Sub-contractors within the high precision machining sector have an opportunity to grasp new business as UK manufacturers are said to be confident of a boom in global demand this year, according to MecWash, one of the leading industrial parts washing specialists.
But those sub-contractors seeking to benefit need to be capable of delivering exacting standards if they are to compete for contracts successfully, said John Pattison, managing director of MecWash Systems, based at Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK.
His comments come as research of UK manufacturers in January found that more than 40% expect a growth in global trading conditions for the first time since 2014.
The research, undertaken by EEF and AIG, demonstrates confidence in anticipated export orders, combined with an increase in companies reshoring, bringing manufacturing and sub-contracting back into the UK from primarily Eastern Europe and China.
It found that nearly 70% of UK companies expect to increase productivity in 2018 and with Brexit on the horizon, 12% are planning to move production back to the UK and 22% plan to increase investment in the UK.
“With many companies not only confident in the global market but investing in the UK through new technology and machinery, there is an opportunity for sub-contractors, particularly within the high precision manufacturing sector, to seek new opportunities,” said Mr Pattison.
“But, one of the main reasons many companies are returning manufacturing to the UK beingthe need for increased quality,so it’s essential those seeking new orders are capable of delivering the exacting cleanliness standardsexpected in the global aerospace, automotive and general engineering industries.”
He added: “We have seen the levels of cleanliness demanded on some contracts for precision engineered components increase by up to 50 per cent over the past year. This is more than achievable, whilst maintaining profitability and even reducing costs, if you use the right technology.”
JK Engineering (JKE) , one of the UK’s fastest growing high precision machining companies, turned to MecWash to ensure it had the capability to exceed exacting cleanliness standards for its clients in the Formula 1 and medical component industry.
AS9100 and ISO9001 certified JKE decided to purchase a MecWash Midi parts washing system to ensure components destined for use in these demanding sectors meet the highest possible standards of cleanliness.
JKE required a system that could clean very delicate components and surface finishes, making the MecWash Midi the ideal choice.
JKE’s commercial manager, Max Swinbourne, said: “The MecWash system perfectly represented our company ethos. We really love the fact that it is essentially automated. We looked into different systems where the labour demands were quite extensive, and we saw little value-adding in having an employee dedicated to parts washing. The system gives us a very, very low running cost when you factor in the labour cost.
“We wanted something that we could push the start button and walk away with confidence. The MecWash Midi has a huge advantage in that it washes and dries the parts in one cycle. In terms of repeatability, it cannot be beaten. The system’s unique configuration means there is no delay mid process if an operator is not there, and once the process is defined it never changes. It is repeatability and reliability that simply cannot be questioned.”
Mr Pattison said companies like JKE are fully aware of the need to meet the exacting standards required by those in high performance sectors such as motor sports, medical andaerospace.
“If the anticipated growth in the global markets materialises this year, as the research is predicting, then the sub-contractors who succeed in winningthese new orderswill be those able to commit to the highest quality standards. For many this will require investment.” he said.
“The demands for highstandards in cleanliness are only going to increase. This is not only down to the expectations of customers, but our own continued investment into research and development of industrial washing systems that stretches the boundaries of what is possible, producing such high qualityresults.
“When you look at the capabilities only a couple of years ago compared to where we are today, the developments are striking, and washing technology will continueto leapahead again over the coming years.”
More information about MecWash Systems products and bespoke solutions can be found at www.mecwash.co.uk.
 EEF (The Manufacturers Organisation) Executive Survey 2018. Published 8 January 2018.