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JJ Churchill Ltd have today announced that it has added two more Makino 5-axis machining centres to its machining cell, which now comprises of four Makinos.

The 4 Makino VIPER grinding centres are now installed and have been positioned so that they are ready to accept automation. The manner in which the Makinos have been positioned within the JJ Churchill Market Bosworth facility allows for the addition of a further 3 Makino grinders, within the proposed automated manufacturing cell, as demand from their customers dictate. Robotic loading of the new machines is key in enabling JJ Churchill to achieving global cost competitiveness.

This completes a £2.3m investment in new technology, people and systems to meet new orders from existing and new customers in the aerospace industry. The company is focused on ‘sticky niches’ within the aerospace market, niches which require a high degree of technical and organisational skill. It is actively seeking work which requires highly skilled engineering in difficult geometries, difficult dimensions and challenging materials – the type of project where the first reactions is: “That can’t be done”.

The new investment in Makino 5-axis VIPER CNC grinding capacity, linked to advanced information-management systems, enables the machining of complex, precision components in advanced nickel-based alloys and single crystal components.

The company’s aerospace sales have increased by more than 60% in the past year, increasing in importance to the company and now contributes two thirds of the company’s total sales.

Andrew Churchill, Managing Director said: “The work we are most interested in carrying out is always a challenge, and often one where our customers have found it difficult to find the capability. We like to push the boundaries of grinding, milling and turning, in the most difficult materials, geometries and dimensions, that’s why we have reorganised our factory around the Makino cell, in order to constantly achieve the high expectations which our customers require. It’s not the easiest nor the most straight-forward, but it is interesting and draws on the skills of our highly-motivated team.”