ALFED President Giles Ashmead to hand over presidency in 2020

Giles Ashmead, ALFED President

Giles Ashmead has been President of the Aluminium Federation since May 2017, his input and support has been greatly appreciated by all at ALFED.

Giles’ President’s tenure will end in 2019, his input will continue with his role as ‘Immediate Past President’ and also with the ALFED Finishing Sector group.

We will soon be welcoming Clive Bush as our new President starting from January 2020, Clive is an ALFED board member bringing valuable experience and insight from his role as Business Development Director of Amari Metals.

See what Giles said of his time as ALFED President here.

Thank you Giles!


Giles Ashmead, Murat Bayram & Andrew Stephenson

Latest Brexit Business Readiness

Brexit Business Readiness Bulletin

Issue 41: 20 December 2019


Welcome to the latest in a series of business readiness bulletins, aimed at keeping trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries up to date on the latest guidance for business on the UK exiting the EU. This Bulletin aims to provide you and your networks with important information from Government and rally businesses to get ready for Brexit.  

The Withdrawal Agreement Bill

Following the State Opening of Parliament by HM The Queen on Thursday 19 December, the Leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, announced that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will have its Second Reading on Friday 20 December 2019.  The Withdrawal Agreement Bill has been published and can be viewed here.  The Bill reflects the agreements made with the EU and the passing of the Bill will pave the way for the UK to leave the EU by the end of the extension period.

Brexit Business Readiness Forum

The forum will return in the new year. The next forum will be held on  Thursday 23 January 2020. Further details will be sent to relevant organisations under a separate cover.   Topics for the January Forum will be published in the January edition of the Bulletin.

KYOCERA SGS supporting Acorn Mobility Services

KYOCERA SGS gives Acorn’s manufacturing processes a lift

Precision tooling leader, KYOCERA SGS, is proud of its ability to identify innovative solutions for clients, however complex the challenges might be. So the company welcomed the opportunity to support Acorn Mobility Services, the creators of the world’s most innovative stairlift, with resolving a complex drilling issue. As well as making their manufacturing more effective through tailored advice and tools, KYOCERA SGS was also able to save Acorn time and money in their manufacturing processes.

Finding new answers

Acorn had identified that a significant drilling issue was affecting their manufacturing process. This was caused by burrs made when creating countersunk holes in aluminium extrusions through drilling. The company was deburring the bottom of the hole manually, costing time and money.
KYOCERA SGS’s Technical Sales Engineer, Kurt Regan, and UK Sales Manager, Tony Theaker, visited Acorn’s manufacturing facility to assess the problem. Based on their review, they recommended one of KYOCERA SGS’s S-Carb style form tools, as this would be highly effective at plunging and interpolating the hole and countersinking it to size. The outcome was a reduction in cycle time and minimal burrs on the component with little requirement for manual deburring and fettling.

Taking the tests further

Being driven to exceed client expectations as always, the KYOCERA SGS team weren’t satisfied with just one test, however successful. They wanted to see the results on a lower stability machine. As they had anticipated, the results weren’t the same. They found that manual fettling was once again required. In response to this, Kurt completed a number of on-site tests to assess a range of parameters. This was how he discovered that the plunge motion was stable, with the problem occurring at the circular interpolation stage. The answer? In Kurt’s view, different geometries were required. This additional insight allowed KYOCERA SGS’s in-house technical team to design a modified S-Carb with varying geometries. The adapted tool was put to the test and the results were excellent, as Kurt explains,

“We trialled the new tooling at Acorn’s facility, and straight away, there were fewer burrs, and a much better surface finish.”

Raising the standard

Taking a fresh look at a long-standing manufacturing issue can yield significant results. The new modified S-Carb from KYOCERA SGS is designed specifically for Acorn Mobility Services. Not only has it reduced the cycle time by 31 seconds, alongside deburring and fettling time, it has increased production capability by 30,798 components per year! Kurt adds,

“We are very pleased with results. We often find that companies grow so accustomed to working around an issue, they no longer recognise it as a problem. In this case, Acorn Mobility Services accepted manual intervention as part of their manufacturing process. But in majority of the cases, there’s a tooling solution – and that’s where our expertise really helps, allowing Acorn to focus on what they do best! We are now working on designing modified tools for other parts of their manufacturing process. If successful, they will provide similar cycle and deburring time savings on two machines.”

Mark Spiwak, Production Engineer at Acorn Mobility Services commented,

“The team from KYOCERA SGS worked closely with us from start to finish. We were impressed with how quickly they were able to understand the challenges and the complexities of our manufacturing processes. We were also pleased with how effectively they were able to develop a solution tailored to our needs and within our timescales. KYOCERA SGS made the whole process very easy.”

To learn more about Acorn Mobility Services, visit:

To learn more about Kyocera SGS Precision Tools, please visit:

Inspiring innovation in aerospace – Kyocera

Kyocera SGS

Inspiring innovation in aerospace with Zimmermann and Kingsbury

KYOCERA SGS helped to support innovation in the aerospace sector at a hugely successful Technology Day organised with Zimmermann and Kingsbury in November.

Held in Neuhausen, Germany, the event focused around the machining of structural aerospace parts and provided a unique opportunity for leaders in the industry to view Zimmermann’s FZH400 machine in action. The FZH400 is a horizontal-spindle machining centre for the efficient production of structural components in the aerospace industry. It is a quantum leap in the machining of structural aerospace components and has been shown to achieve a metal removal rate of 13 litres per minute!

With Zimmermann recognised for manufacturing the most advanced portal milling machines on the market, KYOCERA SGS known as leaders in the tooling industry and Kingsbury valued for providing manufacturers with innovative machining solutions, the event brought together a huge amount of engineering expertise.  It came about thanks to the strong working relationship and history of collaboration between the three companies.

The team from KYOCERA SGS involved with helping to organise the day in conjunction with Zimmermann and Kingsbury was made up of Ray Gibbs, Aerospace Technologies Manager and Steve Neale, Senior Applications Engineer, with support from Antony Theaker, UK Sales Manager, David Colton, EU Sales Director and Joao Alves, European Application Engineer.

As well as impressive high-speed roughing, high-speed finishing and other technical demonstrations, the packed agenda included company and partner presentations, factory tours and networking.

Ray Gibbs said:

“We were delighted to be asked to support the event. It was not only a fantastic opportunity to showcase products and demonstrate different ways of using our tooling, but also a great chance to network with our industry. We were also excited to see the new FZH400 machine in action and proud to have had a role in helping to shape the development of what is a game-changing piece of machinery for the aerospace industry. Long may our successful collaboration continue.”

Key players in the aerospace industry were invited to make a presentation about their latest innovations, as well as having a stand where visitors could visit and talk with them one to one. In addition to KYOCERA SGS, these companies were:

  • Blaser Swisslube
  • Montronix
  • RUF Automobile

There was a great deal to see on the day for the 40 or so delegates in attendance but the buzz centred around the new Zimmermann FZH400 machine and its achievement, with KYOCERA SGS tooling, of an aluminium metal removal rate of 13.5 litres a minute and a spindle load of 85%! As well as fresh insights about aerospace parts machining, the event provided plenty of opportunities for networking, which is vital to the industry.

How to Manage Workplace Romances

In last week’s In the Know we briefly focussed on the news surrounding McDonald’s decision to dismiss their CEO for breaching the company’s rules on personal relationships at work. With this in mind, we will now look at how to manage workplace romances in more depth. Croner – In The Know – How to manage workplace romances

Update from GOV.UK – Export control training bulletin

Update on GOV.​UK.

Export control training bulletin

Page summary
Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

Change made
Latest edition published covering November 2019 to April 2020. Includes an HTML version of the bulletin with separate downloadable booking form.

Time updated
10:33am, 5 November 2019

Driving the success of the Bloodhound

Cutting tools from KYOCERA SGS are helping to shape the success of one of the most exciting innovations of this century – the Bloodhound LSR (Land Speed Record) car.