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Northampton MP Meets Our Engineering Apprentice

In the last 12 months, Tom Bennett and his son, Rob, have advanced significantly their subcontract business, Scot Bennett Engineering Limited, partly by installing modern CNC turning plant including a Star SR-20J sliding-headstock mill-turn centre. At the same time, they sold off their final six single-spindle cam automatics.

The Northampton company also purchased a new Mori Seiki DuraVertical 5060 machining centre to strengthen its prismatic machining capability and capacity. To help prepare between 60 and 100 machining set-ups per week, traditional job cards are soon to be replaced by production software from Tricorn Systems in another significant investment by the subcontractor.

Headcount has also increased in the past year by 20 per cent to 12 people, one of whom is apprentice, Rob Davis. He started in April 2011 and from next September will study part-time for an advanced apprenticeship in manufacturing at Northampton College, where he will work towards an NVQ Level 3.

Local MP for Northampton North, Michael Ellis, met Rob last Friday, 24th June, when he made an unofficial visit in to see the subcontractor. Mr Ellis has been advising the company lately in connection with local issues, not least the possibility of Northampton becoming an enterprise zone.

He commented, "I am delighted that such a relatively small manufacturing company should decide to train a member of staff, rather than employ an experienced setter-operator.

"It is testament to Tom and Rob's commitment not just to their own company, but to UK manufacturing as a whole.

"I know that they also participate in the Work Experience programme, run by Connexions Northamptonshire, in which students aged between 15 and 16 get the opportunity to spend one or two weeks working in an active engineering environment.

"95 per cent of people in Northampton are employed by small and medium sized companies like Scot Bennett Engineering. Such businesses are the backbone of our country’s economy and it is imperative that we focus our efforts on improving the manufacturing sector. With the expertise of enterprising firms such as Scot Bennett Engineering, this will become a reality.”

Founded by Tom Bennett in 1974 after 24 years in Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), the subcontract business was joined in the early 90s by Rob, following a 15-year career as an engineer in the Royal Navy, Submarine Service.

Today, the company manufactures small and large batches of components in short lead-times for about 60 customers in the hydraulic, agricultural, catering and dental sectors. It also regularly works as third-tier supplier to the aerospace and automotive industries.

As for the future, Scot Bennett Engineering is planning to look for a more modern, purpose built manufacturing facility to continue its development as a high technology subcontract machining company.

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