New sales engineer joins sub-contract services team

Rob Wilkes has been appointed as a technical sales engineer at our Halesowen advanced welding systems facility. He will be responsible for winning new business for a range of services such as sub-contract friction welding, induction heat treatment and metallurgical analysis and testing. 

Rob, whose qualifications include a BTEC Level 3 diploma in computer aided design and technology, has extensive experience not only in selling welding equipment, but also building and servicing friction welding machines. 

“His process knowledge and experience in the industry means he’s been able to hit the ground running both in terms of strengthening relationships with existing customers and developing valuable, new contacts,” explained Jayne Shimwell, technical services manager.

The sub-contract services operation has also been boosted with the addition of a refurbished M60 single-ended friction welding machine specifically for joining piston rod components. It means there are now nine machines available for handling a wide variety of rotary and linear friction welding process applications.

On-site metals advice boosts sub contract facility

A metallurgy consultancy service, which aims to help firms save costs with advice on smarter manufacturing solutions, is now available at KUKA’s UK sub contract friction welding facility.

Professor Kameel Sawalha has moved his independent laboratory business, Aston Microscopy & Engineering, to the site at Halesowen where the advanced welding systems supplier joins components for manufacturers involved in a wide variety of industries.

He is a fellow and chartered engineer and holds a BSc degree in mechanical and production engineering (Napier University), MSc in manufacturing system engineering (Warwick) and a PhD in materials engineering (Aston). His expertise not only covers metallurgical and corrosion investigation, but also failure analysis and materials selection advice. He has published numerous scientific papers and has been a visiting professor of material at a number of academic institutions.

The addition of the metallurgy consultancy means KUKA can offer a full suite of laboratory amenities such as EDX analysis for assessing weld integrity and failure as well as associated services including heat treatment and prototype manufacture and development. Among its state-of-the-art equipment is an electron microscope for high-resolution imaging purposes. The facility comprises seven Thompson brand friction welding machines for joining a vast array of components not only in various diameters and lengths, but also in a selection of dissimilar materials such as copper to aluminium.

“Professor Sawalha’s consultancy enhances our capabilities to offer a comprehensive resource for manufacturers on all aspects of friction welding metallurgy and weldability,” explained Jayne Shimwell, KUKA’s technical services manager.

According to KUKA, more component makers in industries including aerospace, automotive, construction machine and mineral exploration are choosing friction welding as it’s a cost-effective, accurate and 100% repeatable technology. “We have plenty of experience of helping customers combat rising raw material costs with smarter, more efficient manufacturing solutions such as developing new weld parameters that use less material,” said Jayne.

Cylinder maker boosts output with Thompson machine

European hydraulic cylinder manufacturer Kyashif has boosted productivity thanks to a Thompson direct drive rotary friction welding machine. The Bulgaria-based business chose the PR Series model equipped with a KUKA robot so it could speed up the production of joining pre-chromed plated piston rods to rod end connectors at its facility in Dzhebel.
The Thompson machine also met the company's requirements for a compact manufacturing cell which could fit in an area on the shopfloor where space was limited. Kyashif is using the equipment to produce standard and custom cylinders from 40-320mm diameter and up to 6000mm in length.
"Many of Kyashif's potential customers were asking for a friction welded quality joint rather than the alternative arc welding method, in particular, because new alloy metals are more suited to the friction welding process," explained Colin Nicholls, European sales manager.
"Kyashif's owners are delighted that output has been improved, especially with the addition of the robot for the part loading/unloading operation. They're also impressed by the machine's ability to accommodate a wide variety of component sizes," he added.

PC upgrade package deal

Our latest industrial PC package offers a timely upgrade opportunity in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack on Windows operating systems.
Experts believe most of the machines affected were running Windows 7 with some users probably overlooking a crucial security patch issued recently.
The WannaCry exploit is capable of penetrating machines using an unpatched version of Windows XP through 2008 R2 by taking advantage of flaws in Microsoft SMB Server. 
Windows XP and earlier are no longer supported by Microsoft and are a security risk. We recommend that you backup and update your system on a regular basis. It's also important to remember your system is vulnerable to bugs even if you cannot browse the web as there is still a connection by cable or wireless.
Our special deal includes a Siemens, Windows 10 Industrial PC, latest Thompson Welder software, RS Logix 500 or 5000 programming software, a year's free remote software support plus engineering and shipping costs. Click This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more about the package.

Largest UK subcon friction welder

Our facility includes a Thompson friction welding machine offering a 150T forge force capability for joining components including drill pipe, pump shafts, valves and piston rods of up to 120mm diameter. 

The machine's long bed means it can join components up to 12 metres in length with a minimum diameter of 50mm and a maximum diameter up to *110mm.
It features 100% in-process monitoring, external flash removal and is automated, with lifting crane for assistance.

Compared with other welding methods, friction welding creates a full, homogeneous bond and 100% quality from first to last batch (unlike manual welding) and is fully repeatable.


* based on structural steel bar