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GPE in pole position to meet post-pandemic demand

Posted on 12 Sep 2021 and read 3002 times
GPE in pole position to meet post-pandemic demandMilton Keynes-based sub-contractor Goodman Precision Engineering Ltd (GPE) has recently moved to a new facility that is 2.5-times larger than its previous site - and has invested in an additional two Quaser machining centres supplied by the Wellesbourne-based Engineering Technology Group (ETG).

Reflecting upon making the move and the new investments, company founder Mark Goodman said: “If we stayed at our previous facility, we would have had to replace machines, as we didn’t have any space for the new machines that we needed.

“I could see that it was potentially going to be a difficult time with Covid-19, but it also gave us the time and opportunity to move and also invest when we weren’t too busy.”

GPE took delivery of a Quaser MV214P and a new MF400 at the end of 2020. The two new machines complement existing Quaser machines that include two MF400 machines that were installed in 2015 and 2017 as well as a Quaser MV184 (pictured below) that was installed in 2018.

Mr Goodman added: “One of the main reasons I specified Quaser machines is because of the history I have with using Heidenhain controls on previous Bridgeport machines. The build quality, like the Bridgeport is very good and very robust, and we need this build quality as we do a lot of machining of stainless steel and titanium. We do more of this type of machining on the Quaser machines than any other machine we have because of their stability.”

GPE“The Quaser MF400 is a simultaneous five-axis machine that has an impressive work envelope and a good standard volume of cutting tool capacity. For the price point, this makes the machine a very good acquisition.”

The MF400 incorporates a 320mm diameter trunnion table that can accommodate workpieces up to 400 x 300mm with its X, Y and Z-axis travel of 410 x 610 x 510mm. This BBT40 spindle taper machine incorporates a powerful spindle that demonstrates a high level of torque through the range up to a maximum of 20,000rev/min.

On the decision to also buy the larger Quaser MV214P, Mr Goodman said: “This machine gives us a large capacity, so we can either do larger parts or set up several jobs simultaneously.”

The machine has a 1.7 x 700mm bed with X, Y and Z-axis travels of 1,524 x 700 x 610mm respectively with a maximum table load of 2,000kg. As standard, the MV214P has a 40-tool carousel, but GPE opted for the 60-position variant – a solution that enables the company to avoid continually loading tools into the machine by standardising its tool positions.

Maximum rigidity and performance

The Quaser MV214P can easily be retrofitted with a 4th axis and the machine is fully prepared for automation with the company adding a tool probing system to the machine bed. The BBT40 taper also has through-spindle coolant as well as the face and taper dual contact system for maximum rigidity and performance. It also features linear scales that feed into the Heidenhain CNC.

The company predominately machines components for the Formula One (F1) industry and its recognised kinetic energy recovery system, hybrid vehicle technology and other electronic motor parts. This sees GPE process a lot of insulating parts from materials such as plastics, aluminium alloys and steel.

As a company that is making next-generation automotive and motorsport components and assemblies, GPE is certainly pushing ahead with its plans for future growth.

Mr Goodman concluded: “What this new factory does is gives us the facility to have a wider variety of machinery and this will enable us to make a wider selection of parts. The growth also helps us to further improve our professional set up. By having more space, we have room for component washing facilities and our inspection department is now double the size that it was previously.

“Additionally, the workshop is air-conditioned, so the machines are looked after better than before. With regards to equipment, our milling department is reasonably well sorted at the moment, but we may be looking to add turning capacity as well as other technologies like wire erosion. We have obviously been very pleased with the Quaser machines from ETG — the technology and service support are very good.”