News & Press

Find out what's going on at Jones & Shipman.

News & Press


Comprehensive display of high precision metal cutting and grinding technology from Hardinge Inc. at AMB

AMB 2018:  Stuttgart, Halle 5, Stand B80. The latest Kellenberger 100 platform concept cylindrical grinding machine features alongside two Hardinge…
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UK machine debut and Okamoto introduction are highlights for Jones & Shipman at MACH

Stand 875 – Hall H20 The UK debut of an entirely new Kellenberger universal grinding machine concept and a first…
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Comprehensive grinding solutions on offer from Hardinge Grinding Group at Grindtec

Kellenberger, the Swiss manufacturer of high precision grinding machines, is representing the interests of the international Hardinge Grinding Group at…
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Kellenberger 1000 – Swissness par excellence

State of the art technology, a cool design and top ease of use. For 20 years now, the firm Kellenberger…
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Northern Tool and Gear Invests in Latest J&S UltraGrind to Meet Challenging Contract Demands

To Northern Tool and Gear Company (NTG), one of the UK’s largest family-owned precision gear sub-contractors, machine and process flexibility is a top priority in order to maximise its expertise and skill in the demanding gear making sector. The company has invested over £2 million in new equipment over the last few years to improve its capability as a ‘one-stop’ gear manufacturer and to maximise the benefit of its in-house knowledge built-up from 60 years of satisfying a highly demanding customer base. MWC-2917-NTG-1 Said Managing Director Gordon Strachan: “The problem when operating in such a highly specialised sector facing a constant increase in demand from customers for product improvement, is that we have to match our high skill- and knowledge-base with capacity and flexibility involving what is a very complex series of processes.” NTG produces all facets of gearing from spur and helical to spiral bevel between 50 mm and 1,200 mm diameter and 500 mm face width. It also provides spline hobbing up to 1,000 mm in length and has a total CNC capability for gear grinding with fully integrated CNC inspection and its own heat treatment in order to strictly control all associated processes. MWC-2917-NTG-2Mr Strachan maintains that when you are a very specialised supplier you are judged by the credibility of the names on equipment. His customer base is certainly demanding covering commercial vehicles, defence, printing, pump, mining, nuclear, food, oil, marine, air compression and motorsport with 20 per cent of production, mainly spiral bevels and ground gears, exported to the USA. He said: “You have to be constantly aware and take advantage of process development not only to be very competitive on pricing but also to meet the ever-growing demand for quality improvement in transmissions especially for higher torque, lower noise and extended life cycles.” During 2010, two large turn-mill centres and the latest modular design Jones & Shipman Ultragrind 1000 CNC cylindrical grinding machine were installed, the latter to increase capacity and improve competitiveness and replace a J&S Series 10 cylindrical grinder that had provided 13 years of productive service. It was improvement of process that was a major concern as Mr Strachan’s company is about to renegotiate a three-year automotive contract for a new generation of seven components as part of a transfer gearbox assembly. The existing gearbox had been taken from prototype development with the customer in to serial production by NTG. And to demonstrate the success of the project, “Over 3,500 sets have been supplied, plus spares – and not one had been rejected,” he said. Mr Strachan insists the J&S Ultragrind is a classic case of moving production technology forward to take advantage of the latest developments. “With the new machine we have a 300 mm diameter capability by 1,000 mm between centres and can multi-feature grind components weighing up to 200 kg. So far we have seen around a 15 per cent improvement in cycle time, setting is also reduced considerably with due to the benefit gained from the touchscreen on the control and the Jones & Shipman software.” He also maintains: “Due to the inherent built-in accuracy and rigidity of the machine we now easily maintain one to two microns without need of the optional inprocess diameter gauge unit which further reduces set up time.” The Ultragrind is fitted with the latest Fanuc 320is touchscreen control with Windows XP embedded which Mr Strachan maintains is ideal when resetting jobs as the average batch size is around 15 parts. He said: “We often grind just one or two components and the largest run is probably 150 parts which means resetting has a big influence on productivity.” Due to the wide range of work, with 90 per cent of production through the machine based on hardened and tempered EN36, NTG has developed over the years a universal specification of 500 mm by 100 mm wheel and uses single point dressing which is so easy and straightforward to program on this machine.” He said: “Again, this considerably reduces changeover times.” An important factor in Mr Strachan’s mind when ordering the machine from Leicester was the simplicity of the control with its full graphical image support that could be tailored at the front end by J&S to suit the application and the operator. While initial training took just three days for both the night shift and day shift setter/operators as they became more proficient, they requested minor changes to suit their applications which J&S easily accommodated. The control provides three modes of fully interactive programming involving graphical, text view and ISO for the grinding and wheel dressing cycles. The operator can select macros and enter key data around graphical images for diameters, speeds and feeds simply by touching the screen. In addition, ISO is fully supported as are G & M codes programming which the operator can use at any time. The graphical interface and G & M code pages update each other seamlessly so there is true flexibility for each operator and each shift. The Ultragrind has a modular wheelhead design that enables up to four external or internal wheel spindles, or any combination of the two to suit the application. A B-axis, programmable to 0.0001° rotates and positions these wheels and allows three separate datums to be created for each wheel to provide full flexibility. NTG opted for a plain 90o approach external only wheelhead. However, Mr Strachan arranged for J&S to include an additional contour generation macro in addition to the existing ISO contour grinding facility which have both now become standard machine features. NTG has ground a whole series of components including multi-diameter parts up to 200 mm diameter by 800 mm long weighing up to 160 kg to tolerances of 0.015/0.020 mm. Other parts have been ground with up to 12 diameters and adjacent faces in a single cycle. The range of different transfer gearbox components have involved up to five diameters, four traverse ground and one involving a plunge grind cycle. Cycle times are up to 7 minutes each. NTG was originally set up in 1945 with Mr Strachan being the third generation of family ownership. The company employs 58 people at the 3,500 m2 factory in Arbroath where it has seen an average growth of some five per cent each year. It has progressively developed its very specialised gear production technology knowledge with a major focus on CNC for gear hobbing and shaving for spur, helical, crowned and tapered gears up to 1,200 mm diameter by 500 mm face width and 20 module (pitch diameter divided by number of teeth). Internal gears are produced up to 800 mm diameter by 180 mm face width and 7 module plus a spline hobbing and worm milling capability. With spiral bevels up to 760 mm diameter, 15 module and straight bevels cut up to 250 mm diameter by 7 module being a speciality, NTG claims to be the only subcontractor in the UK that has a full CNC capability. It has also the capability, through a recent investment in sealed quench gas carburising, hardening, tempering, quench pressing and straightening, of heat treating gears up to 600 mm diameter and weighing up to 600 kg. Following heat treatment, a full gear grinding capability enables gears up to 1,200 mm diameter by 1,000 mm face width to be ground to DIN1 quality standards with full CNC inspection in a temperature controlled area. Over the past year NTG has become a sole supplier of high precision gears to the US company and has won contracts for very specialised, high capacity fire pump systems and as Mr Strachan recounts: “Over the last five years there has been a challenging shift in the gear industry for higher quality gears but at the same time volumes have decreased. It is only through investment and especially in grinding and finishing with the ability to adapt the process that you can really compete and remain in the forefront of the business, which is why the investment in the J&S Ultragrind 1000 was so important.”