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Manufacturing Excellence – Rolls-Royce

If there’s one name that epitomises manufacturing and engineering excellence, it’s Rolls-Royce. This iconic brand has been leading the way in engineering since 1906, and is still regarded as one of the most high-profile and important manufacturers of automotive and aviation technology in the world. So to partner up with such a prestigious client was an absolute pleasure for Cottam, who have developed their own exceptional reputation for pro-active problem solving and solutions that can cope with any challenge.

Rolls-Royce needed an aggressive brush for their broaching machines, with the added challenge that the brush needed to give a visual cue to let the user know when it needed changing. To add to the difficulty of this particular project, the brushes were located in a part of the machine with poor visibility.

“The solution was to incorporate brightly coloured wear indicators, so operators could see at a glance how worn the brush was, and exactly when it needed changing to maintain optimum performance,” explains Cottam consultant Nigel Hutchinson. “The broaching machines worked more efficiently due to the continual removal of swarf thanks to an aggressive brush that could be changed as soon as it became less efficient. The colour wear system works perfectly, too, allowing the operator to see instantly when a brush needs changing.”

The system developed by Cottam is now used at Rolls-Royce manufacturing plants across the globe. Keith Dunn, Manufacturing Improvement Leader at Rolls-Royce Plc, explains why they’ve adopted the Cottam brush so comprehensively: “We have seen a marked improvement in the removal of metal filings and swarf. The materials do not damage the precision cutting tools which has resulted in significant cost savings due to increased production and reduced downtime.”

We have seen a marked improvement in the removal of metal filings and swarf. The materials do not damage the precision cutting tools which has resulted in significant cost savings due to increased production and reduced downtime.

Keith Dunn, Manufacturing Improvement Leader, Rolls-Royce Plc
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