A trio of Walter Helitronic Power multi-axis tool grinders, plus a Walter Helicheck tool measuring machine, are enabling Elite Tooling to consistently reinforce its standing as a manufacturer of world-class special-purpose tooling for customers in the aerospace industry as well as medical and Formula One sectors.
The machines have been installed over the past decade or so – following the company’s establishment in 1995 initially as a distributor for Tivoly tools before the Rotherham-based firm progressively moved into tool production and regrinding, which account for 80 per cent and 20 per cent of output, respectively, and eventually becoming part of the Tivoly Group, a France-based Euros 83 million turnover business.
And according to production manager Lee Burkill, who has been with the company for 11 years, it is the machines’ Tool Studio software and Eco Loaders – as well as their solid construction that leads to consistently reliable operation – that has stood the company in good stead and in 2017 led to the investment in its latest Helitronic Power with Eco Loader, supplied by Walter Ewag UK, a member of the United Grinding Group.
Walter’s Eco Loaders are available in versions able to accommodate 165 tools. The Eco Loader is mounted on the machine’s work table and the loading/unloading gripper is integrated into the grinding head.
“Specialising in mainly carbide bespoke tooling of all types – including profile and multi-step cutters usually machined in quantities of one- to 10-off to micron tolerances – as well as the production of Tivoly’s standard tools (for drilling milling, boring, tapping and threading) in batches of, say, 100 we regularly use the Eco Loaders for unmanned operation, especially for overnight production,” says Mr Burkill.
“This ability to maximise production times, coupled with the functionality of Tool Studio for quick and easy programming and simulation of tool designs, contributes to our ability to produce high-class tools in turnaround times that our customers demand.”
Tools are designed and manufactured from scratch and speed of production is such Elite Tooling can often deliver a tool in the time it takes some companies to quote!
This ability for fast turnarounds is based on a comprehensive stock of semi-finished blanks, with cylindrical step grinding being undertaken in-house.