Gilkes reshores manufacturing

Posted on 16 Jul 2019 and read 511 times
Gilkes reshores manufacturingKendal-based engineering company Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd (Gilkes) has made a seven-figure investment in new machinery — supplied by Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd ( — to boost productivity and bolster its UK manufacturing base.

The company specialises in the design and manufacture of hydro-electric turbines and cooling pumps for high-horse-power diesel engines, with parts sourced world-wide.

It has acquired a Mazak Integrex e-1250V/8 vertical five-axis multi-tasking machine with the intention of re-shoring the manufacture of vital components back to the UK.

Fully machined turbine runners are currently sourced from an Eastern European supplier, and the new machine will enable the company to bring 40% of this machining work back to the UK.

The Integrex e-1250V/8 is one of the largest machines in the Mazak range, designed for the five-axis machining of complex large workpieces. It can perform a variety of tasks, including milling, turning, boring and drilling.

In addition, Mazak will be supplying a complete tool management system to reduce manual input and set-up times — plus a five-axis CAD/CAM system.

Rebecca Sandham, head of operations at Gilkes, said: “Our current machine tools are great workhorses, but we have gone about as far as we can go with them. With the Mazak, we will be able to significantly increase our productivity levels and remain highly competitive in our global markets.

“The Integrex acquisition forms part of a long-term plan to upgrade from three- and four-axis machining technology to a ‘state of the art’ five-axis capability that will increase our speed of manufacture, our overall productivity and the quality of our finished parts.

“Ultimately, we want this investment to be seen as proof of our commitment to UK manufacturing and our responsibility to provide jobs for the local area.”

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