Industry Ready

Jemtech and Oracle Fluid Management Systems are selected to supply advanced metal working fluids and a fluid management system respectively to HAMEC (Harlow Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Centre).

When you visit HAMEC (Harlow Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Centre), located at Harlow College’s Campus, you can’t fail to be anything but impressed.

The new, purpose-built £11M Centre, which will be officially launched on 10th March 2017, is modern and spacious (2000 sq metre facility), and features state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing technologies from a select number of HAMEC’s Technical Partners.

Amongst these partners are Jemtech UK along with Jemtech’s new high-technology company, Oracle Fluid Management Systems Ltd who, since the building was handed over in late December, have been contracted to supply and install high-performance Blaser Swisslube metal working fluids and an Oracle fluid management unit at the Centre.

HAMEC’s launch follows an intense four year planning, development and build programme spearheaded by Harlow College, Essex County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), with active participation and support from local businesses and, later in the process, from identified Technical Partners.

The inclusive nature of the HAMEC project and the collaborative approach adopted throughout demonstrates the power of positive partnerships.

Indeed, if Prime Minister Theresa May needed a blue-print of how to improve technical education and boost proficiency in STEM skills, as outlined in the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper of January 2017, she and her colleagues could well be paying a visit to HAMEC in the near future to see just what can, and has been achieved to date.

HAMEC - from vision to reality

HAMEC represents a major investment for Harlow and the region as a whole.

It is anticipated that the Centre will be pivotal in helping to:

  • elevate the profile of engineering and manufacturing with the region;
  • challenge negative perceptions of careers in engineering and manufacturing prevalent amongst (young) people;
  • attract top talent onto its vocational apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship training programmes;
  • provide a continuous supply of highly-skilled and motivated engineers and apprentices, that are ‘work-ready’ and possess relevant qualifications and skills required by local employers;
  • create a Centre of Manufacturing Excellence that is both valued and used by engineering and manufacturing companies in the region.

Researching the market

A key issue underpinning all of the above has been HAMEC’s investment in the latest and most advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment.

Says Will Allanson, Harlow College’s Executive Director, Business Development:

“We didn’t want a credibility issue with local employers.

“You simply can’t promote HAMEC as being a Centre of Excellence if the technology inside the facility, and being used by students, is low-tech or has seen better days.

“To understand what technologies were relevant today…and would be relevant in the future (including Industry 4.0 technologies)…we approached local employers to canvass their opinions.

“Although HAMEC isn’t a production-led facility per se, we wanted our students to be exposed to, and have experience in using, this type of technology so they could ‘hit the ground running’ and be productive from day one when entering employment.

“We also wanted our investments to be future-proof and have longevity”

The inclusive approach adopted with employers has paid dividends and helped HAMEC not only identify key Technical Partners but also specific products, equipment and services too.

High-Tech Zone

A quick tour of the HAMEC facility provides ample evidence that you have entered a high-tech environment.

Split into two levels - the ground floor comprises a large and flexible central machining zone where four advanced CNC machine tools from DMG Mori and a CMM from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence are located.

On the first floor, dedicated to CAD/CAM, simulation and 3D printing, it’s a similar story with an impressive suite of powerful CNC simulators for Heidenhain, Siemens and Mitsubishi control systems training, and facilities for SolidWorks and SolidCAM training - all occupying centre stage.

The DMG Mori machines are worthy of special mention as they are all leading edge models - a DMU 50 5-axis machining centre, a NLX 1500 SY turning centre, an ecoMill 600V vertical machining centre, and an ecoTurn 450 turning centre - and are all used extensively by precision component manufacturers not just in the UK, but across the world.

Jemtech and Oracle FMS

From Jemtech’s perspective all the DMG Mori machines at HAMEC will use Blaser Swisslube metal working fluids with Vasco 7000 - an aerospace approved, high-performance vegetable ester-based cutting fluid - being the fluid of choice.

Comments Stewart Coull, Jemtech’s Managing Director:

“We are delighted that HAMEC approached us…and that they, like us, recognise the importance of high-performance cutting fluids and the part they play in helping precision component manufacturers improve accuracies, reduce cycle times, increase tool life and improve process security.

“The partnership with HAMEC includes regular metal working fluid maintenance as well as its supply.”

The first DMG Mori machine at HAMEC (the NLX 1500 SY turning centre) is linked to an Oracle fluid management system.

This ground-breaking technology, developed at the MTC over a two year period, was launched into the market last year.  Oracle systems:

  • monitor and adjust (in real time) the volume, sump level and condition (i.e. concentration, pH levels etc.),  of a cutting fluid in a machine tool’s sump;
  • capture and record data on a fluid’s condition and on any adjustments that have been made;
  • store this data in the cloud for future reference and analysis.
  • provide accurate and reliable data helping customers make informed process decisions
  • deliver total process security
  • help ensure a healthy and safe working environment

Comments Will Allanson:

“Blaser Swisslube cutting fluids were recommended by the employers we contacted and were endorsed by the MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre), Coventry who we visited in the research phase.  They are also highly regarded by our other Technical Partners.

“We invested in an Oracle fluid management system - not for Oracle’s automatic (sump) topping-up capabilities - but more for the system’s condition monitoring and data capture, recording and reporting facilities.

“Oracle fluid management systems represent Industry 4.0 technology…and, as such,  it’s vital that our students know about and have access to these latest technology trends.”

HAMEC will be officially opened in March 2017.

In addition to training students and equipping them with high level skills to meet the requirements of local employers, HAMEC will ‘open up’ its facilities to manufacturers enabling them to develop new products and improve existing processes, as well as providing them with extra manufacturing capacity.

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