Investment Casting Systems Tooling Ltd are devoted to producing plastic injection moulds, wax pattern dies and tooling for carbon fibre parts production, mainly for the aerospace industry, which accounts for 85 per cent of turnover. MACH 2016 saw the company invest in a Hurco DCX22i twin-column, bridge-type machining centre with 2,200 mm x 1,700 mm x 750 mm travels and six tonnes table load capacity.

Two years ago, ICS Tooling invested in a larger Hurco DCX32i bridge-type machine capable of carrying 11 tonnes on the table. With a working volume of 3,200 mm x 2,100 mm x 920 mm, it immediately became the largest of 10 VMCs on site.

Managing Director Ted Head explained, “Before that, our machines were limited to one metre in X, so the increase in capacity was enormous. Even so, we recently had to produce an exceptionally long, 3.7 metre component by repositioning it on the table of the DCX32i.

“One can make small components on a large machine but not vice versa, which is why we have decided to move towards Hurco’s DCX range. Whether it is one large mould we are producing or multiple smaller ones, there is enough work under the spindle for lights-out manufacturing throughout the night, which adds to our profitability.”

The company invested £1 million last year, part of which went to fund a 10 per cent increase in factory space. Mr Head and his son, Technical Director James, expect to double turnover in the next two years, such is the buoyancy of the aerospace sector.