Kingsbury-supplied machines enable Hollingworth Design to bolster its subcontract machining division

Manufacturing components for the medical sector demands precision, durability, and flexibility – often all expected under rigid deadlines and budgets.

For medical equipment manufacturer, Hollingworth Design Ltd (HDL), to deliver the quality and capacity required, that meant taking control away from time-poor and expensive subcontractors, and bringing production in-house.

But to achieve this, they’d need exceptional milling and turning machinery that can be trusted to produce the optimal component every time.

That’s where Kingsbury came in.


How have Hollingworth Design and Kingsbury collaborated?

Hollingworth Design started its quest for in-house production back in 2017 with the installation of its first CNC lathe and mill. Another turning centre quickly followed.

But, in 2020, they were ready to make their biggest move to date. They looked to Kingsbury to acquire a state-of-the-art INDEX G200 turn-mill centre – complete with a twin spindle and a triple turret.

Kingsbury is the sole agent for INDEX machines in the UK and Ireland, and since then, Hollingworth Design has doubled its number of on-site lathes and mills to eight.

With the great success of the INDEX G200, the company entrusted Kingsbury with a further order – this time, the smaller capacity INDEX C100 – and their first foray into automation, with the purchase of a Hermle C 12. A robot-fed, 5-axis, HSK-A63 spindle, automated prismatic machining cell.

Like INDEX, Kingsbury also exclusively represents Hermle in the UK and Ireland, proving them to be a trusted powerhouse for German engineering excellence.


How successful have Kingsbury-supplied machines been for Hollingworth Design?

The evidence is clear for Nick Mort, Hollingworth Design’s lead CNC engineer.

“The subcontract side of our business has increased fivefold to 25% of turnover in the last two years alone, and we’re aiming to increase it further to 50% by 2026,” said Mr Mort.


The INDEX G200, with its 65 mm capacity and three-metre bar magazine, has played an instrumental role in this growth, as its ample machining space and degrees of machining freedom have not just enabled Hollingworth Design to fulfil the growing number of contracts, but to do so faster and more effectively.

The upper, double tool carrier has a 360-degree B-axis and a ± 65 mm Y-axis. On one side is a 14-station, live tool turret rated at 16 kW / 16 Nm (25% DC) and 7,200 rpm maximum speed. On the other, there is an HSK-A40 22 kW / 52 Nm (25% DC) milling spindle with automatic cutter exchange, enabling considerable machining versatility in combination with the two lower turrets that also serve the 6,000 rpm / 32 kW main and counter spindles.

Arranged in a mirror image, each lower turret has an independent, ± 45 mm Y-axis and an identical rating to the turret at the top. Plus, to maximise productivity, all three turrets can be used simultaneously and sequentially at either the main or counter spindle, without interference.

Naturally, this level of machining flexibility has slashed Hollingworth Design’s cut cycle times dramatically – shrinking a typical turned, threaded, and engraved brass component from four minutes to 90 seconds.


Hermle C 12

As for the Hermle C 12 machining cell, this complemented a stand-alone 5-axis machine primarily used for producing aluminium parts for a bicycle manufacturer based in northern England.

The contract was growing in variety, volume and complexity, largely due to an upturn in demand for the electric bike, so Hollingworth Design knew they needed to bolster their manufacturing output to meet these changes. As the components are relatively lightweight, the Hermle RS05 robot can handle individual billets in the machining area and return them once finished. The functionality and flexibility of the robotic process mitigated the need for the company to invest in additional pallets and workholding equipment – reducing cost, and maximising value from the overall footprint.

In 2024, bicycle component production are shared between the pre-existing 5-axis machine, and the Hermle C 12. Initial prototypes are produced on the former, whilst the latter bears the brunt of the larger, more laborious loads. Machine loads of 50oz and under can now be cycled in 15 minutes, thanks to the productivity and multi-functionality of the automated robot.

“These days, it’s difficult to find skilled setter-operators. An automated cell like the Hermle helps to mitigate the situation, as once it is set, it runs – including overnight operation – producing parts to tolerances from ±0.25 mm right down to ±10 μm,” concluded Mr Mort.

What’s next for Hollingworth Design and Kingsbury?

Kingsbury is continuing to support Hollingworth Design’s growth and development as an in-house mill and turn subcontractor. A bit part of this is ongoing after-sales support and expertise.

As the company’s engineers familiarise themselves with the new Hermle C 12 machine cell, Kingsbury has since supplied a full suite of eight turnkey packages – each comprising a program, set-up sheet, and a list of recommended tooling.