It’s been five months since Halewood opened the doors to its first Die Manufacturing Centre, which is allowing our factory to build press tools on site for the first time, so Team Talk took the opportunity to catch up with the Tool Room team about some of the highlights so far.
The new centre- which is also a JLR first, has seen the installation of a state-of-the-art five-axis milling machine, which creates new blanking dies from raw castings.
Blanking dies are the tools used to make the shaped pieces out of the steel sheets, which takes place at the start of the stamping process, during new vehicle production.
With progress well underway, we speak to Tool Room manager, Pat Thomson and Tool Room Apprentice, Hannah Cocklin about some the recent successes.
Pat Thomson said: “We’ve got off to a good start and have now completed seven blanking dies as well as six engineering changes for upcoming new vehicle lines.
“The project has been exciting as this is not only the first Die Manufacturing Centre in Halewood but Jaguar Land Rover as a whole, so it shows real confidence in our factory and our people, who are now building these tools themselves and means we can attract and keep the best talent at Halewood.”
Previously Halewood outsourced the production of its press tools, so this is helping to drive efficiency by saving time and money- which is key to transforming our business through Refocus - as well as give our employees the opportunity to learn new skills.
And it seems like all the hard work is paying off, with Pat adding: “We are starting to see some demand from other parts of the business to support with potential opportunities, which is exciting- so watch this space for further developments!”
Hannah Cocklin, Tool Room Apprentice, said: “The Die Manufacturing Centre has given the tooling workforce a real boost as we are doing things, we didn’t think we would ever get to do at Halewood.
“This is the last year of my apprenticeship so it’s brilliant to see what the future has in store for the team and me it’s also exciting for the new apprentices who have recently joined us as they probably never expected to be making the tools themselves.”
The Die Manufacturing Centre shows Refocus in action as it is helping to improve the quality of our operations, upskilling employees, as well as the profitability of our vehicles, as the blanking dies are no longer being outsourced. All of this is helping to ensure that we are in the strongest position to successfully rollout the new electric architecture, earmarked for our plant, as part of the Reimagine strategy.