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Adding another layer
31st August 2016

As manufacturing technology continues to develop so rapidly, keeping up with changes is a challenge for any business and Future knows how important it is to stay ahead of the curve.

“To support customers with their research and development programme, we’ve needed to develop an in-depth understanding of Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM),” says Craig.

“This is a key area of growth for us and this technology, sitting alongside our current machining capabilities, will provide us with maximum support for the design and development of new products and prototypes.” 

Jon adds: “We can now take a metal sintered 3D printed model and further machine it to create a useable product or precision-engineered part - it’s a hybrid method of making complex components. A part is rapidly created by ALM and then we machine in critical features and precision function surfaces. If a metal sintered part was to be machined from scratch, it would take several weeks so ALM dramatically speeds up the manufacturing process. It’s also really useful in being able to experiment and test designs.”

To maximise the benefits of using next generation technologies Future has sought guidance and support from the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, a purpose-built facility that develops and demonstrates how new technologies can be adopted on an industrial scale. Future is also working with experts at the centre on a solution for measuring efficiency and monitoring business performance. 

Jon says: “We can never have too much knowledge but we are very mindful that as well as anticipating what advances are coming down the line, we also need to ensure that the skills of an ageing and incredibly experienced workforce are transferred to the next generation.

“Future is very lucky to have many loyal and long-serving employees including the third member of staff to join the company who is still here 40 years later, and his apprentice who’s worked alongside him for 35 years. It’s really important to the future of the business that the apprentices we take on every year get to work alongside people like this who have many years of experience, knowledge and expertise under their belt.”

 

© Future Advanced Manufacture