‘cost-cutting’ phenomenon, UK based machine shops became the resultant casualties of a manufacturing explosion in the Far-East.  But not every UK CNC machining company signed-up completely to playing the ‘hapless victim’ role in this global scenario and one company in particular decided to redress the balance by completely changing their business model in order to compete for jobs previously lost to the Far-East.

Winton Precision Engineering located in Poole, Dorset, specialise in the manufacture of hydraulics parts for the Excavator industry.  100% of their turnover is generated from turned parts in high volumes and every year the business machines in excess of 1.5m components.  Operating out of a small machine shop on the South Coast of England, Winton Precision have 4 skilled engineers now running 6 sliding head lathes, all purchased from Dugard Machine Tools.

Let Winton MD, Peter Kenchington explain in his own words how investing in the 6 Dugard machines enabled the South West (of England) to fight back against Far-East competition and, in the process, enabled them to win back work that was once lost to them.

“We’ve experienced first-hand the huge shift in global component manufacturing, mainly down to the characteristics of our Excavator industry customer base and product type.  There’s no question that at times it’s been extremely challenging for us to maintain our business in even the remotest way competitive, but in response to that challenge we identified that investment in competitively priced, fast, reliable machinery was the only way forward, for us.  Previously, we had always taken a business view that buying machine tools at the top-end of the market in terms of price was the right thing for us to do; but we realised that by continuing to follow that course of action we had merely help make our own business uncompetitive.  Therefore, 2 years ago, we completely reviewed our business model.  We had been alerted to the new Dugard range of sliding head lathes, by complementary industry comment, and decided to put them through their paces.

To be brutally honest, it was the fantastically competitive pricing that attracted our attention initially: but as soon as we started to ‘get under the bonnet’ we quickly identified that these Dugard machines incorporated many additional features and benefits that could save us money as well.  For example, the Dugard machines operate a non-guide bush system that halves the remnant from our 10 feet bars.  On our previous ‘top-end’ machine we were losing up to 12 inches of material per bar which is automatically reduced to less than 5 inches by adopting the new system.  This means on material savings alone we would save up to £1k per month by using a new Dugard Sliding Head Lathe.  Furthermore in ‘test’, the machine cut equally as quickly as our current sliding head lathe and was far easier to programme.  Very quickly, everyone at Winton could see that investment in these Dugard machines would prove to be enormously beneficial in helping secure our company’s future.

Since investing in the first machine 2 years ago, we have gone on to install 5 more and now run 6 Dugard Sliding Head Lathes.  Our business has grown, our workload has increased and we now have more spindles for less money which makes our business a hugely attractive prospect for customers who are looking for top quality machining, in high quantities at competitive prices without the logistical challenge of having to import parts from the Far-East.  We are now as busy as we have ever been and the 6 machines provide us with a rich source of capacity.  Winton is therefore now winning back all the work it had lost and is currently looking at a very positive future.  We believe that the reason behind this is very simple … we are now very, very competitive!

In summary the new Dugard sliding head lathe has been a real eye-opener for us; their follow-up service is as reliable as their machines and although we rarely need engineers … when we do, their response is timely and professional,” concludes Peter.

The brochure and demonstration video are online now – www.dugard.com .  Currently the Dugard showroom in Hove has stock of the Dugard 32 which means that the machines are ready for immediate delivery, call 01273 732286 for more information or to arrange a visit.