The establishment by Chiron Werke UK Ltd of a purpose-built 10,000ft2 headquarters

       in Southam, Warwickshire, heralds a new era in machine tool marketing

       in the UK.


       Because rather than being set up as a machine showroom, the new £750,000 facility

       has been designed to act as a turnkey applications engineering prove-out

       site covering the extensive range of Chiron vertical machining centre

       projects for which the German manufacturer, and all its worldwide subsidiaries,

       are renowned.


      “Our new home is not a machine showroom,” emphasises Chiron Werke UK Ltd managing

       director, Paul Rhodes. “The facility has been set-up specifically to

       promote and reinforce our commitment to UK users’ increasing demands for

       turnkey application engineering projects.


      “Our adeptness at such projects – particularly for both OEMs and first-tier

       suppliers in the automotive and aerospace sectors – is a philosophy that

       is successfully mirrored throughout the world by all subsidiaries of our

       German parent. And it’s a policy that sets Chiron apart from other machine

       tool manufacturers.”


       Chiron’s impressive UK customer base of over 300 users has been gained by the

       Company’s unswerving attention to users’ needs. This relates as much to the team’s

       pre-sales applications engineering skills and superlative levels of after-sales

       service as it does to having the ability to actually supply machines that

       meet customer’s specific production criteria within an agreed time-scale.



       “Chiron has never claimed to compete with some of the Far East’s volume machining

       centre manufacturers on either availability or price. And it never will.

       That’s because we operate in a totally different way.


       “Firstly, Chiron is not a volume manufacturer geared to produce thousands of machines

       for a global network of showrooms. Neither do we act simply as a company

       that sells a machine and installs it then walks away, perhaps also offering

       a service or maintenance contract that is fulfilled (at a relatively high

       price) often by a third party.”


        This effective and efficient communication channel is especially evident

         in the early days of project prove-out. In such cases, a Chiron technician

         may be on-site for days, ensuring everything goes to plan. “Apart

     from not being able to afford such a luxury, traditional machine distributors

     simply don’t have the culture for that,” comments Paul Rhodes.


      “Okay,  we are obviously in a position to supply machines that will produce more

       parts much more quickly. But, of course, so are other machine manufacturers

       and dealers. But the difference is we don’t make machines for stock; each

       and every Chiron VMC comes off the line to order, to satisfy a particular



      “If  a potential customer approaches us simply to add another spindle to satisfy

       an immediate capacity demand, then we know he’s not someone we can help.



       “But  if he comes to us with a manufacturing headache – a set of production

       requirements that go beyond simple capacity demands – then clearly we

       have the basis for a long-lasting partnership, a project that will generate

       continual benefits for him as a Chiron user.”


       Included among the problems faced by Chiron customers is the need to reduce piece

       part costs by adopting the principles of lean manufacture, perhaps, or

       the development and use of clever fixturing, or the desire to adopt latest

       tooling developments in combination with high-speed machining routines.


      “It is our ability to develop tailor-made solutions to such problems that

       has enabled Chiron to develop a niche role in the UK machine tool market,”

       says Paul Rhodes. But being able to provide the right technological solutions

       at the right price is only one side of the story. The other is making

       sure everything happens when it should.


      “Apart  from the necessary technical expertise, a successful turnkey project will

       also involve the suppliers of tooling and fixturing as well as representatives

       from Chiron, Germany – even perhaps the supplier of the raw materials,

       such as castings.

       “By necessity, each project instigated by the UK team will involve a tremendous

       amount of project management, and this is another skill that sets Chiron