ETG Covers all the Options
We have reported in previous editions of ‘Cutting Edge’ on the purchase of Chiron double-spindle vertical machining centres capable of high volume, high speed machining of automotive components at King Automotive Systems Ltd. These machines will produce high volumes of precision components in two major UK engine plants for JLR in Wolverhampton and Ford in Dagenham, for both of which King is a tier one supplier.
But equally successful has been ETG’s contribution to a much smaller but equally specialist vehicle manufacturer at the Boughton, near Newark factory of Great British Sports Cars Ltd.
GBSC are firmly established as one of the top three kit car manufacturers in the UK and their ‘Zero’ vehicle is highly popular as a recreational and race car. Purchasers can have the option of acquiring a brand new – in every sense – ready assembled car put together by experts at Boughton or in a kit form to while away those long winter nights with it spread across the garage floor!
But at the heart of GBSC’s success and subsequent diversion into key component manufacture and assembly has been the acquisition of two Harding/Bridgeport machining centres.
“As the business grew we experienced supply chain problems with some of the many and varied components that we have to source to make the kit car,” explains director Richard Hall.
“As such we decided to venture into manufacturing – a big step for us. That was back in 2011 when we acquired a Hardinge GS200 which has subsequently been upgraded to a GS52. This was a highly successful move for is and brought under our direct control a significant range of turned components.
“We realised this could expand and also discovered there was a market for our own range of components such as dampers and throttles. So earlier this year, we called in ETG’s Jon Mannion and discussed our next machining requirements. As a result a Bridgeport GX 1000 was duly ordered and today it takes pride of place alongside the GS52 in our expanding workshop.”
The machines have also resulted in diversification from their traditional kit car market.
Dampers and throttles for specialist vehicles are now marketed under the ATR brand and this past summer they have been promoted as the official damper used on stock cars racing in the BRISCA FI UK championships. All dampers on every competitor’s car have to be identical under BRISCA rules and ATR products are the preferred make.
Similarly GBSC is now manufacturing a range of throttle mechanisms under its ATR brand and these are now commercially available as well as being fitted to its ‘Zero’ cars.
“Although early days with the Bridgeport, if it makes as significant contribution to our business plans as the GT52 has we will be very well pleased,” Richard Hall adds.
“They open up new horizons for us and ensure we produce ranges of consistently high quality products.”