Quality has been described as an on-going process of building and sustaining relationships by assessing, anticipating and fulfilling stated and or implied needs. Never has this definition been more appropriate than when applied to Aldershot based FT Gearing Systems Ltd. In addition to establishing long-term relationships with its customers, the renowned manufacturer of gear technology and high-precision components also enjoys enduring associations with a small number of carefully chosen machine tool suppliers.
Since the company’s inception in 1978, to ensure the efficiency and premium quality of its output, and to further expand its range of proficiencies, the business has pursued a policy of regularly investing in the best available manufacturing technologies. This prudent strategy has helped FT Gearing to earn an excellent international reputation and enabled it to broaden its customer base. In addition to its principle, global aerospace and defence industry customer base, FT Gearing now serves an increasing variety of businesses across several equally challenging, diverse industrial sectors.
When involved in the production of premium quality gear technology and high precision components, two of the most important technical prerequisites are, the ability to achieve demanding dimensional tolerances and to impart the required surface finish characteristics to workpieces. To ensure that FT Gearing Systems consistently delivers in each of these challenging areas, and to maintain maximum levels of efficiency, the company has developed close relationships with the Swiss Grinding Machine manufacturer Studer and the company’s UK agent, Advanced Grinding Supplies Ltd.
Over several years, FT Gearing Systems’ continuous expansion has led to regular additional investments in the Swiss machines, resulting in the company now operating 16 Studer CNC Grinders – the largest collection of Studer Grinders owned by a single UK company.
To further improve production efficiencies, the business has established five satellite production units that are co-located to its Impressive HQ. Each facility is dedicated to a separate manufacturing function. FT Gearing Systems’ most recently opened production unit specialises in high-precision grinding. The advanced, temperature controlled facility houses the company’s 16 Studer CNC Grinders.
Explaining the company’s loyalty to the Studer brand and the reasons for the new Grinding facility, FT Gearing Systems’ Managing Director Graham Fitzgerald said: “In addition to other challenging customers, we manufacture and supply both domestic and overseas defence and aerospace companies with a wide range of safety critical components, such as gears, miniature gearboxes, fuel pumps, engine controls, wing surface actuators and instrumentation.
“Given the sectors we deal with, quality is in the very DNA of FT Gearing Systems and permeates every aspect of our work. A major part of our quality philosophy is to provide our highly skilled staff with the best available machine tools and to maintain close relationships with our machine tools suppliers.
“A perfect example of our use of premium quality production aids is our use of our range of advanced Studer CNC Grinders. These technically superior machines are able to consistently deliver levels of accuracy and repeatability that conventional grinding machines are unable to achieve. For instance, through the use of Studer technology we are able to accomplish sub-micron total cylindricity results on 35mm diameter gear journals, we can also achieve 0.08um levels of surface finish and gear flatness to 3 light bands.
“To enable grinding to sub-micron dimensional tolerances we recently installed our Studer CNC machines in a new, temperature controlled grinding facility. To guarantee the highest possible levels of quality and productivity, we also use the best available grinding consumables and accessories. Therefore, as well as purchasing our Studer Grinders from Advanced Grinding Supplies, we also rely on the company for items such as Diamond Dressing Tools, Precision Centres, Abrasives / Grinding Wheels, Coolant Filter Media and Air Filtration Systems.
“Our Studer CNC Grinders provide excellent levels of precision, surface finish and reliability, they also deliver outstanding levels of production. Even though we have always been delighted with the performance of our Studer machines, mindful of the possibility of technical developments made by other manufacturers, in the past we have considered other brands. Although, each time we have been able to specify a Studer Grinder that perfectly meets our needs and that outperforms the alternatives.”
The Swiss business, Fritz Studer AG was established in 1912. Now an acknowledged leader in its chosen sector, the company manufactures premium quality grinding machines for the internal and external cylindrical grinding of small and medium sized work pieces. Studer’s core strength lies in the production of machines for the efficient grinding of single, small and medium sized production runs.
Peter Harding of Advanced Grinding Supplies concluded. “As exclusive sales agents for Studer Grinding Machines in the South of England and in South Wales, we have established a strong working relationship with FT Gearing. In cooperation with FT Gearing Systems’ Managing Director Graham Fitzgerald, I have been pleased to assist in specifying each new Studer machine so that it exactly meets FT Gearings demanding needs.
“In addition to the staff of Advanced Grinding Supplies being available to offer technical assistance to FT Gearing Systems, we also provide the business with a full range of additional equipment. These consumables, including tooling, help the company to maximise the performance its Studer Grinders.”
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