Hampshire die-casting firm is boosting production space by 50%

A die-casting company based in Andover, Hampshire is increasing its manufacturing space by 50% and opening a new foundry with the help of the MTC.

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An SME team from the MTC’s manufacturing support services operation worked with managers and operators from Queens Award-winning die-casting supplier MRT Castings, helping the firm with the layout of its new facility, automation and technology selection and robotic handling.

MRT, established in 1947, supplies aluminium die-castings and machines components to leading companies across the UK and Europe from its factory.

The company approached the MTC to help with the planning of their new 20,000ft2 foundry, designed to accommodate the latest technology and improve productivity while at the same time providing a first-class manufacturing environment.

MTC engineers, working with MRT employees and managers helped plan the layout for the new foundry, creating 3D CAD models of all existing and proposed equipment, laying it out within the architects’ plans for the building, and running workshops for MRT’s team, using virtual reality technology to enable staff to visualise and optimise the layout before the construction was even completed.

MRT Castings managing director Phil Rawnson said: “The new foundry underlines our commitment to providing our customers with the most flexible, productive and technologically-advanced die-casting facilities in the UK, while providing an exciting, world-class workplace for our valued team. We are grateful for the help the MTC gave us and our people were impressed by the capabilities and vision of the MTC engineers.”

Following this successful initial project, the partnership has continued, with MTC engineers moving onto projects with MRT to select and implement robotic loading solutions for their CNC machining centres, and to develop 3D printing approaches for manufacturing bespoke grippers for these automated loading cells.

Dean Baker, director of the MTC’s Business Launch Centre and manufacturing support services team, said the work with MRT had demonstrated that as well as helping start-ups bring products to market, they could also use their expertise to improve productivity and competitiveness in well-established and leading SMEs.

He said: “We are able to provide a de-risked environment for SMEs with the support of our team of engineers, and we were delighted to help with the planning of this great new facility for MRT.”

Based in the MTC’s Sopwith Building, the team works with SMEs to improve productivity and processes. They have access to the MTC’s world-class advanced manufacturing and research facilities, as well as the MTC’s team of engineering and manufacturing experts.