Saving lives is all part of a day’s work for the design and manufacturing team at Lancashire-based Lyndhurst Precision. Its bespoke engineering solutions have covered countless projects in the company’s 30-year history. The minefield breaching device the company manufactured is one they are particularly proud of — a trusted favourite of both medical and military personnel, the device allows for rapid advance through booby-trapped areas, ensuring a clear path to safely reach the regions most in need.
Also capable of making a life-changing difference is Lyndhurst’s medical dressing assembly machine which is currently used both in hospitals and in the field. Challenged with designing, manufacturing and installing a system to assemble various medical dressing components was no simple task.
Using cutting edge electro-mechanical positioning activators together with a pallet transfer system to create a high-speed process that delivers accurate finished components, the machine passes the rigorous testing procedures expected from the medical industry.
Lyndhurst Precision serves a diverse range of sectors including automotive, nuclear, defence and renewable energy. It has recently completed a conveyor system for a Japanese automotive facility in Thailand and has now begun the huge task of building a test area to safely decommission a nuclear facility.
Everything is created using the Inventor CAD system. Lyndhurst’s 50 employees include a diverse team of designers and engineers able to adapt to the myriad of challenges required of them. Manager Ruth Mariner said: “We don’t have a product — we enable others to have a product.”
The company started out in a garden shed and over the years substantial growth has led to a purpose-built factory in Chorley. It is accustomed to working for small businesses, multi-national corporations and governments alike.
Turnover has increased by 30% in the last year and the workforce by 10%, signalling the need for investment in new equipment, including their CNC machines.
After a recommendation from a local company, Lyndhurst turned to Norwich-based Haas Automation Ltd
Ms Mariner continued: “It was immediately obvious that Haas produced a quality machine. The team opted for a VF-2 vertical machining centre, with an ST-15Y turning centre soon after. The VF-2 is loading with an 8,100-rpm spindle and 20 station carousel tool changer, while the ST-15Y has full Y axis capacity, a 4,000 rpm A2-6 spindle, can handle 63.5mm bar and comes with a 12-station VDI turret.
“It is a faster, more accurate machine — the machinists love working on it and say they feel lucky to have it in the factory. We design and build everything in-house; it enables us to give a better customer to client service. We don’t want to grow big, we want to grow better and the machine has made us more efficient and has increased the quality of the final product.”
Lyndhurst is now also the proud owners of an ST-30 turning centre and VM-3 vertical mould making machine, which have increased both its flexibility and productivity. This has been proved in numerous jobs including a large installation for an international defence company and the redesigning of some failed wind turbines.
She added: “Our capabilities have grown exponentially; practically everything is done here in the factory. The Haas machines came into their own on the turbine blades, in particular the accuracy and multi-functionality, making them ideal for the task, as well as cutting production time by 75%.”
Operator Craig Walker says “The ST-15Y is very user-friendly and it is quicker, quieter and smoother, it makes the most difficult jobs easy.”
The company also does a lot of work with local further education and secondary schools. Ms Mariner said: “We still use the older skills, but it is good to show students the future too. When the young people see the Haas machines it opens their eyes to what engineering is about today.
“We wanted to invest in our capabilities and Haas have the winning formula; the machines are incredibly multi-functional and the back-up is great. They have transformed what we do, our working environment and what we deliver to our customers. The transition to Haas has been a very easy one.”