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Knowledge engineering
30th August 2016

Managing Director, Craig Peterson and Production Director, Jon Ellwood, discuss Future’s key capabilities, the technology and team that are setting the business apart from its competitors.

Historically, at least half of Future’s business had come from just one sector but in 2014, we began to channel the diverse skillset and capabilities of our team into serving a range of industries. Revising the focus of the business has paid dividends and as a result, we’ve simultaneously been able to grow both our R&D and production offerings.

Craig explains: “We realised that by investing in significant industry accreditations, new technology, training and expertise, we could successfully establish ourselves as a unique one-stop-shop for R&D and production. This has led to a rapid and continuously growing order book on both sides of the business, producing some really exciting and innovative work.

"In fact, one of the most critical factors in delivering this has been the integration of new machinery and software. For example, we have invested in several new Mazak simultaneous five-axis machines to meet the substantial increase in requirements of large OEM customers including Rolls Royce and Airbus. This enables us to manufacture high-integrity, high-complexity and high-IP products for complex assemblies on a much larger scale, supplying parts up to 1.5 metres in diameter and three metres in length to exact tolerances.”

Richard Wilson, Area Sales Manager at Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd, adds: “Future has invested heavily in Mazak machine tools over the past four years with the goal of machining components inone process. We’ve been able to support their business objectives with our Done-In-One range – the Mazak Integrex five-axis mill-turn and Mazak Variaxis. These machines are not only extraordinary from a machining capability but the touch screen control system really aids the speed and efficiency from start to finish - something that Future really showcases at its Staverton facility.”

Technology has certainly been key in helping Future to achieve and maintain its competitive edge for precision engineering and manufacturing complex hardware, agrees Jon: “This really hit home for me recently when I was told by a highly successful F1 customer that they work with us because we have better equipment than they have at their disposal. That’s a great endorsement that all the investment we make is worth it.”

However, the work undertaken by Future is getting ever more complex and the components we make are often going into very strict and controlled environments, such as jet engines and aircraft landing gear. “We’re really pushing the envelope in the current capability of technology and to do so it’s important to utilise software and technology,” says Jon. “That’s where our investment in our workforce really comes to the fore.

“In reality, anyone can buy a machine and software but success ultimately comes down to having people who can make the most of the technology and use it to its fullest to create incredible and innovative components.

“We were recently charged with making something new and unique for motorsport which led to some of the team working all through the night. Despite being told to go home and rest several times, they were driven by passion, commitment and responsibility and insisted on staying to see a never-been-done-before job through to completion and delivery. These are the type of people who truly make the difference to our capabilities.”

© Future Advanced Manufacture