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How do you become a winning supplier?


GTMA supplier HCM Engineering has

been telling the world how it has kept at

the top of the UK's engineering supply

chain over a 45 year history.

The Black Country toolmaker was set up in

1969 to meet the needs of the UK's automotive sector for high quality cutting edge

tool and die design up to 15 tonnes. Many

of its customers have been using it from the

start, and it leads the industry by producing

innovatively designed dies for most of the

major automotive OEMs in the UK and


Its customer list includes Jaguar Land

Rover, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, JCB and

many others. It now also supplies into the

rail, off road vehicle, green technology and

off-shore sectors.

Asked for the secrets of success Managing

Director Simon Hanson said there were no

secrets: "Just plain business common

sense and hard work."

But he talks also of a "positive 'can do'

approach that separates us from the rest of

the market as 'we can' is almost always our

standard response to our customers needs.

"There is really nothing on any vehicle that

we cannot design or manufacture within the

Black Country." The product list includes

dies and tools for engine blocks, cylinder

heads, manifolds, brackets, turbos, suspension, brakes, steering racks, under body

components and many more.

He also says people are key. "We recruit

well, train incessantly, retain the skills and

keep people motivated," says Mr Hanson.

There has been a 30 per cent increase in

engineers in the last 20 months and the

company continues to recruit for its

Engineering Academy through its apprenticeship programme.

There has also been heavy investment in

state-of-the-art plant, with a recent

£400,000 grant funded expansion. "We

invest in the best, maintain it well and are

always ready to adopt new technologies to

help the skilled people be more effective

and 'add value' to the mould tools we


"We believe that if you do what you've

always done then you are history. After 45

years of change and development we retain

our key business values but deliver a cutting edge 21st century solution."

With the latest CAD CAM and simulation

software HCM monitors and measures

QCD, looks at individual machine performance and benchmarks itself against the


It is ISO 9001 accredited and has quality

approvals from many major automotive

global OEMs for its range of dies from high

pressure, low pressure, gravity, squeeze

and sand casting production through to

tools for injection and compression moulding of plastic parts.

"We want to stay in the vanguard of the

industry and only by doing these things can

our place be assured for the next 45 years

and beyond," said Mr Hanson.

Stocdon, a GTMA supplier of JBO thread

gauges, reports on the successful use of

MultiCheck gauges in the cylinder block

and cylinder head production workshop

of the new Opel engine plant in

Szentgotthard Hungary.

JBO (Johs. Boss GmbH & Co. KG), the

leading manufacturer of measurement

equipment of thread gauges, equipped the

engine manufacturing plant with manual

measurement stations which use

MultiCheck gauges. Not only are standard

thread and bore gauges used, but also

specially adapted models for specific test


The gauges are vital to ensure accurate

statistical process control (SPC).

Quality inspections are carried out both in

accordance with an inspection schedule

and after every tool change. The inspector

is visually prompted through the complete

measurement procedure at the Marposs

measurement processor by a "guided


The complexity of the components, which

is due to wide-ranging combinations of different

thread depths and diameters,

prompted the company to opt for flexible

measuring devices. Inclined holes with

depth tolerances necessitate special-purpose adaptors and also non-standard

reference plates. JBO worked hand in hand with

Opel and Marposs who opted for the use of

JBO gauges.

Not only do these offer 1/100 mm reading

accuracy, but non-standard adaptors are

also available from JBO for almost any conceivable test assignment.

MultiCheck gauges can be used for test

characteristics including: Thread testing

with thread depth; Thread core hole testing

with depth; Special depth gauge for bore

depth; and Thread plug gauges for measuring the depth of hole and fit.

This reduces the number of test cycles by

half. Thread depths can be read as standard

up to 4xD. Worn plug gauges can be

simply exchanged. MultiCheck is available

with scale,

For more information call 01242 241123,

email or visit the



A winning supplier team: Joint Managing

Directors Simon and Mike Hanson are right and

second right.


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