SUPPLY CHAIN NEWS
How do you become a winning supplier?
IT'S NO SECRET SAYS HCM ENGINEERING
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
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
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information call 01242 241123,
email email@example.com or visit the
JBO THREADS ARE VITAL IN NEW OPEL PLANT
A winning supplier team: Joint Managing
Directors Simon and Mike Hanson are right and