Tooling & workholding | Focus technical excellence

Present and future thinking

Cutting tool and workholding company Ceratizit UK & Ireland continues to grow the business and has future plans to expand its offering.

Ceratizit UK & Ireland continues to go from strength to strength in the UK and Ireland, powered by its new 5,000 square foot Technical Centre on Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Park that was opened in 2021 to provide support to manufacturing companies with their machining processes.

Managing director Tony Pennington explains that the success of the business is primarily centred around three central pillars – the extensive product range, expertise of the engineering team that covers all corners of the UK and Ireland and the express delivery service that it offers for its products.
He explains: “Ceratizit is best-known for our catalogue. We have 100,000 cutting tools in total and 60,000 of which are in that catalogue. We have got a team of 68 people in the UK and Ireland, of which 41 are time-served engineers who are supporting customers day in, day out. Thirdly, there is our guaranteed same day dispatch on products and our express delivery next day.”

The Technical Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield sits right next door to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), while the likes of Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, BAE Systems, Nikken Europe, Castings Technology International (Cti) and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) are also located on the ever-growing manufacturing park.

Ceratizit UK & Ireland has been operating a Technical Centre for more than 10 years, but Pennington notes that the latest investment it made a few years ago, has significantly increased its capabilities and ability to provide more enhanced support to its customers.

Savings and support

The Technical Centre offers the range of Ceratizit cutting tool and workholding products from the four brands of Ceratizit, Komet, WNT and Klenk, for use on a wide range on nine machine tools. New Ceratizit machining techniques are demonstrated along with innovative new cutting tool technology.
These machines range from simultaneous 5-axis machining capability with the UMC-5X machining centre from XYZ Machine Tools, a Yamazaki Mazak Integrex I250H multi-tasking machine and, sliding head technology with a SR-20JII B from Star Micronics GB – along with a variety of XYZ vertical machining and turning centres, mills and lathes.

Technical manager for UK & Ireland Shaun Thornton explains: “At the Technical Centre, we have a team of three time-served engineers who work on projects, customer training, customer demonstrations, process optimisation for customer components, product testing and lots of other things.”
He notes that one of the principal functions is working on customer component projects – from drawing to final proposal – with the entire process optimised for maximum productivity when taken back to their own premises.

Ceratizit engineers help to bring project visions to life for a range of different applications across sectors and help develop machining strategies for customers from a wide range of industries. This frees up the in-house capacity of machine shops so they can focus on maximising productivity.
Thornton says: “From a full project a customer could expect a drawing to a final approval with all the supporting documentation. I like to think we are an extra level of support for customers and through our team of field sales engineers, we can offer cost savings for customers that basically make the customer’s lives easier.”

Ceratizit’s skilled engineers also collaborate with customers on cutting tool application training, ensuring that they are fully versed and able to operate the tools that they acquire for the different machining applications they are running.
The engineering team also work to optimise the tooling with process optimisation, while new product testing and developments are also carried out at the Technical Centre by the team of engineers.

Future plans

Another key part of the Ceratizit service in the UK & Ireland is its cutting tool vending machines – the TOM 80 and TOM 840 – that it provides to customers. They give customers the ability to have 24/7 tool access and full control and traceability of their cutting tools, helping them to manage their costs and operations more efficiently.
This area of the business is vital part of the company’s turnover and it now has hundreds in operation across the UK and Ireland that it services through a dedicated team of customer service engineers.

Ceratizit UK & Ireland is certainly not finished with its growth and development as it has plans to further improve its technical offering, service and support that it provides to existing and future customers.
Pennington explains: “The future of the Technical Centre is very exciting. In December 2026, we will bring all three current, separate buildings all under one roof on the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

“This will bring the whole of our team together. Currently, we have one main sales office (in Sheffield), secondly, we have the Technical Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Park and we have a third location (also in Sheffield), where we manage and administer all of our vending machines.
“These three buildings will all come under one roof in December 2026 that will enable us to further improve our support to customers, as we can increase the number of machines we have got and the amount of machine capability we have to look at bigger projects for customers. It will also enable us to look at other opportunities that can further enhance our support to customers.”

Ceratizit launches new PolyClamp Verso for simple and precise clamping solutions

Ceratizit understands the need for flexible part clamping solutions, particularly when loading multi-axis machines with a wide variety of workpieces. Already offering a comprehensive range of clamping solutions, their new PolyClamp Verso enables machinists to overcome even the trickiest of loading scenarios.
Situations which require both small and large batch sizes of different materials to be machined greatly benefit from clamping systems which have some flexibility in how they can be used. All these issues are solved, however, with Ceratizit’s PolyClamp Verso.

Christoph Retter, product Manager for Workpiece Clamping at Ceratizit explains: “Productivity can frequently be increased by at least 30% simply through workpiece handling during clamping and flexible retooling of the clamping technology, and in individual cases this increase can even rise as high as 90%.”

As a standardised clamp, which can be used in a wide variety of loading scenarios, the PolyClamp Verso ensures that the user benefits from a simple and efficient solution, as well as saving on procurement and storage costs which come from having different clamps for different scenarios.
The PolyClamp Verso is particularly effective for use in 3-4 or 5-axis machines where it can easily clamp all part variants. However, with base rails that can be combined to connecting elements and 24 variants of clamping jaws, there are no limits to what this model can be adapted to.

Retter further explains that this model’s new design means that “even more jaws can now be clamped per base rail, meaning that more, larger unmachined, or finished parts can also be clamped”.
The measurement scales, which are lasered onto the centric vice, offer further benefits when it comes to handling the PolyClamp Verso, as this allows the jaws to be positioned with speed, and accuracy on the rail.

Ceratizit’s PolyClap Verso is also equipped with a quick jaw change system. This means with the use of just two screws the fixed and adjustable jaws can be released, moved upwards or repositioned. The model’s design, which allows one jaw to be removed without dismantling the other, massively reduced setup times and ensures a speedy, accurate and simple machining process.