July 1998-Dudley Small Business of the Year* Portway Tool and Gauge has won the 1998 Dudley Small Business of the Year award. During a ceremony held at Himley Hall, Managing Director Mike Dunn was presented with a cheque for £5000 after the company scooped the top prize in the Dudley Training and Enterprise Council award scheme. Dr Mike Sutton of the Regional Development Agency Secretariat described Portway as "an inspirational company which is on track for the Millennium". Luke Johnson, the guest speaker, presented the award. Picture from left to right: Neil Stinton, Mike Dunn, Luke Johnson, Len Hook. * Based on an article published in Dudley News 9 July 1998
March 1999-Flagship Teaching Company Programme* Portway Tool & Gauge Ltd together with TRT Manufacturing Ltd, Rubber Tooling (UK) Ltd and The University of Birmingham have started on a two year programme focussing on High Speed Machining (HSM). The programme will enable the toolmaking industry to become more competitive through the introduction of HSM techniques. The Teaching Company Scheme programme is also being supported by the Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA) which will disseminate the results to the industry, Bridgeport Machines Ltd who have provided a VMC1000 HSM Centre and Sandvik Coromant UK Ltd who will provide cutting tools for machinability studies to be conducted over the two year programme. * Based on an article published in November/December issue of Partnership-Newsletter of the Teaching Company Directorate
February 1999-Deckel Maho arrives As part of Portway Tool & Gauge's continuing investment in new capital equipment, the Deckel Maho DMC125U was installed in the company in February 1999. The machining centre has a working range of 1250mm x 880mm x 800mm, a main drive speed of 8000rpm and a loading weight of 1500kg. The machine is also equipped with 120 tool stations and a twin rotating pallet changer. The DMC125U is fully connected to Portway's CAD/CAM system and can be programmed off line. The machine was bought to increase capacity at Portway and to enable the company to run 24 hours a day and without operator attendance. This will lead to more competitive quoting, and a 20% reduction in the leadtime from design to completion of the tool.
September 1998-GTMA World Class Toolmaker Profile In September 1998, Portway Tool & Gauge was independently assessed and awarded Fellow Toolmaker status, as part of the Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA) world class toolmaker initiative. The GTMA world class toolmaker profile has been written to encourage members to assess themselves against the profile and use this to quantify improvement strategies. Portway Tool & Gauge are now, with continuous improvement plans, striving towards Master Toolmaker status.
July 1999 - Sandwell & Dudley Best Manufacturing Company
Portway Tool and Gauge excelled once again at the Sandwell & Dudley Small Business awards. During a ceremony held at Himley Hall, Managing Director Mike Dunn was presented with the Dudley Training and Enterprise Council award for 'Best Manufacturing Engineering Company 1999' by the journalist and television presenter Andrew Neil. Picture from left to right: Andrew Neil, Neil Stinton, Mike Dunn, Len Hook.
February 2000-New Favretto grinding machine installed at Portway Portway Tool & Gauge are continuing their commitment to invest in new capital equipment. The Favretto MD-160 automatic surface-grinding machine was installed at the company in February 2000. The machine has a grinding length of 1600mm and a loading capacity of 1850kg. It is envisaged that the new grinding machine will further increase Portway's manufacturing capacity in order to continue to meet their customers' requirements and pursue new opportunities.
December 2000-New computer controlled CMM machine installed at Portway Portway Tool & Gauge have recently upgraded their CMM facilities as part of their continuous improvement plans. The Brown and Sharpe MISTRAL direct computer controlled co-ordinate measuring machine was installed at Portway in December 2000. The new machine has been connected to the companys network and the PC-DMIS™ for WINDOWS™ software installed with the machine supports bi-directional links to Portways CAD/CAM system. The new CMM has the ability to inspect parts with complex 3 dimensional forms so that Portway are equipped to provide comprehensive inspection reports to meet all of their customers requirements.
February 2001-New Wire EDM machine installed at Portway Portway Tool & Gauge have recently expanded their wire EDM facilities as part of their continuous improvement plans. The Charmilles Technologies ROBOFIL 6030SI will be fully installed at Portway by March 2001. The machine has a workpiece dimensional and weight capacity of 1260 x 685 x 360mm and 800kg, respectively. The new machine will be connected to Portways network and linked to their CAD/CAM system.
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