05 December 2023

A class act!

Leading North-East Training Provider invests in three MACH machine tools to increase the machining capacity and capabilities of its training workshop.

MACH Machine Tools, part of the Vigilance Group and a leading supplier of CNC and manual machine tools and machine shop equipment to UK and Irish component manufacturers and UK educational institutions and training providers, has recently supplied NETA Training with three new CNC machine tools.

The machines, all ordered at the same time, are equipped with the advanced DynaPath control and comprise two MACH MDT -1 turret-type milling machines and a MACH MDL 1600 lathe and were installed at NETA’s well-resourced workshop in Stockton-on-Tees in May 2023.

The new MACH machines tools acquired by NETA have helped it strengthen its already impressive and formidable front-line engineering resource that, along with a suite of manual machines and recent investments made in 3D printing, laser engraving and robotics’ technologies, are helping it to deliver the desired practical, relevant and Industry-required machining knowledge and skills to its mechanical engineering students and apprentices.

Says Sean Johnston, NETA’s director:

“Our MACH machine tools have helped elevate our status as an engineering training specialist with local and regional employers, schools and young people and the wider community. They have enabled us to further differentiate our offering in what is a competitive local training environment.”

The decision to invest in MACH machine tools was made for a number of reasons.

First and foremost NETA is a training provider committed to continuous improvement and, to ensure it was able to continue to attract top talent onto its engineering courses, made the decision in early 2022 to invest in CNC machine tools.

“We had the manual machine tool side covered,” says Sean Johnston. “But, to ensure our students and apprentices were able to acquire the operator and programmer skills required by industry today and tomorrow, and to enable them to improve their engineering employment prospects and career progression, we made the decision to go down the CNC route.”

Once that initial decision was made, the next step was to determine the type of machines to acquire.

Continues Sean Johnston:

“We knew we needed to have state-of-the-art milling and turning capabilities in the workshop, but we also wanted versatile machines that could be used in manual, semi-auto and full CNC mode too.

“Some of our students may not progress beyond manual operation but for apprentices and students, on our soon to be introduced T Level courses, we needed more sophisticated machine tools that would enable them to draw components (using CAD), create part programs (CAM), and machine parts to completion.”

The need for such inherently flexible machine tools, combined with a requirement for an intuitive CNC control system that was user-friendly with simple-to-understand navigation and menu screens etc., ultimately led NETA to MACH Machine Tools.

In truth NETA, as part of its capital investment selection process was considering a couple of machine tool manufacturers but following a meeting between NETA representatives and MACH Machine Tools at the MACH 2022 exhibition in Birmingham, a machine tool investment package comprising two mills and one lathe began to take shape.

“We liked MACH Machine Tools’ approach”, remembers Sean Johnston. “In addition, we appreciated the build quality of the machines being recommended and, once the power and flexibility of the DynaPath control system was explained to us in more detail, we were convinced that this was the right way to go.

“We were also particularly impressed with the control system’s 24/7 remote diagnostic capabilities. And these, combined with MACH Machine Tools’ after-sales service and support, the machines’ competitive price and their availability, and the company’s desire to create a meaningful partnership with us, helped seal the deal.”

Since being installed the three machines have been put through their paces and NETA’s relationship with MACH Machine Tools has developed. In the next few months MACH Machine Tools will hold a number of Master Classes at NETA to demonstrate the true capabilities and potential of its machines to students and staff alike.

Concludes Sean Johnston:

“The investment in our three MACH machine tools provides yet more evidence of our commitment to create a world-class engineering workshop at the Stockton site, and to help us raise our profile and further differentiate our course provision and learning pathways with key audiences that include young people and employers.”

The machine tool investment: a closer look.

MACH MDT- 1 milling machines
MACH MDT-1 (3-axis) CNC turret mills are flexible, highly-accurate and reliable machines equipped with 2.25kW/50 – 3750rpm R8 taper spindles and generous sized worktables (1244mm x 229mm) with a 340kg table load.

MDT -1 turret mills are used extensively in the UK by component manufacturers and toolmakers looking for a compact, high-productivity and value-added CNC milling solution

MACH MDL 1600 lathes
MACH MDL 1600 2-axis flat-bed lathes are fast, powerful and precise. The machines are equipped with an 8” (3-jaw) chuck and boast 5m/min rapid rates on their X- and Z-axes.

With 1050mm distance between centres and 400mm bed widths, MACH MDL 1600 lathes are popular and proven. They are an industry staple for many component manufacturers and their versatility means that they are equally adept at machining prototypes and one-offs right through to small batch production.

DynaPath control
NETA’s new machine tools feature, the now iconic, DynaPath WinDelta control system.

The powerful and versatile DynaPath CNC control with its simple-to-understand menus, on-screen graphics and conversational and ISO/G-code programming capabilities has helped differentiate MACH Machine Tools from its competitors.

As well as its 8Gb on-board program storage facility and 1000 block look-ahead capability the DynaPath control ensures fast processing speeds resulting in improved contour accuracies and superior surface finishes.

A key strength of the DynaPath control system is its remote assistance facility. When connected to a local area network, the control system’s in-built FTP server functionality provides customers with fast, Wi-Fi enabled remote diagnostic and applications assistance as well as immediate programming monitoring help and support.

This facility, available 24/7, and unique in the machine tool sector, provides customers with confidence and peace of mind knowing that, if they should need it, expert help and advice is only a (quick) phone call away.

About NETA Training

Established in 1975, NETA Training is a training provider covering the core skills of engineering, including fabrication, welding, electrical, mechanical, lifting, rigging, scaffolding and gas.

Part of the Education Training Collective (Etc.), NETA trains up to 6,000 adults a year, with around 200 school-leavers studying full-time courses and has up to 140 apprentices on its books at any one time.

In addition to providing a range of one and two year full-time engineering study programmes and T Levels, NETA also offers apprenticeship training and short commercial courses.

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Contact MACH Machine Tools Limited

MACH Machine Tools Limited

Unit 2-3 Chapel Lane, Clay Hill, Fishponds, Bristol, BS5 7EY

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