Basildon, Essex - Ilford Engineering Co Ltd (www.ilfordengineering.co.uk) manufactures precision parts for the automotive and other industries. Since 1950 the company has been at the forefront of engineering excellence, maintaining its position by a combination of innovative development, a wealth of experience, and up-to-date technology.
With high-end customers such as Lotus and McLaren demanding evermore complex components, the company regularly had to subcontract 2D laser work, and did not undertake any five-axis components. After evaluating the business potential of bringing these two manufacturing types in-house, Ilford decided to purchase its own five-axis laser.
The company purchased a reconditioned Prima Rapido 5 laser. The principal reasons for this choice were the immediate availability of the machine, previous experience with this model by some employees, and a competitive price. The company’s head programmer, Rob Blackwell, chose PEPS SolidCut from Camtek (www.peps.com) as the CAM system. The software was installed shortly after the Prima in June 2005.
The five-axis laser machine has already brought increased turnover of five percent, with more scope available. Another significant benefit is the ability to fit a job in for prototype work for a customer. And this also has brought in new customers. The new five-axis laser machine has dramatically increased the types of parts that Ilford can manufacture in-house.