With 18 plus years of experience in the manufacturing sector, working for many companies in both design and machining roles, Jamie Clare decided it was time to do things for himself and Iconic Engineering Solutions was born. Initially he was providing a 3D design service for a broad range of customers that included airship development, motorsport fluid distribution systems and classic cars.

“Having worked for others for so long I realised that I could make a go of this myself, so I put a plan together, approached the bank for some capital, invested in high-end computers and software, including 3D CAD (Solidworks), FEA, CFD and 3D printing. That was four years ago and the design work has continued to grow, with a good base of customers from diverse industries,” says Jamie. Throughout these four years he was constantly being asked by his customers if he knew anyone that could machine the parts he was designing. While passing on these enquiries to local machine shops, Jamie also kept tabs on them, and realised that he was letting good business slip through his hands. “I tallied up the machining work that I was passing on and, for one customer alone, I calculated that it equated to around £50,000 a year in potential business I was missing out on.”

Jamie Clare, Managing Director at Iconic Engineering Solutions with his XYZ LPM machining centre.

As Iconic Engineering Solutions was now operating from larger premises, shared with one of its customers, Jamie had the room to develop his machining ambitions. With him already having experience of XYZ machines and the ProtoTRAK control, after setting up a machine shop for a former employer, this was the route he took for himself. Having researched the current XYZ range and choosing to stick with the ProtoTRAK control, he decided that the XYZ LPM vertical machining centre would make the ideal starting point. Taking advantage of a good deal at an XYZ open house, he put the deposit for the machine on his credit card and purchased the machine in June 2017, along with the optional offline programming package. “My knowledge of the ProtoTRAK control and an existing relationship with, who I had worked with on the previous machine shop project some years ago, gave me the confidence to move forward. Talking with XYZ about the machine I was assured that it ticked off many of the boxes in terms of capability for the work I had planned for it. Put simply, the machine meets my requirements, as a small, dynamic, business it is all about maximising the available time so I try not to compromise, as the minute you have any issues it is lost time.”

The bulk of the parts machined by Iconic Engineering Solutions are from billet material and the ease of setting the XYZ LPM machine with its Jergens Ball Lock equipped table, with pre-designated datum points make setting up much quicker. Additionally, the ProtoTRAK control’s background editing function allows users to program and set up the next job whilst the machine is still running. Other standard equipment and features include a 15 hp, 8000 revs/min, BT 40 spindle, 16 position toolchanger a 900 mm by 500 mm table (allowing multiple jobs to be set at once), with axis travels of 785 x 470 x 530 mm.

An example of a billet machined part produced on the XYZ LPM.

Having taken this first step into machining as Iconic Engineering Solutions, Jamie is already looking to the future and in partnership with his customer, and landlord, discussing the way forward to expand his machining capacity. With milling taken care of that next step will be turning and he will stick to his no compromise principles by investing in the right equipment for his workload, this will lead to live tooling and y-axis capability with the XYZ Compact Turn 65 LTY in his sights.