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Ex-employee turns to ETG to generate success

Posted on 10 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 480 times.
Ex-employee turns to ETG to generate success When an employee had the ambition of setting up his own business, the Wellesbourne-based Engineering Technology Group (ETG) provided both its blessing and support with a Nakamura-Tome machine tool. While working as an applications engineer at ETG, Mike Jerdin’s personal circumstances changed and he needed to be close to his family — not on the road as the role required. Instead of finding a job on his doorstep, he ‘swung for the fences’, started MTT Engineering Ltd and bought a Nakamura-Tome WT150 – a move which has been pivotal to the fledgling company’s success.

Taking delivery of his new machine at the start of April, Mr Jerdin always had the ambition of starting his own business; and as a Nakamura engineer, he knew how to go about it. Mr Jerdin said: “Most startups begin with a second-hand machine or two but working with Nakamura users during my 10 years at ETG, I knew that these machines deliver the competitive edge that I required. I spoke with the team at ETG and they helped me with a finance and support package that simply wouldn’t be available from any other machine tool supplier.”

Initially having challenges acquiring a local industrial unit, MTT Engineering has co-located with a fabrication business in Macclesfield — a partnership that is proving beneficial for both parties. As part of the start-up strategy, MTT Engineering is offering a fast-turnround service to the sub-contract and Tier One supply chain in the local area. Initially aimed at businesses running at capacity, MTT’s early customer base is reaping the rewards of MTT’s twin-spindle twin-turret Nakamura-Tome WT150.

Quality, precision and turnround speed

Mr Jerdin said: “I started the business with customers that would give me their overspill work when they were running at capacity. However, with the Nakamura’s twin-spindle and twin-turret capabilities, I can manufacture the parts faster, to a higher standard of quality and precision and more cost-effectively than many of my clients, who recognise the benefits and profitability they are receiving, so they are continually providing us with more work. This service is enabling my clients to reduce their lead times and ‘win kudos’ from their customers based upon the quality, precision and turnround speed.”

MTTPictured left: the twin-turrets on the Nakamura WT150II at MTT

MTT is currently winning new business in the motorsport, mountain bike and F1 segments as well as the agricultural and food industries. Making anything from suspension components and bike forks to hygienic fittings, valves, rollers, driveshafts and specialist fasteners from steel, stainless and high-density plastics, the diversity of the workload is a challenge which the Nakamura-Tome WT150 takes in its stride.

Mr Jerdin continued: “The USP for MTT Engineering is not just the machine, but my experience with the machine. The current workload is typically batches from 20- to 50-off with some longer runs. The Nakamura churns through this work at speed, so I can set the machine two to three times a day to prepare for the next job. With set-up times from 30min to over 2hr depending upon the complexity of the job, this may not be the ideal scenario for a machine of this stature, but it demonstrates that it can be done – and once it is set up, you won’t find a faster, more flexible machine than the WT150. I have sister tooling set-up for the machine, so this reduces both my set-up times and reduces my downtime.”

Light-out running

As a small business owner/operator, Mr Jerdin is involved in everything from quoting, deliveries and marketing to running the machine. He said: “Once the machine is set up, it will run for a few hours – but the ambition is to get longer running projects that can run ‘lights out’. The WT150 has an Industry 4.0 remote-monitoring system and as a small business owner, this is invaluable — I can remotely check in on the machine and its performance parameters at any time and from anywhere. It will also send notifications to my mobile phone if there is an alarm, a fault or something that requires attention. This gives me the confidence to leave the machine unattended in the knowledge that everything is running smoothly at optimum levels.”

MTTPictured right: The Nakamura WT150II running lights out around the clock at MTT

Furthermore, to maximise performance and optimise space, the machine has a 1m bar feed, Hainbuch collet chucks, and excellent driven tools. When combined with the twin spindles and twin turrets, the capability of the machine second-to-none. “We have selected high-end cutting tool partners such as Walter for our turning tools, Ceratizit for our round shank tools and Emuge Franken for our threading lines, so our tool life is exceptional, and this optimises the performance of the machine.”

Mr Jerdin concluded: “The company has got off to a flying start. This is because I have positioned the business in a different niche from other startups. The Nakamura-Tome WT150 is a machine that delivers high quality, fast turnround one-hit machining work that is the preserve of manufacturers supplying OEMs. This is winning praise with my customers in the sub-contract supply chain as well as those in the Tier One and OEM segments.

“None of this would have been possible without the support of ETG and its team. After years of working on the Nakamura brand, I can testify to the machines being the most productive, precise, flexible and capable machines in the industry. The quality is beyond reproach and I wouldn’t want to buy any other brand.”