NCMT wins Queen’s Award

Posted on 13 May 2018 and read 681 times
NCMT wins Queen’s Award NCMT Ltd ( — a machine tool sales company based in Thames Ditton, Surrey, and employing 120 people — has won a Queen’s Award for the rapid growth in its exports to contract machinists supplying international aero-engine and land-turbine manufacturers.

The award is based on VIPER grinding, which was developed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce and the Japanese machining centre manufacturer Makino, whose machines NCMT sells exclusively in the UK and Ireland. The technology was introduced in 2001.

The process, which uses small-diameter aluminium oxide grinding wheels exchanged from the tool magazine on Makino machining centres — and more recently on purpose-built grinders — led to nickel alloy components such as turbine blades being manufactured to a much higher level of efficiency than had previously been possible.

The metal removal rates are about five-times greater than with traditional creep-feed grinders, which use large-diameter (and more costly) grinding wheels.

The benefits of VIPER grinding include major reductions in capital investment, set-up times, production costs and lead times, as well as lower consumable costs.

The process also achieves very high levels of accuracy; and whereas a conventional grinder may take up to a day to set for a new component, a Makino machine can be reconfigured in 1-2hr — and often considerably less.

Such was the success of the technology that, in order to expand sales in this specialised market, a separate business unit was set up in the UK called Makino-NCMT Grinding Division.

Its directors approached Makino in 2005 and came to an agreement that allowed them to sell the grinders not just in Britain and Ireland but right across Europe.

Since then, NCMT has sold over 160 of these cells — many of them automated — into aerospace supply chains in the UK, in continental Europe and as far afield as Thailand and Mexico.

NCMT’s managing director, David Burley, said: “This accolade is a result of more than a decade of hard work by staff across our entire organisation and excellent collaboration between departments.

“I am delighted that their efforts have been recognised in this way.”

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