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Tooling for the Future

Arthur Jackson & Co. Ltd., Brighouse, West Yorkshire, specialises in the manufacture of patterns, core-boxes and tooling for the metal forming sectors. Employing 19 time-served operators, the company has a turnover of £1.3m. Managing Director, Andrew Jackson, decided two years ago to invest heavily in 3D computer-aided design and machining and installed some of the best CNC machines on the market.

A major effort was put into up-skilling his existing operators, and to this day training in advanced techniques is of paramount importance to their ambitions to stay ahead of the competition wherever it may be! The company displays all the attributes deemed to be so rare in Britain, not the least of which is a willingness to take measured risk in order to grow the business. How many privately owned companies of this size would even entertain the notion of buying a company in the USA in order to access technology to exploit in his home markets? Andrew Jackson now employs 6 people in Colorado and is leasing new premises in Brighouse in which to install new production facilities.

This entrepreneurial flair became clear when the company was introduced to CT three years or so ago by Holset Engineering Co. Ltd. As a supplier to a company of the stature of Holset, the quality of their work and their responsiveness to customer requirements was never in question, but the mutual benefits that have arisen out of the relationship which followed have been considerable. For CT’s part, a competent supplier of key components for a range of product development exercises, with an established pedigree, was close to hand. For Arthur Jackson, a range of business opportunities has been opened up of which the company would otherwise have been unaware, such as:

  • Very short lead-time tooling in partnership with CT for Doncasters FVC, Sheffield, to produce first article parts for Rolls-Royce Marine on their Type 45 Frigate programme; special tooling for a CT licensed process being used by BSA Precision Castings to produce components for Schmidlin (UK) Ltd in the construction of Terminal 5 at Heathrow;
  • Special tooling for another CT-patented process which is being used at CT to develophigher performance turbocharger components for Holset Engineering Co. Ltd,Huddersfield;
  • High volume production tooling for the manufacture of domestic heat-exchangers prototyped at CT for Alfer Ltd., Preston;
  • Tooling for CT to manufacture a cast steel forging die used in a development project to produce forklift truck forks;
  • Special tooling for a triple-BOP, an oil-field blow-out preventer which is to be produced at CT in pre-production quantities as part of a development project for Elmar in Aberdeen, a division of Varco International Inc.

Andrew Jackson sees progressive growth in business as a consequence of our relationship with CT. He adds: I was taking a risk when I installed a new, £120k high-speed milling machine for the work CT said they would bring, but they certainly haven’t let me down. So far, they have brought £520k worth of business. We’ve trained a new recruit to produce tooling for CT’s advanced casting technologies. Given that CT is really pushing the boat out on developing new business which exploits these processes, there are bound to be significant spin-off benefits for us. It is also of value to me personally having people like those at CT that I can trust, and in whom I have faith, that they will give informed and objective advice. They were very helpful with technical input on my venture in the USA and provided extremely valuable commercial insights into market prospects, etc.

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