CNC Metal Cutting: The Wolf Pack Way
30 November 2021
30 November 2021
John Hodgson is Production Supervisor at Universal Wolf – leaders in complex metal fabrication
As an experienced Supervisor, I have worked for manufacturing leaders such as Rolls Royce as well as in the aerospace and space industry, developing products for the European Space Agency and NASA. I joined Universal Wolf two years ago as Production Supervisor of CNC metal cutting. I am responsible for all elements of production as well as health and safety, quality control, and delivering lean manufacturing and continuous improvement.
The Universal Wolf pack approach of striving for excellence flows through our CNC metal cutting work. Our team always looks for ways to improve our work process. We live by the value that good enough is never good enough. That means we are always looking for new methods to improve pathways, give products a better finish, and reach our goals faster.
When a customer walks into our workshop, the first thing they notice is that we are set up for success. We run a ship-shape unit where everything has its place and the environment that we work in is clean, tidy and safe. We pride ourselves on running like clockwork. This may seem trivial, but it not only contributes to a high level of safety, but also makes us more efficient.
For us, delivering excellence in CNC metal cutting is all about having a wide range of cutting abilities. That comes down to the machinery and the ability to programme the spindles and the tube feed speeds exactly right. The evidence of CNC metal cutting quality is always in the finish of the cut. For instance, when you drill a hole and it creates a nice smooth hole, you know you have hit the sweet spot. Ultimately, our wide range of advanced tools enable us to work faster and ensure our production times are as efficient as possible which means our customers get their product faster. And that’s what counts.
Then there are the aspects of Universal Wolf’s CNC metal cutting operation that are less visible when you walk through the door – but are fully evident in the final product. A key aspect is the skill of our team. We have a fantastic, highly skilled engineering department. Thanks to their diverse CAD and CAM skill set, our CNC programmers can programme pretty much anything that our customers require.
The expert programming skills of our CNC operators were vital in a recent project with our sister company Tharsus. When designing parts for a new robot, we initially had four variants of a single trial part. Our CNC operators then wrote a set of programmes, developed the right tools and produced the ideal fixtures to make sure the part would run right, every single time.
We look to improve and progress. At Universal Wolf, we cultivate a lean working culture of continuous improvement. We are always looking for a better way, a faster way, or a smarter way to work. With a 50 year heritage in the North East, we will continue to build upon “Better. Smarter. Pack” because it is this that sets us apart from the rest.