New Aberlink CMM
We have just purchased an Aberlink Xtreme 500 Shopfloor CMM with the help of a grant from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), LEADER project.
The source of the funding is "European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development"
The funding of 40% has made the machine affordable for us.
This machine will relieve a pinch point in our inspection department as it enables the machinists to check their own work on production components,this means our inspector is freed up to inspect smaller batches.
This investment should mean we are more efficient and productive as no one should have to wait to have their work inspected now.
Many thanks to the LEADER team for all of their help with this grant claim.
We've updated our inspection equipment this month to keep up with customer demands and also to replace some older equipment.
We have replaced our bore mics throughout the workshop and invested in a granite surface table.
It may not sound ground breaking but quality is the most important thing for us and our customers.
We had a bit of a giggle whilst getting this photo for the Grants4Growth publicity team.
We are so grateful to have had a grant from them towards the new Matsuura and I think on this photo we look grateful too! We have been running our first job on the new machine and should be in full production mode within the next couple of months.
We have just had a Matsuura MAM72-35V installed and very impressive it looks too.
It's 5 axis, 32 pallet, automated systems mean we can cope with more production work.
We purchased it with the help of a grant from Grants4Growth and have already taken on two extra employees Juris and Michael, to help with the increased volume of work.
Our MD Kay Pryszlak is now a member of the Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership Manufacturing Board.
If any fellow SME Manufacturers would like her to mention anything at the next meeting on their behalf please contact Kay by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I intend to be an Ambassador for the Manufacturing SME's in Lincolnshire, helping their voice to be heard by those with the power to change things."
Encouraging young engineers of the future
We have two local students coming to spend time with us on work experience this year. We find that this is a good way of spotting potential in youngsters and also showing them that academia is not the only career route.
We are also currently interviewing potential apprentices for 2017, we try to keep training new apprentices to tackle the lack of skilled engineers.
We are happy to announce we have taken on Matt as a trainee and a delivery driver. He is already showing potential to become an engineer. An extra pair of hands has been needed as work picks up.
Our Marketing team are making great strides in finding new customers. Attending trade shows and networking meetings is really paying dividends.
Apprentice day Lincoln college
Our M D manned a stand at Lincoln college today at their Apprentice recruitment day. We had lots of components for students to handle and created a lot of interest in engineering as a career.
We hope to see a few of them apply to do an apprenticeship.
We found a Comet Kart
Our beginnings way back in 1960 were as a go kart manufacturer. Whilst we have a lot of memorabilia about the kart we have never managed to find one.
Now we have managed to purchase a part restored Comet Kart and are really looking forward to trying to finish restoring it. We have also now got copies of the original hand drawn drawings.
Thanks go to the Mills family and the British Historic Kart Club for their help.
Press Release published by The Manufacturer
We have just had our press release published by The Manufacturer,follow the link to read. The company has come a long way from humble beginnings.
We are happy to say we have a new apprentice Luke Harper for September 2016.
He has enrolled at Lincoln College and we look forward to helping him become a fully fledged engineer over the next few years. Training is one of the things we excel at here at Bernard Holmes and we are sure that Luke will be a valuable addition to our team.
There is great excitement here as our new Matsuura H.Plus-300 is being installed today.
This has taken 2 years of planning and research into horizontal milling machines.
Finally we decided on a Matsuura and it is here, now the fun begins.
We are delighted to announce that we have been approved for a grant of £50,000 towards a Matsuura horizontal milling machine today. The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce with the Greater Lincolnshire Capital Growth Fund, have really made our day.
More to follow when the machine is installed.
Our MD has joined with a few others in a new association called Greater Lincolnshire Industry and Manufacturers Association (GLIMA).
At present this is a Linked in group aiming to give SMEs a voice in the decision making process in Lincolnshire. Ray Newell (Oakwell Management) has set up the group and it will hopefully grow and become a force to be reckoned with as time goes on.
We hope that by combining our efforts politicians and other decision makers will take our views into account, as well as the views of large corporations.
"Working together with your support we will make sure that all Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in all engineering and manufacturing sectors make a worthwhile contribution to the economic future of Greater Lincolnshire."
30 year anniversary
It is 30 years this month since our Managing Director Kay Pryszlak first became a director of the business.
This makes her the longest serving director ever of Bernard Holmes Precision.
Following our successful verification into the RISQs community, our directors are visiting Infrarail at the Excel in London on 12th April. This will be a chance to speak to companies actually making things for the rail industry and a chance to find out where we can fit with them.
Lincolnshire Manufacturing Conference
Our Managing Director attended the Lincolnshire Manufacturing Conference in Gainsborough and we appeared in the brochure that was given to all delegates on the day. An interesting day and a chance to discuss manufacturing in our county.
RISQS Buying Community
We have recently completed our verification with RISQS (Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme). We have made many parts for the rail industry as a sub contractor and this qualification means we can now approach rail companies directly with a view to supplying them
Last week our MD and Assistant Manager went to Milan to attend EMO2015. It is the largest show of its type and has given us ideas for the future. There is no substitute for seeing the machines in action, then questioning the sales people, and all in one place.
Grants4Growth Celebration Lunch
Our Managing Director attended the Grants4Growth Celebration lunch at Springfields Conference Centre, Spalding. She gave a brief outline presentation about how the grant had helped our company. For the publicity sheet about how we used our grant follow this link. http://www.grants4growth.org.uk/lincs/examples
We're now on Instagram
to visit our page and have a look at previous work and projects that are currently being machined.
Don't forget to 'FOLLOW' us.
Future Engineer on Work Experience
For the last two weeks we have had Pippa with us on her work
experience from the Bourne Academy.
She has been a great worker and impressed us all from the
day she turned up in her pink overalls to her last day here tomorrow. We would
be proud to employ her in the future. She has reinforced our view that
engineering is not just a man’s world; young women should be encouraged to do
apprenticeships to meet the skills gap we face.
Our Managing Director Kay Pryszlak commented "We need
more young people like Pippa to look at engineering as a possible career. The
view that engineering is a man’s world looks very outdated these days. I know
there are sometimes limitations for women as we may not always be physically as
strong, but these are often outweighed by having smaller, more dexterous hands,
good attention to detail, patience etc. Also with modern CNC machinery, strength
is not always an issue. With the lack of skilled machinists and programmers
around these days, my view is that young women wanting to try engineering
should go for it. In the war time women managed to keep the factories going so
manufacturing needs the Pippa's of this world to be encouraged to pursue
engineering as a career."
Article On the GTMA website
Following our success with our management system from PSL Datatrack, we agreed to be interviewed for an article describing how it has helped us.
Follow this link to read all about it.
Since late 2014 we have sent two of our shop floor programmers/setters on a Leadership and Team Skills course.
We have trained several employees in house to program and set CNCs.
In our manual workshop we have one of our very skilled milling machine operators passing on his skills both to our apprentice and to one of our CNC operators.
We have sent several employees on a lean manufacturing course and have plans to send more as we gradually take on the principles of lean manufacturing throughout the factory.
The company has made a conscious decision to continually upskill the entire workforce. This means we have far more flexibility to meet customer requirements.
This month we inquired about the possibility of taking on another apprentice in 2015. We have been impressed by our current apprentice and feel that apprenticeships have come a long way in recent years.
Hopefully this year we can find another young person just as keen as our current apprentice Jamie Page.
Sales Team successes
Our Sales Team have been following up leads from a few events we have attended and we have found several new customers this way recently.
We have completed our first aerospace work for a tier one supplier to the aerospace industry.
Following a day at an Autosport show we have started making components for Caterham Cars.
Also following an attendance 2 years ago at Offshore Europe in Aberdeen, we are now manufacturing components for the oil and gas industry.
The scope of which sectors we can manufacture components for widens all of the time.
XYZ Proturn SLX 355
We have an XYZ Proturn SLX 355 on order this month. It is a smaller version of the last lathe we bought from XYZ for our conventional section the XYZ Proturn SLX 425. It is a manual lathe with CNC controls.
This allows us to update the section and make training in manual machining more user friendly. The machine is also better from a health and safety view as the working parts are all contained once the door is closed.
We are also happy to have been approved by Grants for Growth for a grant towards this modernisation of 28% of the total cost.
Our busy manual workshop is an asset to the company and enables us to cope with prototypes and small batches with ease.
Some of our management team have recently attended a MAS course to learn more about lean manufacturing principles.
Although we already use some of these principles, we intend to introduce 5 S over the coming months to improve our efficiency further.
Today we took on our first apprentice in many years. We have trained lots of young people but not as part of an apprenticeship in recent times.
Jamie Page will be starting at Grantham college in September and we wish him well on his course. We will do our best to help him to become a precision engineer of the future.
In the last month we have taken on three more employees. Two are skilled men and one is a trainee. This is helping us to keep up with our increasing workload and has increased the skill levels on the shop floor.
Team Humber and Grimsby Renewables Partnership
We have shown an interest in the manufacturing of components for the wind turbines soon to be made on the banks of the Humber by Siemens. This has led to us attending a lot of networking and conference meetings in the North of Lincolnshire. We have now become members of Team Humber and plan to join the Grimsby Renewables Partnership in the near future.We are confident that we have the skills and experience to be able to be a part of the supply chain in this exciting industry.
This year we sent two employees each day that MACH was open at the National Exhibition Centre Birmingham.
For some of the younger employees this was their first time seeing all of the new technologies and their visit filled them with enthusiasm for engineering.
EEEGR exhibition and magazine
As we are interested in becoming involved with the energy sector we have joined EEEGR (East of England Energy Group). We attended SNS2014 at the Norfolk Showground today and feature in the February 2014 issue of the EEEGR magazine.
We feature on page 5.
Shop Floor Data Collection
We have recently updated our production control system to include Shop Floor Data Collection , Job costing and Goods received. This has enabled us to track our customers components through the production process, from quote to delivery, with the click of a mouse.
Production Engineering Solutions
We are excited to be featured in Production Engineering Solutions magazine. Follow this link www.pesmag.co.uk and click on the January issue. We are on pages 58 and 59.
Best Year Ever!
We are very happy to announce that 2013 was our best year ever and we have well and truly put the recession years behind us.
Extra Manual employee
We have an extra pair of hands in our conventional section. This makes a total of 21 employees at the company.
XYZ SLX 425
To aid our busy conventional precision engineering section we invested in a CNC controlled manual lathe. The XYZ SLX 425 is designed to make the programming of smaller batches more cost effective.
Article on MTD CNC website
Click above to read what we have been up to.
As we are looking to become involved in the energy sector we have joined EEEGR (East of England Energy Group). We hope to do business with some of our fellow members in 2014.
XYZ 1060 HS machining centre
We have recently taken delivery of a new XYZ 1060 HS machining centre.We have had a 4th axis unit, tool and part probing, and through coolant, as extras. Follow the link to see our video on You Tube, of the first job we did on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09HR7jpILmg
We are so proud to announce that we have been recommended for accreditation for ISO: 9001. We have done this with zero non-compliances, which is amazing.
Here at Bernard Holmes we have a fantastic team who pull together to achieve excellence every day, but today has proved that when we say we will do something, we do it, and do it well!
Exciting times ahead! We have been accepted by the Growth Accelerator, details below.
Growth Accelerator is a new and unique partnership between the country’s proven experts in business growth (Grant Thornton UK LLP, Pera, Winning Pitch and Oxford Innovation) and the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Our service will incorporate business development coaching, access to finance, innovation, plus leadership and management development. Together with specialist local partners and a vast national pool of expert coaches Growth Accelerator will select small and medium sized businesses in England with real potential for growth – and help them achieve their ambitions.
ISO 9001 update
We are now well on the way to attaining ISO 9001 and look forward to the summer when we are booked in for our audit.
We are now on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernard-Holmes-Precision
Visit us and comment or like us please.
Next year we will be working towards accreditation. There is no doubt that we already work to very high standards but as the years pass more and more customers require proof of this. We are aiming to have our accreditation before the end of 2013 to enable us to approach new potential customers with confidence and show our current customers what they already know, we are serious about quality control.
As trained engineers seem to be very hard to come by lately we are embarking on a forward thinking programme of recruiting trainees and teaching them to work to "Bernard Holmes" standards. It is a more long term approach rather than a quick fix but so far the four trainees we have are proving well worth the effort.
To maximise efficiency in the production office we are having PSL Datatrack
http://www.psldatatrack.com/ installed in late September. This will prevent duplication of paperwork and mean we can access the data we need far more quickly. Like all new systems it will take time to get used to but we are looking forward to seeing it in use.
Featured on MTD website
Following the purchase of our Doosan Puma 2600SY we are featured on the MTD CNC website.
Turning things to their advantage
Leading precision subcontractor cuts cycle times and reduces lead times with latest turning centre investment.
Lincolnshire-based precision subcontract specialist Bernard Holmes Precision Ltd has recently invested in a new Doosan multi-tasking turning centre and a Hydrafeed MV65 bar feeder, supplied by Mills CNC as a turnkey solution.
The machine, a Puma 2600SY, was installed at the company’s 11,500sq ft facility in Sleaford in February 2012 and is being used to manufacture (prototypes and one-offs through to medium - high volume batches) a diverse range of high-precision, complex components for its equally diverse range of food processing, bulk materials handling, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment and diesel engine customers.
The decision to invest in the new Puma 2600SY followed a review of the company’s manufacturing operations, undertaken as part of its Continuous Improvement Programme, which identified that productivity gains and performance improvements could be obtained by investing in a multi-tasking turning centre.
Full time Inspection
As part of our ongoing improvements to quality we are trying to ensure we get things right, the first time, all of the time. In order to do this we needed to have a more pro active attitude to inspection and now all staff have their work checked at regular intervals, as the job requires, as well as the final inspection. This should lead to potential problems being "nipped in the bud" and a better experience for our customers. We have always valued quality but there is always room for improvement.
Extra turning capacity
We are all organised for delivery of our latest purchase, a Doosan Puma 2600SY CNC lathe. It has a sub spindle and live tooling with full milling capability, plus a hydrafeed MV65 bar loader.
This is by far our bravest purchase so far with all the talk of recession in the news.
Still, fortune doesn't favour the faint hearted, we have more work than our current CNC lathes can handle and we need to keep moving forwards.
The factory has been completely reorganised and streamlined in the run up to the machine's arrival and everyone is excited about 2nd February when it will be with us.
Once we have it up and running we should have a little spare capacity again, but hopefully if things continue to be busy that won't be for long.
Assistant Manager appointment
It is more than six months since Russell Thackray began working alongside and assisting our manager Simon Hudson. As we will now be asking him to manage the factory when Simon isn't there,we felt it was time he had a title.
We have been impressed with his enthusiasm, drive and work ethic, so have decided that he will be appointed as our "Assistant Manager". Well Done Russell.
We have started on the much needed reorganisation of the workshop and by Christmas we will have it completed. This will hopefully make the factory more efficient and generally more easy to keep tidy.
Our refurbishment of the inspection room is now completed by a height gauge which will make checking our work far easier and quicker.
Hurco VM20 machining centre
Despite the gloomy forecasts in the news for our economy we still seem to be extremely busy this summer. This has led us to invest in a new machining centre as the ones we already have are starting to struggle to keep up with the workload. This is a brave move but after considering the options, the only way is to keep moving forward and be optimistic. The VM20 will enable us to keep up with orders and give us a little spare capacity to fill.
Hurco have also agreed to move another CNC as part of the deal so our workshop reorganisation is on track.
We have added extras to our order of through coolant spindle and a rotary 4th axis and with the integrated Hurco control we will be able to offer 5 sided machining.
Mitutoyo QM333 CMM
We have decided it is time to refurbish our inspection facility as it is in need of updating. As part of this we are investing in a Co-ordinate Measuring Machine. We have been considering updating our inspection room for some time and this is a good starting point. The machine should be delivered in late August.
Extended Production Office
Our manager Simon Hudson has managed production single handed for many years now but it is increasingly obvious that this is too large a job for one person. This month we have extended his office to make room for his new assistant Russell Thackray to be able to work alongside him. Russell is the managing director's son and has worked his way through every job in the factory and is now ready for the challenge of dealing with customers. They are a great team and this can only be good for the future of Bernard Holmes Precision Ltd
Plans to rearrange the workshop
During the quieter times of the recession, time wasn't wasted and one of the plans we decided to work on was a reorganisation of the workshop floor to make production more efficient. A scale drawing has been completed and although CNC machines are not the easiest things to move around, we have a clear idea of how the workshop needs to look now. A little at a time over the next couple of years we will move machinery whenever there's a window to do it until we have a more tidy and organised factory working to its full capacity.
The night shift!
The new year has certainly started in style. We have new orders that mean we have no choice but to put on a night shift to cope with demand. We say we are flexible and this month we have proved it by taking on two more machinists and setting up a night shift within a couple of weeks of being asked if we can cope with more work! If we promise we can do something, we do our very best to ensure it happens by whatever means we can think of.
Featurecam at Bernard Holmes.
As we have become busier and need to minimize the amount of time we spend programming our CNC machines we have decided to purchase a CAM system to speed up programming.
Featurecam seemed like the best option for us so we have purchased 2.5D milling and the turning function also.
Much as it promises that "even a novice" can use it, the programme will take a little time to get used to but should enable us to program more complicated components in a shorter time.
XYZ SMX3 3000 SLV
As the milling section becomes busier again, following the recession, we have invested in another XYZ turret milling machine. It is a sign of our returning confidence that we are investing in new machinery again and updating the way we work. We have gone for a 3 axis CNC control to give us more flexibility.
We are 50 years old!
2010 is the 50th year we have been in business. When first incorporated we made our own brand of go cart and traded as Comet Karts!
Times have changed and we have changed with them.
Standing still has never been an option.
The company has gone through many changes even before we were incorporated. Originally Bernard Holmes ran a cycle repair shop and small garage just after the war. As time went on and the company adapted to the world around it there was more and more emphasis on precision engineering. This started with the production of the carts and progressed to sub contract engineering, as customers like Mirrlees Blackstone were picked up along the way.
From 1979 onwards, his step son Philip Thackray was the managing director and worked hard to find new customers, grow the business and to move from old cramped buildings to a purpose built factory in 1995. His hard work and vision provided a solid foundation for the future of Bernard Holmes Precision. As he used to say "If you stand still in business you go backwards".
Since his death in 2006 his wife Kay has been the managing director and endeavoured to keep building on previous successes by building an extension to the workshop and investing in new machinery whenever needed.
Although we are now a modern precision engineering workshop we don't forget our roots as the company is still in the same family as it originally was. Hopefully the new generation will see the 100th anniversary!