Great British Bake Off helps raise ETG sales

Houseware manufacturer, What More UK has invested more than £750,000 in three Engineering Technology Group (ETG) machining centres in order to meet soaring demand thanks to the television programme, The Great British Bake Off.

What More UK, which employs 240 people at its factory on Altham Business Park, has seen demand for its highly popular ‘Wham’, ‘WhamCook’ and the recently acquired ‘Push Pan’ ranges reach new levels, as more and more Great British Bake Off fans look to raise their game in home baking.

The Quaser MV234 is currently the largest Quaser machine in the UK - image courtesy of Engineering Technology Group.
The Quaser MV234 is currently the largest Quaser machine in the UK – image courtesy of Engineering Technology Group.

The increase in orders has seen the firm update its tool room capabilities by investing more than £750,000 into three Quaser VMC machining centres from Wellesbourne-based Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to give it greater capacity, a reduction in production time and the ability to handle large progression tools.

Press Shop manager at What More UK, Kevin Allum explained: “We needed additional bed size and, once ETG convinced me of the excellent build quality and multitude of facilities on the Quaser MV 234, 3 axis VMCs, I had no hesitation in recommending to the owner that these were the machines to purchase.”

“It is not untypical for a tool to take 600 man hours to machine so obviously if we can achieve reductions in this, it improves productivity, reduces costs and contributes to the speed with which we can bring products to market. Our designers use Solid Works and VISI for the CAM element and they interface well with the Heidenhain machine controls.”

What More UK is a leading player in the plastic storage and plastic housewares market. From its custom-built Lancashire factory, it exports to more than 70 countries around the world, designing and manufacturing a vast array of products including cake and loaf tins, oven trays, purpose designed products such as muffin and Yorkshire pudding trays, and a wide selection of storage items.

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Allum continued: “While our own designs predominate under the ‘Wham’ housewares brand, we also do third party work. This can involve products with different shapes or signatures, so once we have the designs and specifications we can reverse engineer to achieve manufacture in the most efficient way.

“It is a fast-moving consumables market and as such we need to act quickly when responding to trends and new product introductions – hence the major investment in our in-house toolroom.”

A leading independent UK supplier of high technology machine tools, Engineering Technology Group (ETG) supplied two Quaser MV 234s and a smaller 184 for smaller press tool machining. The larger machines offer a load capacity of 2,000kg, with a new spindle greasing system that – in one installation – can support 30,000 hours of machining.

The MV184 boasts an iTNC530 control, has 30 tools and Renishaw spindle and laser table probes, along with a Lehman rotary table.