Additive Manufacturing Keeps Production Local: William Cook Saves 200 Jobs With Investment in Sheffield 3D Printing Factory

Share this Article

william-cook-logoIn a bid to gain new customers, as well as ‘safeguard’ 200 manufacturing jobs, family-owned engineering business William Cook, based in the UK, recently invested £6 million in a new factory in Sheffield that will feature the latest 3D printing technology. The company, which makes components for blue chip customers in several sectors, including aerospace, energy, and defense, dates back to 1840, and also has factories in Leeds and County Durham. William Cook’s new Precision factory will feature both 3D printing and investment casting technologies.

william-cook-cast-products

[Image: Shef News]

Lord Sebastian Coe, double Olympic champion and president of International Association of Athletics Federations, grew up in Sheffield and returned to his hometown last week to officially open the new factory, which will let William Cook compete on a more international level for business, protect city jobs, take on new customers, and speed up the production of complex components. Lord Coe explained that his father was once a production director at a Sheffield-based cutlery company, so he has a fondness for the manufacturing industry.

Lord Sebastian Coe

Lord Sebastian Coe

“It is inspiring to come home today and see this successful family business making world class products in Sheffield,” he said.

Lord Coe was happy to attend the launch and open the new William Cook factory, especially after the firm supported his Sebastian Coe Charitable Foundation.

The company, as it continues to expand, recently recruited its biggest intake of apprentices – a total of 12 – in recent history.

The apprentices will train at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) first, before they begin on-the-job training. Just this past summer, William Cook joined the AMRC as a partner after the university acquired Castings Technology International, and back in 2015, the AMRC used a 3D Systems Projet 6000 printer to fully embed electronics within 3D printed SLA objects, among other innovative projects.

William Cook’s roots are in steel casting manufacturing, and while the engineering company has grown exponentially since it first opened its doors (it now has a complete in-house design service and a total of four main plants), steel castings are still a major part of the company’s offered products. The company also has substantial design and research and development resources.

Sir Andrew Cook

Sir Andrew Cook

“This is not only an investment in our family company, but also in our employees, customers, suppliers, and the City of Sheffield,” said Sir Andrew Cook, William Cook’s chairman. “William Cook has been in Sheffield since the late 19th century and is the only traditional large Sheffield manufacturer with our name still ‘over the shop.’ This investment has totally renovated and modernised our site at Parkway and we believe it will play an increasingly important role in Sheffield’s – and Britain’s – manufacturing capability.”

The new factory looks to be, just like the company as a whole, a family affair. According to Shef News, Sir Andrew Cook invested over €800,000 to purchase an industrial voxeljet VX1000 3D printer. His son William, while at Cambridge University, conducted a study into 3D printing and enlisted some of the company’s engineers to help him look into plastic printing and sand printing.

“We were trying to find new ways in advanced technology that could help the UK in manufacturing,” said William Cook sales engineer Adam Cotton.

It looks like the company is already meeting this goal, having recently won the Component of the Year Award in the 2016 Cast Metal Industry Awards. The £6 million investment was spent on “project precision,” and should be a big success for the well-known business.

3D printing is an effective tool for localizing manufacturing, helping out with area economies as production can often be kept in-house. The benefits of local production extend to the communities around such facilities, keeping jobs in an area, as William Cook is seeing, as well as expediting production schedules that help on the business end. Discuss in the William Cook forum at 3DPB.com.

[Sources: The Star, Shef News]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing for COVID-19, Part Four: Corporate Partners

Regemat3D Launches its New Bioreactors for Maturing Tissues



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Nanyang Technological University: Thesis Validates Use of Bessel Beams in Laser-Based 3D Printing

Andy Wen Loong Liew has submitted a thesis, ‘Laser-based 3D printing using bessel beams for tissue engineering applications’ to Nanyang Technological University. Exploring a new technique for bioprinting, Liew studies...

Polbionica Could Become the Next Success Story in Organ Bioprinting

Last year, a scientific team in Warsaw, Poland, bioprinted the world’s first prototype of a bionic pancreas with a vascular system. Led by clinical transplantation expert and inventor, Michał Wszoła,...

3D Printing Scaffolds for Regeneration of Tissue After Mastectomies & Tissue Damage

Researchers from Belgium and Germany explore topics in bioprinting, evaluating biocompatible structures in the recently published ‘Evaluation of 3D Printed Gelatin-Based Scaffolds with Varying Pore Size for MSC-Based Adipose Tissue...

Carbon Fiber Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate Composite (CF-ASA): New Material for Large Format Additive Manufacturing

Researchers from Spain are studying materials for more effective large-scale 3D printing, outlining their findings in the recently published ‘Development of carbon fiber acrylonitrile styrene acrylate composite for large format...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!