‘Different from the norm’ at DJM Engineering

Banbury company describes itself as a “problem solver” offering engineering solutions

Posted on 23 Apr 2018 and read 1213 times
‘Different from the norm’ at DJM Engineering Colin Merry of DJM Engineering (www.djm-engineering.com), which is based in the village of Warkworth, near Banbury, describes the family business as being ‘a bit different’.

Founded some 25 years ago by his father Dave as an injection mould tool manufacturer, the company is now regarded as a “problem solver” that works on customer projects from start to finish, undertaking mechanical and electrical design, machining and assembly to deliver an engineered solution.

DJM undertakes a broad range of activities across a variety of industry sectors, from producing specialist machinery and test rigs to providing a breakdown/repair service; the company also offers a sub-contract machining service.

Mr Merry says: “With just myself, Dad and my brother Ian working in the business, we can respond quickly to a customer’s requirements, whether that’s piecing together a broken piece of machinery to create a new part to keep production running, or designing a machine from scratch.

“We have no dreams of being millionaires, we’re in the wrong business for that, but we enjoy making things and seeing things through from start to finish.

“Although machine design and build is central to what we do, it is supplemented by other work such as sub-contract machining, which is something we are happy to take on but not something we chase.”

DJM Engineering’s capabilities include welding, grinding, EDM machining, CNC turning and CNC milling. The latest machine to be installed was an XYZ 500LR vertical machining centre, the first of its type sold in the UK (shortly after being launched back in 2017).

Supplied by Burlescombe-based XYZ Machine Tools (www.xyzmachinetools.com), the machine was purchased to meet growing demand not only for DJM’s work on special machines but also for sub-contract work.

Mr Merry said: “We were already familiar with XYZ, as we had purchased an SLX 1630 ProTurn lathe from the company seven years ago, which we still have.

DJM“That machine was bought on the strength of a demonstration at a MACH exhibition, where I sketched out a component that was taking us 35min to turn.

“XYZ’s applications manager, Mike Corbett, programmed the part in just 3min and machined a finished part in another 3min.

“That ability to produce work so quickly convinced us of the power of XYZ’s ProtoTrak control; when we were looking for a machining centre, a similar level of ‘ease of use’ was just as important.”

VMC purchase

After talking with XYZ and explaining its need to undertake one-off and small-batch jobs, DJM decided that an XYZ 500LR would meet its requirements; it was specified with Siemens control, Shopmill programming software and Renishaw.

Primo tool- and work-probing as part of the overall package. “As soon as we discussed our requirements with XYZ’s Lloyd Pennington, we were confident that we were considering a machine that would meet our needs — not just a machine that XYZ wanted to sell.

“As a small family business, it is a refreshing change to get such service from a supplier, as it is how we like to think we treat our customers.”

The 500LR was the first XYZ machining centre to feature linear-rail guide technology rather than box guideways, as XYZ now feels that this technology meets its stringent quality/performance criteria.

The three-machine LR series (500, 750, and 1000) also features the Siemens 828D CNC system, which allows customers to add various options — such as Shopmill — to their requirements (LR machines are entry-level products that retain the levels of high-performance expected of an XYZ machine).

Mr Merry added: “We have been impressed by the capabilities of the 500LR machine. We are using the latest WNT cutting tools, and we are not holding back on speeds and feeds across a range of materials.

“The machine is proving itself able to maximise the capabilities of modern cutting-tool technology; it also provides a working envelope that is ample for our needs — in a compact footprint.”

The 500LR created additional capacity for DJM, and XYZ helped to fill it. Another customer was looking to place an order for a similar machine but was delayed in doing so; it still had a requirement for machined parts, so XYZ put the two companies in touch, and what was initially a need to fulfill an urgent order turned into a longer-term contract for DJM.

“This was just another example of XYZ providing excellent customer support to add to the other aspects of its support services, such as the free programming support helpline, which we have used several times — and we have always received a quick and efficient response,” concluded Mr Merry.

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