Toolmaker Allenvale Tools and Production, based in Whitstable, Kent, was encouraged to have an independent World Class Toolmaker profile assessment by big customer LucasVarity, which arranged for consultant Andrew Gibbons of Moores Rowland to benchmark it.
Technical director Doug Remington says it took about a day, including discussion of all 39 steps and a factory inspection. ‘It was definitely a good exercise, because we’re now on LucasVarity’s tooling records as a preferred toolmaker.’
Allenvale employs 70 people, including 16 apprentices, and is ISO 9001 approved. It recently bought eight Sun workstations running Pafec’s DOGS CAD package and GNC software for CAM. Eight Agie wire eroders are run directly from the CAD/CAM system, with two machining centres including a Cincinnati 1000 VMC. The Baty CNC inspection system has PC-based programmable profile and surface elimination. Clients include LucasVarity, mobile phone, electronic connector and switchgear makers.
High points were scored for a business plan ‘which we’d recently tightened up’, says Remington. The assessor was impressed by a powerful in-house training programme, which runs up to NVQ Level 3, and effective data transfer systems, using DXF data transfer facilities and conventional drawings. The firm also invested heavily in metrology, and maintains inspection sample reports for all parts produced.