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North Glasgow College has completed the retrofit of 22 Anilam digital readouts to the portfolio of manual lathes and milling machines utilised by students as part of the engineering skills programme.

This effectively gave the mechanical engineering team a blank canvas to re-arrange the machines and better utilise the layout of the workshops.

The workshops contain 12 Colchester Student lathes, and six Ajax and four Bridgeport milling machines, to which the Anilam Wizard 411 digital readouts (DROs) have been retrofitted.

George Stewart, college director of policy and operations, points out that the investment in up-to-date DRO technology was made to meet modern skills demands.

‘We’ve seen a tremendous shift in student demographics over the years,’ he said.

‘Not only in terms of the age, sex and number of full-time students, but also because the decline of local steelmaking and shipyards, for example, has increased the demand for a syllabus that includes more social sciences and art.

‘However, despite the local demise of heavy engineering, our mechanical engineering courses remain strong – we have full- and part-time students on our Introduction to Engineering Skills, Engineering Practice/Factory Maintenance and HNC Engineering courses.

‘There has also been a change in the way in which components are made these days – CNC machining has replaced manual processes.

‘So to remain relevant, we have to move with the times in providing modern machining techniques – technologies that students will encounter and use in industry.’ After working closely with local Anilam agent Scotmech, the college’s senior lecturer in construction technologies, Charlie Inglis, said that the immediate effect of the Anilam Wizard DROs is that they will provide students with an easy-to-follow and instant method of tool/workpiece location and measurement in relation to a range of machining applications.

‘Offering a choice of one-, two- or three-axis control, the Wizard 411 is the ideal entry-level DRO,’ said Inglis.

‘With LCD screen and sealed membrane keypad, the system has standard functionality for tool offsets, sub datums, linear patterns (row, frame, array), PCD calculations (full and partial) and vectoring.

‘The 411 will therefore provide students with all the functionality they will need as part of the mechanical engineering curriculum.’ Retrofitted over a 10-day period by Scotmech, the systems were complemented by ENC 125 precision glass scales.

The systems provide a resolution of five microns and an accuracy rating of 10 microns/m, and both Scotmech and North Glasgow College have every confidence in their consistent performance for the long term.

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