News - 08 October 2014

Sustainable future for Microjet thanks to N’Tech

 A grant of £245,000 will enable Bulwell based Microjet Precision Services Limited to purchase high tech machinery, including two Micro Water Jet cutting machines which are the first of their kind in the UK.

Microjet Precision Services Limited was launched as a separate business by parent company Hucknall Sheet Metal Engineering Limited 12 months ago to enhance its waterjet cutting service.  Microjet Precision Services offers a specialised service using the latest technologies whilst fulfilling a growing demand for high end accuracy, in particular from the aerospace industry.  

The N’Tech grant forms part of a total investment of £1.7 million by Hucknall Sheet Metal into eight new pieces of equipment for Microjet Precision Services. The investment will improve product quality, productivity and reduce costs for its customer base across the aerospace, marine, energy and pharmaceutical sectors.

The N’Tech funding will specifically allow Microjet Precision Services to buy a second micro waterjet cutter, the first of its kind in the UK. Swedish made, this new multi-axis 3D water cutting technology will offer an improved waterjet cutting service that processes a wide variety of materials using a mixture of high-pressure water and an abrasive substance. This new Micro Water Jet cutter is more precise and offers a cleaner cut on all types of materials in comparison to standard Water Jet technology

Each of the new pieces of equipment require a trained operative which are currently being recruited and trained by Microjet Precision Services in preparation for delivery of their first machine in October. In total, Microjet Precision Services intend to employ 11 new recruits over the next 18 months to operate the new equipment.

As well as improved productivity the new equipment offers additional environmental benefits. Current waterjet technology uses 1.8 litres per minute to operate, whilst Microjet Precision Services’ new state of the art multi-axis 3D Micro Water Jet cutter reduces this to 0.4 litres per minute saving in excess of 75% water usage. The new waterjet cutter also reduces water waste by 78%.

 The amount of micro abrasive cuttings used in the waterjet cutting process is dramatically reduced; the main benefit of this is reducing disposal costs and quantity, therefore transport costs to deliver waste to landfill is reduced by 88%. The N’Tech grant will also allow Microjet to install solar panels to save electricity and energy and become more sustainable.

Tracey Tolliday, Director at Microjet Precision Services, said: “As well as huge environmental benefits, saving time and energy, this new equipment gives us an edge over our competitors. We work on highly detailed and technical requirements and now we are able to offer a 3D precision cutting service with increased accuracy and repeatability.” 

John Paterson, Managing Director of Microjet Precision Services and Hucknall Sheet Metal, said “The future of cutting services certainly lies with Water Jet cutting which is the reason for the launch of Microjet Precision Services.  We are pleased that N’Tech has recognised the value of this new technology and is investing in manufacturing in Nottingham.”

N’Tech is a core element of Nottingham City Council’s Nottingham Growth Plan delivered through its “Growing Nottingham” campaign – a blueprint for the city’s future business growth and one of the most ambitious strategies of the UK’s Core Cities. Measures introduced as part of the plan have played a key role in encouraging new business formation through various finance and support packages. The three key focus sectors outlined in the Growth Plan are creative and digital, life sciences, and clean technology.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth at the City Council, said: “The Council has identified high-tech engineering as an important sector for the city’s growth. Microjet Precision Services are innovative, have a strong environmental focus, and are leading their field. The N’Tech programme has allowed us to support some great businesses that will define our local economy in the years to come.”

N’Tech grants are geared towards the growing life sciences, digital content and clean technology sectors and the fund is delivered by Nottingham City Council. The programme launched in April 2013 and closed to new applications at the end of September 2014. 23 offers have already been made to businesses in the clean technology sector totalling £2 million. 

N’Tech is funded solely through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).  Nottingham City Council secured RGF from the Government for grants to help fast track development of businesses based in the city. The funding provided grants of £20,000 to £1 million per successful company to support growth and expansion.

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