Metco’s latest Doosan VC630 machining center takes CNC milling to a new level of accuracy, speed, and cost-efficiency with its full 5-axis simultaneous machining capability.

It can produce highly complex 2D or 3D components that would be awkward or impossible with less advanced machines.

Production is streamlined with a minimal number of operations per component, requiring just 2 setups – versus 6 commonly required in the industry. This means sharper dimensional referencing, while saving operator intervention time. The high speed 42-position automatic tool changer enables high throughput.

Ultra-accuracy is assured by an integral rotary/tilt table (providing 30% more rigidity), thermal displacement compensation, double-contact tool holding, and regular kinematic re-calibration e.g. after earthquakes.

All components are Renshaw-Probe-monitored and rejected if 6 demanding criteria are not met.

Automated laser sheetmetal production sets new bar in NZ

Metco has set a new benchmark for automated laser cutting of sheet metal – with it’s new 24/7 unmanned production system that can process about 100 tonnes of material over a weekend.

Paul Jessup, CEO, says “we can offer bottom line benefits of faster production, higher volumes, and reduced cost to clients. It’s a whole new scale of operation we’ve broken into, opening up much broader opportunities”

A cost cut of 60% can be achieved by the reduced setup time of 22 seconds per sheet – compared to 1.5 minutes without automation. This effectively means 85-90% time-utilisation of lasers, instead of 60-65% previously with just a pallet changer.

Metco have established a completely integrated production line with Trumpf equipment end-to-end, ensuring compatibility and reliability.

The key component to this new level of productivity is their material storage towers. The new Trumpf True Store 3030 facility can hold 51 pallets of 3 tonnes each. A built-in crane transfers pallets between shelves, and a Lift Master Compact efficiently transfers sheets automatically between the storage tower and twin lasers.

Staff are only required on site if any problems arise, with automatic callout by comprehensive machine alarms.

Metco are now positioned to accommodate much higher demands for large-scale projects in New Zealand and overseas.

University of Canterbury – Motorsport Manufacturing Newsletter

UC Motorsport Overview

UC Motorsport is a student lead and run group whose aim is to design and build a formula style race car. UC Motorsport has competed in the Australasian competition since 2013, is one of the University’s premier engineering projects and is undoubtedly asignificant motivator for young students considering an engineering degree at the University of Canterbury. The project produces experienced and talented graduates that have a great understanding and appreciation for vehicle technology, engineering design, and manufacturing processes that they take with them as they go into industry. This year UC Motorsport has set themselves the goal of producing two competition ready vehicles to race in the Formula Student Competition in Australia at the end of 2018. There is one combustion class entry, UCM18C and one electric class entry, UCM18E.



UC Motorsport Suspension

This year the suspension team has focused on designing a reliable, easy to work on, high performance suspension system for UCM18C.

Over the last few months the team have been investigating a new manufacturing method for the suspension arms. Thanks to Rodin Car’s Metal Laser Sintered Titanium printer, bearing housings (pictured) were printed and bonded to carbon fibre tubes. Initial test data vastly exceeded our expectations in terms of strength and weight and as a result we proceeded with the implementation of the design.

A shift to an off the shelf OZ racing rim has opened the door to a central locking wheel retaining system, this also brings the added benefit of minimizing the cars un-sprung mass. This is paired to a CNC milled aluminium upright courtesy of Metco Engineering, which takes advantage of topological optimisation performed in ANSYS. This optimization method uses the results of a Finite Element Analysis to determine the volumes of a part which transmit the least amount of load, and hence where mass can be removed.

We will continue to use Ohlins dampers for UCM18 as the team has significant experience with them and they have proven reliable for all of our cars. They are also one of very few models tuned specifically for use in the Formula Student competition. The rockers, which activate the dampers, use a three piece design made from 7075-T6 Al. This high strength material allows us to use a lightweight design which has been CNC milled.

Completely redesigning and manufacturing the suspension system in such a short time period would not have been possible without the generous support of Metco Engineering, Rodin Cars, Ansys, John Brooks and many others

Read the full newsletter here >


Metco Engineering wins at Wellington Business Excellence Awards

Manufacturing in New Zealand is “not dead and buried” as many would have it and Metco Engineering Ltd is living proof of that, says the Seaview-based firm’s General Manager, Mark O’Donnell.

Metco Engineering Limited was named Supreme Business Award Winner at the 2017 Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards held at Upper Hutt’s Expressions Art & Entertainment Centre on November 3. They were also the category winners in the Manufacturing and Distribution section.

Their new 5,000 square square metre, state of the art premises at the Quadrant in Bell Road are a hub of manufacturing excellence. Read the full story >


Finalists supporting gold machining guns

Metco Engineeering designs and manufactures componentry for the likes of the NZDF, Assa Abloy and Callaghan Innovations.

50% of the company’s production is destined for overseas markets, which rules out resting on one’s laurels, GM Mark O’Donnell says. “While it’s important to recognise our New Zealand heritage and New Zealand made products customers won’t purchase on these factors alone – we need to be competitive.
And our quality and service give us an edge.”

Metco works closely with organisations like Weltec, Victoria University, Dale Carnegie and local Councils to make sure new apprentices get the best possible start, and has recently achieved ACC Tertiary level status.


Metco Engineering a finalist in the Wellington Business Excellence Awards

Picking a supreme winner from a top line-up of the Wellington regions businesses will be a tough call for judges at this year’s prestigious Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards to be staged at the Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre, Upper Hutt on Friday 3 November 2017, says Chief Executive Mark Futter of Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce the event hosts.

Among those nominated is Metco Engineering for this year’s Manufacturing and Distribution award.

Read more >


Flick Electric named Wellington Gold Awards Supreme Winner. Metco wins Supporting Gold

An electricity firm “tipping a traditionally analog industry on its head” has been named the supreme winner at the Wellington Gold Awards.

Flick Electric, an energy retailer which sells power to customers at wholesale prices, was handed the award by Prime Minister Bill English.

The business was also the recipient of the Cyber Gold award at the event at TSB Arena on Thursday night.

Read more >

Rocket Lab successfully launches first test rocket

Rocket Lab’s world-first test launch has successfully blasted off, making New Zealand the 11th country to launch into space.

But the company will be investigating why the rocket failed to reach orbit.

The company, in March valued at more than US$1 billion (NZ$1.42b), has this week been attempting the first test-launch of its Electron rocket.

Read more >


Metco is proud to announce its latest investment, the DMG MORI NLX 2500SY/700

Efficient complete machining One of the top models in the NLX range is the NLX 2500SY/700. As well as the main and counter spindles, which are obligatory in this performance class, the standard BMT® turret provides space for 12 driven tools, which can cut material at speeds of up to 10,000 rpm (10 or 20-station turrets are available as an option). The Y-axis travel is 100 mm (3.9 in). The turret is also optionally available in VDI design with the TRIFIX® high-speed clamping system. The NLX2500 SY/700 has been designed with generous traverse distances in order to cover a wide spectrum of parts. The turning length is 705 mm (27.8 in), and the maximum turning diameter is 366 mm (14.4 in). A turning diameter of 460 mm (18.1 in) is possible if the Y-axis is omitted. In addition, a clearance of 80 mm (3.1 in) allows larger diameter bars to be machined.

Finally, an important feature for machining accuracy is the excellent temperature management. For this purpose, the coolant floods through the machine body and the machine bed in a circuit, ensuring a constant temperature of the whole machine.


ACC Tertiary Level Status

ACC have now completed the Workplace Safety Management Practices audit of both Quadrant Drive and Page Grove.

Metco received Tertiary Level which is the highest performance level a business can achieve. You can only achieve the tertiary level when you have a clear record of established systems and practices operating effectively in your workplace.

As a guide, most of the requirements should have been in place and operational for at least 12 months.

The tertiary level recognises that Metco operates a continual improvement framework for workplace health and safety management.


Prime Minister opens Metco’s grand new premises

Metco was honoured to have the Prime Minister, John Key open its new Seaview premises on 30 August 2016. We hosted more than 300 suppliers, clients and guests at our 5,000sqm state of the art facility.

Starting mid-afternoon and finishing around 10pm, the grand opening proved extremely popular, with many of the attendees taking a tour of the massive site. For many it was an opportunity to put faces to names over plenty of ham on the bone and fresh pizza made onsite. Some customers had the added thrill of seeing their own products currently in production.

Our new site makes us unique as the only Wellington engineering manufacturer to offer a full end-to-end service, from raw materials and design through to the finished product, all under one roof. Nothing has been left out of our new premises, with the most modern machinery in place and even provision made for clients to set up their own desk and be part of the research and development team.

Metco’s new building is located at 1E Quadrant Drive, Lower Hutt, Wellington. If you’d like to see our premises for yourself, just contact us on 04 567 3222. We’d be happy to show you around.

New complex a joint celebration

When tool makers Paul Jessup and Brent Greer began an engineering partnership in Wingate in 2002, they could not have envisaged their venture having 350 customers, 60 staff and long-term business relationships with global hardware supply companies.

Read the rest of The Hutt News article.

AT&T debuts ‘Drum Set’ antenna at Coachella

Monday, April 25, 2016 | By Monica Alleven, in FierceWirelessTech

You can credit Millennials attending the music festival Coachella for some of the wireless industry’s breakthroughs in antenna technology. Every year, they stress AT&T’s (NYSE: T) network, and every year, engineers are coming up with new, innovative ways to keep those texts, tweets and posts humming along.

AT&T engineers Bob Matthews and Gary Chow have been the brains behind some unique creations that this year includes the “Drum Set Antenna.” Last year, they dreamed up the “Cheese Wheel Antenna,” and the year before that, the “Giant Eyeball Antenna.” Rather than trying to deploy lots of small antenna, the spherical design of these newer models allows the operator to cover more people in an environment like Coachella, which wrapped up over this past weekend.

Their antennas were not always spherical. They first started out doing a two-beam antenna that was able to double capacity. The next year, in 2012, they created a 5-beam antenna. By using five beams instead of two, the antenna provided roughly five times the network traffic capacity over what previously was available. They were able to divide a crowd into five slices and serve each slice with its own dedicated antenna beam.

That led to the 2013 creation of a 9-beam antenna, providing about nine times the capacity as previously; it divided the crowd into nine slices. The same year, an 18-beam antenna emerged, this time consisting of two rows with nine beams each. Then in 2014, with the “Giant Eyeball Antenna,” it was the first time AT&T used a spherical ball antenna, allowing 18 beams of radio frequencies to more precisely cover the crowd – ideal for a music festival where people are roaming about the grounds.

The “Cheese Wheel Antenna,” which offered a whopping 10x the capacity of a traditional single-beam antenna, debuted in 2015. The larger spheres meant engineers were able to create narrower beams emitting from the antenna. This year, it’s the “Drum Set Antenna,” with 30x the capacity of a traditional single-beam antenna that served the crowds at Coachella. The Drum Set looks like the Cheese Wheel from the outside, but it actually offers more than double the wireless capacity and weighs 100 pounds more.

Each time they improved the antenna, they would see the crowd’s behavior change. Two years ago, the total mobile data traffic at the music festival was 6.5 terabytes; in 2015, that about doubled to 12.2 TB. “Every year they break it. We make it better, they break it,” Matthews quipped. It’s not an “if you build it they will come” kind of situation. It’s “if you build it, they flood it.”

Chow said it was really around the 2008 timeframe when the popularity of the iPhone started driving traffic through the roof. “We were kind of forced to innovate,” he said, coming out with higher capacity antennas every year. “Basically, it was out of necessity that we constantly tried to improve our antenna design. That’s why we ended up where we are today. Mainly because of trying to keep up with the data demand every year at this music festival,” where a lot of social media is getting used.

At this year’s festival, AT&T used the Drum Set Antenna along with four cell on wheels (COWS) deployed with each one supporting its own specialty high-capacity antenna. With these antennas and 59 total beams covering the event, more than 18.6 TB of data crossed AT&T’s mobile network at the festival over the first three days. That’s more than 50 percent more data usage compared to the first weekend last year.

In total, 29.2 TB of mobile data was consumed by AT&T customers at Coachella over the two weekends of the festival. According to AT&T, that’s a new data record not only for Coachella, but for any music festival so far. That 29.2 TB is equal to 83.5 million social media posts with photos.

After debuting at the Coachella music festival, the antenna design has been replicated by others. AT&T is not naming any hardware vendors for the antennas. The antenna was originally designed for outdoor use but it also can be repurposed for a stadium, speedway, concert hall or other environment. Initially, the solution was high-band only and later iterations included both high and low bands: 700, 850, 1900 and AWS, which is 1700 on the uplink and 2100 on the downlink.

What about next year? “We have an idea of a design,” Chow said. “We’re currently looking at it right now.” Stay tuned.

One-off novelty seat

New Zealand industrial designer Holly Bradshaw-Clegg has designed a stool with an integrated reading light that is activated when pressure is applied to its seat. Metco was right there to help make Holly’s dream a reality. Read the full story here.

Thumbs up for Metco success

Lower Hutt’s Metco Engineering is doing its bit to bring cost-effective manufacturing back to New Zealand.

Metco owner Paul Jessup says New Zealand companies often don’t realise their products can be manufactured more cost effectively at home and with less hassle. “Our clients are now coming back to New Zealand to manufacture when they see what we are able to offer them.”

Since purchasing Metco in 2002, Jessup has invested around $6 million in equipment and machinery while staff numbers have risen to 60.

The company’s success was recognised in the 2013 Westpac Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards when it won the Supreme Award.

See the original article as it appeared in Business North.

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