New Apprentice Darren Jamieson

Almond Engineering continues to invest in local engineering talent. We are proud to introduce Darren Jamieson, our latest apprentice. He will be studying at Edinburgh College while gaining extensive practical precision engineering experience with our state of the art machinery. “I’m looking forward to building my career at Almond,” said Darren.

Investing in a talented workforce not only for today, but the future, is one of Almond Engineering’s key objectives. “We are a strong local employer and want to see more young people taking up the opportunities in engineering we have available as we continue to expand. “I’m pleased to welcome Darren as our latest apprentice and look forward to seeing his skills base and career grow at Almond,” said Michelle Quinn, Director.

Michelle has worked closely with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West Lothian providing insight and opportunities to work in engineering from a young female perspective. “I’m very keen to continue working closely with DYW West Lothian, highlighting practical ways for young people to develop their careers and gain real life experience in the workplace. Hard work, dedication and ambition will get you where you want to go and I’m keen to show young people that’s possible in engineering,” said Michelle.

Darren seized the opportunity to take up a 4 year apprenticeship at Almond combining engineering studies with practical skills on the shop floor from programming CNC machines to welding and turning pieces. “The apprenticeship is a great way of getting into engineering as it builds practical skills combined with real work experience, and importantly, a job at the end of it in a great company,” reflects Darren.

New machines increase capacity

Almond’s investment programme sees a range of new machines commissioned over the next month. The machines provide increased capacity including a 4-Axis machine, a second 5-Axis machine and a large bed machining centre to precision mill larger pieces.

Over the next four weeks Almond’s factory will become home to the latest sophisticated machining centres from Hurco. A second 5-axis machine adds capacity and flexibility but also increases security for our customers in the event of a machine breakdown. “Our newest 5-Axis machine is state of the art with a swivel head delivering more flexibility for milling the complex components to the high level of precision our customers demand,” says Chris Smith, Managing Director.

A further machining centre increases Almond’s capacity to mill larger components. “Our capability to mill larger components efficiently is being enhanced with our latest investment in a machine with a larger table size and travel to accommodate much larger materials. This enhances our proposition to customers in the aerospace and medical markets,” said Chris.

The third new machine in Almond’s arsenal is a 4-Axis machine. “This complements our stable of 3-Axis machines, but 4-Axis capability will reduce set up times dramatically, increasing production efficiencies and reducing delivery times,” explains Chris.

See our new machines in action below:

Michelle Quinn Joins the Board

Michelle Quinn is the latest addition to Almond Engineering’s board. She is Almond’s first female director bringing a powerful combination of extensive company knowledge, business experience and a young female perspective to the board. Michelle will be responsible for helping to deliver £2 million growth in the next three years.

Michelle joined Almond after leaving school and has worked her way to the top of the company in just 13 years. “It’s an exciting time to be appointed to the board as we are in a period of extensive investment, in both machinery and people, to deliver superior service to our customers. We plan to invest heavily to grow our machining capacity by 40% this year alone. I’m also keen to promote engineering and the wide range of opportunities to train as an engineer to school leavers, particularly girls,” said Michelle.

Chris Smith, Chairman of Almond Engineering said: “Our success is a combination of our engineering expertise and the talented people we employ. I’m very pleased to welcome Michelle to the board. She has made a significant contribution to the company’s success and her insight, extensive knowledge of the company and its markets, together with her fresh perspective and ideas will be invaluable as we continue to expand.”

Listen to Michelle on Good Morning Scotland with Andrew Black here: on soundcloud.

Celebrating Expansion

Almond Engineering celebrated its expansion by throwing open its doors. The new premises complementing Almond Engineering’s current factory is adjacent to their original building and houses their design and fabrication department. “Our success is not only attributed to our engineering expertise and the talented people we employ, but the support we get from our partners. This includes Clydesdale Bank, West Lothian Council, Scottish Engineering and our valued clients, many who are here today,” said Chris Smith, Chairman. Bryan Buchan, CEO of Scottish Engineering, and Councillor Cathy Muldoon, Depute Leader of the Council, marked the occasion by racing a model F1 car, built by Deans Community High School pupils, down a 12 metre race track.

5 Axis Machining Comes to Almond

Almond has recently taken delivery of our first 5 Axis Machine, and after a period of intense training, we are now producing our first parts from this machine. The Hurco VMX42SRTi gives us a big work surface and huge flexibility. This additional capability now allows us to take on more complex jobs, and also reduces the delivery times we can offer on our more conventional work.

Almond Doubles Factory Space

Almond have been operating at full capacity for some time now (and frequently a little beyond full capacity) so have taken the plunge, investing in doubling our factory space. We have now acquired 3b Fleming Road, a mirror image of our present factory in 3a, using the additional space to reorganise the work areas and add new machines.

3a will now house our machining, cleaning, inspection and packaging centre, whilst 3b will provide a new home to our fabrication & design teams as well as providing a dedicated assembly and machine build area. We still have some work to do in order to complete the move but are planning a grand opening in November. More details to follow soon!

Almond Continues to Partner Deans Community High School

For the second year running, a team from Deans Community High School reached the World Final of the prestigious international F1 in Schools Competition. Almond is proud once again to have provided Design support to the team, also manufacturing components for the students’ final design. It is a genuine pleasure to work with the students at Deans; their enthusiasm and drive is infectious. We believe that anything which encourages the STEM subjects is to be applauded. Scotland needs the brightest and best to be our engineers of the future.

NEW Hurco 5 Axis VMX42SRTi at Almond Engineering

Almond Engineering Ltd are very excited to announce the next phase of our investment within the Milling section. In April we will be taking delivery of a new Hurco 5 Axis VMX42SRTi which has a table size of 1270mm x 610mm. This will enable us to be even more competitive on complex or multiface machined components and give us additional capacity within the CNC section.

We are looking forward to bringing our 5th Hurco to Almond Engineering and will keep you updated as and when it arrives.

Investment in Energy Efficient Compressors

Following recent investments in additional machining capacity at Almond Engineering, the old compressed air system was beginning to wheeze a little. We therefore installed two Gardner Denver compressors, with the duty machine being variable speed, and a fixed speed machine acting as an assist when demand peaks.

The new machines have several advantages beyond reliability and capacity: their noise level is far lower than the old machine; they pump out less heat into the factory; and the energy usage is far lower, so good for the environment as well as the bank balance.

New Manual Lathe at Almond Engineering

Almond Engineering has just taken delivery of a new Colchester Mascot V2000 manual Lathe. Managing Director Willie Scott commented that ‘Even in a factory such as ours, fully equipped with the latest CNC equipment, a high quality manual lathe is invaluable. Some jobs are simply quicker on a manual and it is great to give our apprentices extensive manual milling and turning experience before training the on the cnc machines.’

This completes a period of investment in the turning section of our precision machine shop aimed at increasing our capacity, flexibility and efficiency. Almond’s next planned investment is in additional CNC milling capacity.