Schaeffler (UK) Ltd is now offering UK customers a rapid delivery service for its comprehensive range of linear guides and machined shafts.
The Linear Quick-Centre was opened recently at Schaeffler UK's manufacturing plant in Llanelli, South Wales. The well-equipped facilities enable Schaeffler to offer customers 24-hour deliveries on linear systems, rails, shafts, cages and carriages, as well as two-working-day deliveries on machined shafts.
Brian Fox, Engineering Manager at Schaeffler, comments: "The Linear Quick-Centre is closely integrated with our existing tool room at Llanelli. The objective is to reduce our UK customer lead times significantly, especially on low-volume linear products. It means we can offer customers 24-hour emergency support. 85 per cent of cut-and-chamfer orders have been delivered within 24 hours."
Schaeffler can machine shafts up to 5m in length and monorails up to 3m in length, with diameters between 5mm and 80mm. Materials include induction-hardened steel, stainless steel and aluminium support rails.
Fox continues: "We employ a highly skilled, flexible workforce comprising 21 toolmakers on three shifts in the tool room, plus five toolmakers in the Linear Quick-Centre, with all 26 staff apprenticeship-trained. This enables us to meet any customer request for linear components. We have a very well equipped tool room with CNC machining centres, CNC lathes, CNC cylindrical grinding machines, turret mills, automatic cut-off machines, turret drills, deburring machines, centre lathes and face-grinding machines. This enables us to machine complex shafts in-house and manufacture product designs to customer requirements."
According to Fox, when it comes to linear bearings and guides in the UK today, quality and cost are seen as given and so delivery is the key driver. "Our customers do not want stock on their shelves today and they want customised products delivered within 48 hours. They want linear shafts with machined flats, grooves, drilled and tapped holes at very close tolerances. Accessories are important too, with customers wanting mounting blocks, plain bushes, brackets and other fabricated items."
Neil Walters, Tool Room Supervisor, adds: "The key to delivering these products to customers quickly is our highly motivated, skilled and flexible workforce. They control and monitor their own work and are prepared to go the extra mile for the customer. If a customer telephones an order through at 4:00pm on a Friday and wants it the next day, we can do it."
For more information on Schaeffler's Linear Quick Centre, visit www.schaeffler.co.uk.