Production engineering team strengthened

David Pickford has joined the engineering team at RPL. His extensive experience in tooling and path optimisation will reduce the lead times for new product introduction.

Keyance Shadow Graph purchase

The recent purchase of a Keyance shadow graph will allow the inspection team to automate the repetitive inspection of components it routinely manufacture’s, particularly the smaller components with simpler profiles. Inspection programs are referenced via the route card bar codes, hence the correct program for each sequence of manufacture is automatically selected. This is especially important when multiple but similar components are inspected consecutively.  Keyance has delivered a training programme to members of the inspection team in the programming and operation of the shadow graph, though the ultimate aim is that members of the production tem would also be able to inspect and confirm their work without interruption to the inspection staff.

Twilight shift instigated

To bridge the gap between its day shift and night shift, RPL has introduced a twilight shift. This shift will allow 24 hour operation of all turning and milling machines Monday to Friday and is in response to the continued growth in throughput at RPL.

Quality Engineer Appointed

RPL is pleased to confirm the appointed of Ben Smith as quality engineer, reporting to the Head of Quality at RPL.  A recent graduate of the UWE, Ben’s appointment to the inspection team at Redcliffe will further strengthen its reputation as a quality first supplier in the aerospace sector. Ben will be leading the drive at RPL to improve throughput and where appropriate to automate repetitive inspection procedures.

60 tonne thread rolling machine purchase

Supported by a West of England Local Enterprise grant from the Regional Growth Fund to build and develop a centre for excellence in thread rolling, RPL has taken delivery of one of the largest thread rolling machines installed in the UK. Billed as a 60 tonne machine, it is nevertheless capable of delivering roll pressures of up to 70 tonnes. With a modern closed loop CNC control package this new machine gives RPL an enhanced capability in this niche sector of precision engineering. The 60 tonne ORT machine complements the Company’s fleet of thread rolling machines covering the 7 to 50 tonne spectrum. Die rolls are interchangeable between machines further optimising operations and cost base.

Production Supervisor Appointed

RPL has appointed Paul Symmons as production supervisor to take responsibility for the detailed supervision of production activity in the RPL milling and turning cells. This appointment is in response to the growth in turnover experienced by RPL and the anticipated future growth in demand for the Company’s production services. Paul will be closely involved in supporting the engineering team in advancing the use of the MRP systems at RPL.

Star GB sliding head lathe purchase

The delivery and installation of a Star GB CNC sliding head lathe (SR-32J) with automatic bar loading magazine for feedstock in the diameter range 3mm to 32mm in lengths up to 3.2 m and high pressure coolant has given RPL a new capability for the volume production of bushings, sleeves and pins. The higher production rates available with the SR-32J will release capacity on the current RPL lathe and mill turn machines, which are in demand for other manufacturing work.

Purchasing Manager Appointed

RPL is pleased to confirm the appointment of Paul Thomas as Purchasing Manager. This is a new post created at RPL as a result of the growth in procurement activity within the business.

Further grants awarded by regional growth fund

Two additional grants to support the expansion of production at RPL have been approved by the West of England Growth Fund. These grants will support the investment in additional lathes need primarily for the production of parts to be thread rolled and associated tooling, fixtures and training. They will also support the investment in additional office and IT facilities for the production management team.

Hardinge lathe purchased

RPL has taken delivery of a new Hardinge Super Precision QUEST GT27 with associated tooling system. Designed for accuracy, speed and productivity for parts requiring consistent tolerances and fine surface finishes, the machine gives high resolution control and closed loop axis feedback systems for increased overall machine accuracy and higher production rates. The new machine complements the smaller Hardinge Gang Tool Quest machine bought a few years earlier to support the high volume of bushing and sleeve production work undertaken by RPL. The volumes of new business required that RPL invested in this additional capability.

Vince Cable Visit

RPL welcomed Vince Cable to South Liberty Lane. He had a brief tour, seeing thread rolling and 5 axis machining. His visit was linked to the Regional Growth Fund Award, and the centre of excellence status of RPL’s aerospace sub contract thread rolling department. RPL have recruited a further production engineer and a senior production engineer, following relocation to South Liberty Lane.

Grant by regional growth fund

A regional growth fund grant in conjunction with the West of England partnership has been approved. This will assist RPL and enable the expansion of the thread rolling department with an additional 60 tonne machine. This will complement the recent refurbishment of our ‘Broadbent’ machine.

Doosan 5 axis purchase

Further Doosan 5 axis milling centre and three DNM 400 and 500 3 axis milling centres, refurbishment of Broadbent threadrolling machine


Recently added to our CNC Turning section is a new Hardinge Quest GT42 high precision gang tool lathe. The procurement of this machine has increased Redcliffe’s ability to manufacture a greater variety of small parts requiring tolerances of +/-5 microns in small to medium batch quantities.