XYZ Machine Tools’ Managing Director Nigel Atherton is proud of the number of businesses that have grown alongside XYZ over the years, developing their machining capability as their businesses developed. Complete Engineering Services (Carlisle) Limited is a typical case in point. Founded by friends and co-Managing Directors Alan Walker and Andrew Monkhouse 20 years ago, initially using an old silage pit as its premises, the sub-contract engineering business developed a reputation that has brought in work from across many sectors, including motorsport, automotive, agricultural and food processing industries. As the company name implies it offers a complete service from design, through fabrication, wire erosion, assembly and installation, but at its heart is its versatile machine shop.

Complete Engineering Services (Carlisle) has a comprehensive selection of XYZ Machines at its disposal.

“We started out working part-time in the business, whilst continuing with our full-time employment. Our first machines were a basic manual lathe, turret mill, off-hand grinder and a pillar drill,” says Alan Walker. “Our sales came through word of mouth and local reputation and, as we grew, we eventually needed more staff. In 2003, Andrew and I became full-time and with increased turnover we were able to invest in the business.” Investment in new machine tools was the next phase and a visit to the company by XYZ’s area sales manager Carl Tinsley proved to be a turning point. An on-site demonstration of the ProtoTRAK control system was viewed as a pivotal moment by Alan and Andrew, seeing it as a major step forward for the business allowing it to progress and move into new areas of manufacturing. “We wanted to step up on our quality and productivity and the ProtoTRAK control on the lathes and mills was our initial move to achieve this, pulling us firmly into the 21st century,” says Andrew Monkhouse.

Since purchasing their first XYZ machine Alan and Andrew have gone on to build quite a portfolio of machines from the Devon-based company, with a mix of ProtoTRAK controlled lathes and Siemens controlled milling and turning centres making up the bulk of its machine shop capacity. “Following the first XYZ machine we just kept on investing in the business and we have always received the best advice from Carl. He never tried to sell us something we didn’t need, he always works with us to look at our work and customer base to advise on the best machine for our needs,” says Alan Walker.

Service and support is also a major plus point for the company, being located just 12 miles from the Scottish border. However, the support they get from XYZ is exemplary. “We have a lot of their machines so we need to know that we can get service if we need it and it is comforting to know that we can pick up the phone, get answers there and then, or have parts delivered the next day or get a service engineer to call at relatively short notice,” says Andrew Monkhouse. “When you combine that level of service, with the value for money that the machines represent they are the right machines for us and the work that we are doing, and we envisage continuing to buy them.”