Trust is the key component to Redman Engineering’s
relationship with its customers and working closely with clients to achieve a true partnership has built respect over the past 45 years since the business was first established.
Managing director Bill Redman said: “We grow as our customers grow and for many of our clients, intellectual property is a critical asset to their business. We machine every component in-house, which gives confidence in two ways — quality of the finished product and confidentiality of the manufacturing process.”
Originally an aerospace manufacturer, when Mr Redman took over from his father in the 1990s the Essex-based company diversified into making mechanical parts for the bio-chemistry and optoelectronics.
Mr Redman continued: “Our involvement begins once the customer has established a concept and parameters for the product. From here we have input concerning the mechanical aspects within their multi-disciplined team. Upon completion of prototypes and testing, production batches typically range from five to 40 are manufactured and it can be very intricate and demanding work at times.
“For example, we recently produced the mechanical components for a high-speed camera capable of capturing images of a projectile fired from a barrel. The incredible detail provided goes as far as showing the surrounding shock waves. It is important for us to have the necessary kit to handle the job as efficiently as possible.”
Redman Engineering recently took delivery of a new VF-2SS Super Speed vertical machining centre, part exchanging its existing 18-year-old Haas VF-2 as part of the deal with Norwich-based Haas Automation Ltd
. The VF-2SS has a 12,000rev/min spindle, 30+1 high-speed side-mounted tool changer and was supplied with a 210mm rotary table for full 4th-axis operation.
Mr Redman added: “We have found cycle times have improved by 40% already and we are still experimenting with some jobs so we are expecting that figure to rise. The machine is noticeably faster and more responsive. Our manufacturing team have over 150 years’ experience between them, and they really rate the Haas. They are very comfortable with the machine. We use FeatureCam and OneCNC for our CAD designs. We do a lot of off-line programming and because we have the VF-2SS we can jump straight on the machine and start cutting.”
He explained: “Redman Engineering also made the decision to invest in a Haas wireless probing system. “We have found it very useful. It allows us to easily set work and tool offsets, it confirms parts are loaded correctly, and it inspects parts in-process on the machine. Our consistency though good, has significantly reduced the level of monitoring as parts come off.
“You get a lot of well thought out accessories as standard with Haas. We didn’t use things like fixturing and air blast at first, but we have found out how useful they are as we have got going. When we began looking for a new machine we found that the Haas website gave us precisely what we needed to know.
“This gave them a real edge as we didn’t have to keep calling; the information was all there. Then when we wanted to order, the process was quick and easy, including part exchanging our existing machine. The whole process was well controlled; it inspired our confidence, which is just how we like to work with our own customers.
“Furthermore, we had one day on-site training to cover the new features and that is all we needed. One of our operators hadn’t programmed a machine before, but he was able to start programming by the end of the day. Our guys really enjoy the Haas Tip of the Day videos on YouTube and any queries we have can often be answered online and if not, then a quick phone call does the job. It is all very accessible. Haas really makes you feel valued as a customer and part of something much bigger.”