PI Castings offers helping hand to budding engineer

Altrincham-based precision investment casting manufacturer, PI Castings helped open a young engineers’ eyes to the possibilities that pursuing a career in industry can hold.

PI Castings not only agreed to help Sam produce his aluminium casting, but invited him to see his casting being manufactured – image courtesy of PI Castings.
PI Castings not only agreed to help Sam produce his aluminium casting, but invited him to see his casting being manufactured – image courtesy of PI Castings.

Investing in and developing the next generation of engineers no doubt represents a challenge. Deficits in engineering skills and knowledge have been identified by key industry players such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers; who has recognised that there is and will continue to be a skill shortage for at least the next decade.

The reason for this demise is being apportioned to the fact that the UK education system is failing to train enough engineers; a fact recently echoed by Lord Kenneth Baker, former education secretary, in an interview with The Manufacturer.

Engineers are the people who hold the key to innovation, progression and ultimately the betterment of the country (both financially and socially) through design and technological advancement. It is plainly clear that there is a need for resources to be committed to the education of a new generation of innovators.

Resources are of course sometime scarce, that is why it is so refreshing to see a manufacturing company that services many engineers across a broad range of industries assuming responsibility and dedicating time to supporting the education system by nurturing young and aspiring engineers, like Sam Wooler of Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.

Sam is a young aspiring engineer with the enthusiasm and vision required to realise a successful career in manufacturing or engineering. Sam was presented with a challenging project which surpassed his school’s ability to realise his idea. He wanted to produce a set of “spring back” cricket stumps for his final GCSE project in design and technology – resistant materials class.

Sam’s design required a cast aluminium base larger than his school’s facilities could accommodate – image courtesy of PI Castings.
Sam’s design required a cast aluminium base larger than his school’s facilities could accommodate – image courtesy of PI Castings.

Sam’s design required a cast aluminium base to house his wooden wickets. Sam began work but quickly encountered a problem; his school’s crucible could not hold enough aluminium to produce the casting that he had designed.

But Sam wasn’t going to be stopped, showing great determination and dedication to his project. After seeking special dispensation with the help of his school, Sam contacted local foundries to ask for some support.

When Sam contacted Altrincham-based precision investment casting manufacturer, PI Castings, the team were immediately impressed with his approach and commitment to his project.

Determined to nurture Sam’s enthusiasm for design and engineering, PI Castings not only agreed to help Sam produce his aluminium casting, but invited him to its facilities so he could see his casting being manufactured. The team were on hand to support Sam and ensure that he learnt as much as he could about how precision investment castings were manufactured to the exacting standards expected by the aerospace industry.

The team at PI Castings shared some of their 65 years’ worth of experience and opened Sam’s eyes to the vast variety of components that are engineered and manufactured on his doorstep.

PI Castings was hopefully able to open a young individual’s eyes to the possibilities that pursuing a career in the engineering sector can hold. The time that the team devoted might just have been the fuel that turned the sparks of creativity into a fire of innovation.

Sam was given a glimpse in to what a future in engineering might look like; whether that be from the prospective of a design engineer or an engineer that serves the manufacturing industry. This is exactly what we need to see more of in the industry for the sake of its future.

Here’s to hoping that more companies in the sector take a leaf out of PI Castings book and help support the development of budding engineers to ensure that the industry best mitigates the impact of a pervasive skills shortage.

L to R: Jeff Sharp (Head of School at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School), Matt McGillicuddy (PI Castings), Sam Wooler (GCSE Student) & Aron Rutter (Lead of Design and Technology at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School) – image courtesy of PI Castings.
L to R: Jeff Sharp (Head of School at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School), Matt McGillicuddy (PI Castings), Sam Wooler (GCSE Student) & Aron Rutter (Lead of Design and Technology at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School) – image courtesy of PI Castings.