ELE wins aerospace supply chain development award

Lancashire precision engineering company ELE Advanced Technologies will expand its activities in the aerospace supply chain after having been awarded £1.2 million in funding over four years by the UK government’s industry-led Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme for the aerospace supply chain. The grant will cover additional staff training, and will provide the company with long-term coaching, mentoring and training across all areas of its business.

Formerly Earby Light Engineers, the company was renamed ELE in 2000 after a management buyout. It is a leading specialist in machining safety critical components for gas turbines, using processes such as VIPER grinding, creep-feed grinding, laser drilling, capillary drilling, electro-chemical machining, electric discharge machining and fast hole drilling. Leading aerospace and power generation industries are among its customers, including Rolls-Royce, Siemens, GE Avio, Alstom and MAN Diesel & Turbo. ELE is also a major supplier of components to the automotive turbocharger sector from its Slovakian plant.

Accredited to AS 9001 and TS16949 quality management standards and a member of the North West Aerospace Alliance, ELE has expanded significantly in recent years. It has spent £5 million since 2009 on new production equipment to enhance its capability and capacity. At its main factory in Colne, which employs 110 people, ELE made its biggest single investment of £2 million in a robotically loaded, 5-axis Makino VIPER grinding cell. It was commissioned in 2012 for large capacity, high efficiency machining of nickel alloy turbine blades and nozzle guide vanes.

Another development at ELE is the appointment of two new members to the Board. David Dudley returned in July 2014 as technical director after a short absence at another company and Barry Pratt was appointed sales director in November. In addition, Peter Palij has taken up the position of commercial director.