Around 700 senior figures from the UK manufacturing sector gathered at Birmingham’s Hilton Metropole last night for the culmination of the MWP advanced manufacturing Awards 2012.
Set up by MWP Advanced Manufacturing magazine in 1982 to recognise and applaud outstanding achievements in the industry, the biennial competition has become an established highlight of the manufacturing calendar. And with an array of impressive entries last night’s event, hosted by comedian Greg Davies, provided a compelling reminder of industry’s continued ability to innovate and grow in the teeth of tricky economic conditions.
Commenting on this year’s competition, MWP editor Mike Excell said: ‘The number of entries and the overall standard demonstrated continuing enthusiasm for this event – plus commitment, inventiveness and imagination on the part of production engineers, in what has been an especially difficult time for the manufacturing sector. What’s particularly pleasing is the way new manufacturing technologies have been embraced, and the commitment to sustainability alongside productivity and quality.’
This year’s event saw the judging panel – chaired by the AMRC’s Adrian Allen – award prizes to 17 companies across 18 categories.
The winner of the night’s overall Grand Prix Award, and the winner of the Best Subcontractor prize was precision engineering firm JJ Churchill Ltd, a firm which serves a variety of sectors, employs 120 engineers and enjoys an annual turnover of around £20 million.
The Best Automation System/Equipment award went to Robotic Automation P/L for a robotic lean manufacturing system provided to the Dulux Group whilst CG Tech won the CADCAM prize for its Vericut Composite Application Suite – a specialist simulation software tool designed for use with composite and fibre placement CNC machines.
Sandvik Coromant took the best cutting tool prize for its CoroMill 176 system, whilst SPA Aluminium won the Best Entry Level Machine Installation category for its installation of a ProtoTRAK LPM machining system from XYZ Machine Tools.
The Best Grinding / Finishing equipment award went to Vollmer for the QXD200 erosion machine, and DMG Mori-Seiki went home with the Best Machining Centre trophy for its DMU 60 eVO FD 5-axis machining centre.
Joseph Rhodes’ 2000 Tonne Superplastic Forming/ Diffusion Bonding (SPF/DB) Press won the Best Metalforming and Fabrication Equipment, Whilst 123 insight won Best Production Management System for its MRP/ERP system.
Elsewhere Renishaw’s Equator 300 inspection system took the Best Quality Control Equipment prize, and Versarien – developer of Lost Carbonate Sintering: an innovative manufacturing process that enables engineers to replicate porous structures that occur in nature in a cost effective way took the evening’s R&D award.
Other winners included Haas Automation – for Best Service and support, Zeeko for best specialised manufacturing equipment, and Fife Fabrications for Best Subcontractor – Forming, Fabrication & Finishing.
Finally, Claro Precision Engineering won the best Supply Chain Partner award, JTS/Wogaard the best Supporting Equipment category and Tornos UK the best turning centre prize for its Multiswiss system.