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Following the IIP assessment Truturn Precision Engineering (Charfield Ltd) is awarded the Investors in People Gold Accreditation. 




Investors in People practionier Dave Pegler added:

I would like to congratulate everyone at Truturn on this well-earned and well deserved accolade.

To have achieved IIP Gold Accreditation is a testament to the strength of business practices and the maturity of the people management culture.The maturity of the culture is reflected in the online assessment feedback that has resulted in Truturn being ahead of the manufacturing sector benchmark in all 9 IIP indicators.

It is my strong belief that both business practices and cultural maturity has been strengthened considerably since Truturn’s first IIP assessment in June 2013.

I have no doubt that embracing the Fit4 Nuclear improvement programme and achieving ultimate certification has been a valuable catalyst in achievement of the improvements outlined in this report. Through Fit4Nuclear, Truturn has clearly benefited from the input of a range external business support.

This has ranged from strengthened business and strategic planning, and the wider use of business metrics through to the introduction of lean methodology on the shop floor. The use of lean techniques has been fully embraced by people and inconjunction with the Team Leader Programme the shop floor has been visually transformed,and quantifiable benefits have been accrued in for example efficiency and cost of quality.

It was apparent from the interviews that everyone has a passion for what they are trying toachieve and people are focused and motivated in realising Truturn’s business objectives and KPIs. Working in partnership with customers and satisfying their needs and expectations areput at the heart of practice and KPIs, and there is a genuine focus and culture in achieving the highest levels of quality, customer service and on time delivery. All of these factors are seen as critical in retaining and growing existing customers.

In meeting the company’s long term objectives, the challenge for Truturn’s managers is to acquire new customers and grow profitable sales in a very competitive market place. It was good to hear about the new marketing and sales strategies and approaches, and how external business support is facilitating this key objective area. Clearly the Fit4Nuclear certification and internal efficiency and cost reduction gains will support the achievement of successful customer proposals.

Effective implementation of recommendations support development across more than one IIP Indicator. In addition to securing business benefits and cultural improvement I would expect implementation of recommendations to support Truturn to progress to ‘high performing’ IIP performance level. The latter is the aspiration identified in the Truturn ‘To-be’ position identified before the IIP assessment. There is no doubt in my mind that Truturn can face the future with confidence and from abase of strong leadership, focused managers and a skilled, flexible and motivated staff team. I am convinced that this combination will prove to be a formidable team in taking Truturn forward to the next stage of its growth and as a result a new manufacturing plant.

Dave Pegler – IIP Practitioner – Investors in People South of England


TRUE PRECISION | 20.07.2016

Mazak Europe Case Study - A commitment to investment in people and machines is making Truturn Precision Engineering into the subcontractor to watch in the South West.

“We’ve grown from very humble beginnings,” says Bob Wilkins, General Manager at Truturn Precision Engineering, “and we’ve big plans going forward.”




True Precision

A commitment to investment in people and machines is making Truturn Precision Engineering into the subcontractor to watch in the South West.

“We’ve grown from very humble beginnings,” says Bob Wilkins, General Manager at Truturn Precision Engineering, “and we’ve big plans going forward.”

Wilkins is bullish about the Truturn business, in part because he has overseen significant investment in recent years that has laid the groundwork for future growth.

The company, which is based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, dates from 1985 and has capabilities in milling, turning, fabrication and electrical mechanical assembly work, employing 35 staff with 18 machinists on the shopfloor.

From being, originally, a turning business which predominantly serviced the local engineering and manufacturing community, Truturn now has major footholds in the oil and gas sector, nuclear, food process and general subcontracting sectors, much of it down to a commitment to cultural change and investment which continues to pay off. In fact, circa 30% of the business is export-focused with Europe, Canada and the United States being major markets.

“We decided three years ago that the culture of the business needed to change,” says Mr Wilkins. “We wanted to bring in some automotive skills and better management into the business, along with more training and accreditations. Essentially, we wanted to professionalise ourselves.”

Wilkins has been as good as his word, with Investors in People accreditation being quickly followed by ISO 9001, the Fit For Nuclear programme and health and safety accreditations. The company is also currently working towards its ISO 14001 environmental accreditation.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve done with ISO 9001 in particular because, in the last three years, we’ve had zero non-conformities, which is a great achievement for our quality manager who was one of my first hires into the business.”

Wilkins says that the Fit For Nuclear programme has also been important. “It modernises your business and gets you ready to take on nuclear work. It was quite a challenge for us, particularly in terms of the training investment, but we’ve got work out of it, not least with Magnox.”

The relationship with Mazak has been central to Truturn’s transformation. “We found with Mazak that they didn’t just try to sell us machines, they actually looked at the whole business and the sort of work we were doing before making any recommendations. They’ve worked with us, developing staff and our machining processes, which has enabled us to grow and move into new sectors.”

New machinery has been central to the transformation and Truturn’s decision to invest in an INTEGREX j-300 was a key turning point.

“We knew that if we didn’t invest in new machines, we weren’t going to grow, not least because our customers were looking for us to take cost out of our processes and pass on the savings to them. I would say it was a culture shock for us when we started with it, but it has proved its worth and I would estimate that the INTEGREX j-300 has taken about 15-20% of our costs out of the products. In some instances even more than that,” says Mr Wilkins.

He continues: “Mazak helped us develop the full potential of the machine which, in all honesty, we probably didn’t fully understand when we first accepted it into the machine shop.”

The machine has had a positive effect on morale. “I have three guys on there who know the j-300 inside out, they’ve been on the training courses and developed their own skills which is very positive for them. I also have one of apprentices on there a lot and he loves it. MAZATROL was a learning curve for them, but now that they’ve got it they find it very beneficial.”

The INTEGREX j-300 was quickly followed by QUICK TURN NEXUS 250M. “That machine has been a revelation for us, particularly in terms of us being able to put development and prototype work on there. We’ve completed a wide variety of jobs on it, from tube through to complex blocks, but the key point is that we no longer have to complete a secondary milling operation, which means we’ve cut set-up times by 30-40%.”

For Mr Wilkins, the aftersales service he has received from Mazak has been crucial. “The service engineers in particular have been very good. They’ve come along and educated and trained our guys which means that we can do a lot of the more basic maintenance jobs very quickly on our own. Mazak also helped us from a technical standpoint, taking drawings and turning them into finished components. The level of support has been brilliant.”

Going forward, Mr Wilkins says the future for Truturn lies in 5-axis machining and potentially a specialist milling machine. “The focus for us is 5-axis now. We’ll need some support from Mazak to get there from, but that is where we want to go.”

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Yamazaki Mazak U.K. Limited                      Tom Leatherbarrow

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Tel: 01905 755755                                       Tel: 0121 456 3004

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Contact: Maja Foster                                  

Head of Marketing Mazak Europe



30% reduction in scrap leads to 3-month payback on vibratory bowl.

Post Brexit, UK manufacturers will be cultivating more and more business from outside Europe. One subcontractor that already exports one-third of its output, nearly half to China plus some to the USA and Canada, is Stroud-based Truturn Precision Engineering.




Post Brexit, UK manufacturers will be cultivating more and more business from outside Europe. One subcontractor that already exports one-third of its output, nearly half to China plus some to the USA and Canada, is Stroud-based Truturn Precision Engineering. 

General manager Bob Wilkins commented, “We turn-mill up to 80,000 flow meter parts per month from a hard, exotic bar material for delivery to China. 

“Customers there are very particular about the appearance of their components, as well as the dimensional accuracy, added to which they are constantly asking us to hold or even reduce prices. 

“To help us meet these demands, we decided to end our policy of manually finishing every component. We now deburr, descratch and clean all the flow meter parts in a vibratory bowl.” 

As the turned parts are of relatively small size, the vibratory equipment chosen was a 21-litre capacity, bench-top TLV-75 bowl from PDJ Vibro. Purchase of the machine followed successful trials at the supplier’s Bletchley technical centre. 

The company also provided abrasive and polishing media as well as two types of liquid metal finishing compound. The latter are added to the water in the bowl to inhibit oxidation of ferrous and non-ferrous materials respectively. 

Major cost savings 

Simon Lane, Truturn’s quality, health, safety & environment manager detailed the many advantages the new finishing equipment brings.

He said, “Previously, one operator ran a cell of six sliding head lathes and a second person deburred the output by hand. As manually finishing the components has been eliminated, the labour cost associated with running the cell has been halved. 

“There is also a saving in the metrology department, where the workload is lower, as it has moved from 100 per cent to random sample inspection.” 

He went on to explain that a reduction in rejected components has resulted in further cost savings. Rework and scrap, previously two per cent of production cost, has been cut by 30 per cent due to the higher consistency of vibratory finishing. 

On the basis of this alone, the capital cost of the bowl was amortised within three months of installation, which was immediately after the MACH 2016 show in May, where the order was placed. It is noteworthy that the machine was operational at the Stroud factory within half an hour of its arrival on site.

A significant proportion of other components produced by Truturn is also finished in the vibratory bowl. Components turn-milled on sliding-head lathes from stainless steel bar at a rate of 1,000 per month are processed, while the largest rotational part that has been finished automatically so far was 100 mm diameter by 150 mm long. Prismatic components produced on the subcontractor’s many machining centres are also deburred in the bowl. 

Ryan Woodward, Truturn’s sliding-head turning section leader said, “The PDJ Vibro machine is ideal for light-to-medium duty deburring and is often used to finish components completely, without manual intervention. 

“If parts come off machines with heavy burrs, however, we knock these off quickly by hand using a wire wheel and then put the parts in the vibratory bowl. In such cases, the previous finishing time is reduced by typically 75 per cent. 

“Days and days of hand finishing time are being saved; we are not talking hours and minutes.” 

Versatility of use 

The ISO 9001:2008-accredited subcontractor, which is an NAMRC-approved F4N (fit for nuclear) company, is in the process of gaining ISO 14001 (environmental management) and BS OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management) accreditations. It is also well on the way to a gold Investors in People award. The company produces components and assemblies for the defence, oil and gas, marine, process and nuclear industries from a vast range of materials.

They include Super Duplex, Duplex, Hastelloy, Inconel, stainless steels, mild steels, aluminium, brass, composites and plastics. All can be processed in the vibratory bowl and many already have been. Process times range from one hour for a batch of tough metal components down to 10 minutes for plastic parts. 

There is also considerable variety in the abrasive media used. For most deburring and surface treatment, two types of ceramic abrasive of different sizes are used, plus plastic cones for lighter finishing. 

If required, a bead medium returns the sheen to components that have been vibro-finished. Sand imparts a polished surface, such as is required by the subcontractor’s customers in the metrology industry. Truturn hopes to start supplying the motorsport sector now that it has adopted this process. 

There is little downtime when using the PDJ Vibro equipment. Components can be extracted quickly by hand and it only takes around five minutes to empty the bowl and exchange the medium for a different type. 

Bob Wilkins concluded, “We are a medium-sized company, with a turnover of £2.5 million in the last financial year generated by 35 staff. So we have to look carefully at each item of capital expenditure. 

“Even though the vibratory bowl represented a relatively small outlay, we were new to the technology and spent a lot of time researching the market, eventually shortlisting five potential suppliers.

“We chose PDJ Vibro partly because they were very helpful and communicative when advising us on the type of equipment and media we needed for our applications. The demonstrations at their Bletchley centre were impressive and reaffirmed what we were looking for. 

“We also appreciated their offer to take back the bench-top machine within six months with no financial penalty and upgrade it to a larger machine to accommodate higher production quantities and/or bigger components. 

“It is more likely, however, that we will buy a second, larger bowl, as our first experience of automated finishing has been so successful.” 


On behalf of:      PDJ Vibro Ltd, 46 Barton Road, Water Eaton Industrial Estate, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, MK2 3BB.




Issued by:          THE RIGHT IMAGE Ltd

                          PO Box 42, Twickenham, TW1 1BQ

                          Tel: 020 8891 0603

                          Contact: Chris Wright





Release no:        1029(CS)





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