A west London engineering firm is using multi-tasking capability to machine medical and vacuum components
Set up by Chic Wellington in 1982, Wellington Engineering in Hayes, west London, is currently led by Chic’s son, Daimon Wellington and specialises in CNC machining and the supply of components in piece part, kit and assembly form. The business now employs more than 50 people and houses more than 30 machine tools supported by CADCAM, other cutting, cleaning, and inspection equipment, as well as fully automated stockholding facilities.
In recent years, Wellington’s aim has been to diversify the customer base away from an over-reliance on the medical and oil and gas sector. “When I first joined, the majority of my time was spent on expanding the sectors we operated in. We now have a customer list covering a wide range of industries, still including oil and gas and medical, but also cryogenic, vacuum and clean energy,” he said.
The relationship with Mazak has been central to Wellington’s growth.
The company’s first Mazak was the Quick Turn Nexus 250-II MSY turning centre, an investment that enabled Wellington to add multi-tasking capability for the first time specifically for use in machining medical and vacuum components. Wellington said: “The Quick Turn Nexus was a big investment at the time, but a major selling point for us was Mazak’s Mazatrol conversational programming, as it is easier to use and also because more applicants we were interviewing were already Mazatrol trained.”
“Once the Quick Turn Nexus was up and running, we started to see things coming off complete, which meant we could deliver quicker to our customers, invoice quicker and ultimately get paid quicker. It also opened up the prospect of running night shifts. This was a big turning point for us and we came to the conclusion that to remain competitive and make money, you’ve got to invest.”
He added: “We were doing batches of smaller volumes, circa 30- to 50-offs, and with these quantities set-up time is crucial. With the Quick Turn Nexus, we found a saving of 50 per cent in set-up time using Mazatrol. These results alone were a good enough reason to continue investing.
“When we made the decision to move premises I already had an Integrex in the back of my mind and the i-300S was one of the first machines in the new factory.”
The addition of the Integrex i-300S dramatically changed the way Wellington Engineering operated, allowing the company to make a step-up into multi- axis machining, which helped expand the client-base and improve overall efficiency on the shopfloor.
Since then, the business has added an Integrex i-100 in 2015. Wellington said: “The i-100 is the smallest Integrex but has a 1,000mm bar feed capacity that enables us to attract larger bar feed work up to 100mm diameter. I was pitching to a major manufacturer of vacuum equipment for a job that suited the bar feeder and we were awarded this work as we were able to run the component unmanned during the night and make significant cost savings for our customer. The i-100 is also equipped with a Rota Rack Parts ejector system for the larger components, allowing us to undertake work on a 24-hour shift pattern, which ultimately reduces the cost per component.”
He added: “Our two current Integrexs are very versatile and attract a nice
mix of business. The i-300 model is manufacturing larger diameter billet work, in the 12in to 16in diameter region, which is fairly rare in the south of England, whereas the i-100 can machine from 2in diameter to 4in diameter using the bar feed or up to 10in diameter chucking.”
Currently, Wellington Engineering has eight Mazaks, with another Integrex i-200 on order.