Having already completed an intensive initial training programme to get up to speed with Vericut, he will continue to learn and gain experience of what is claimed to be the world’s leading independent machine tool simulation and cutting process optimisation software.

Watson has already visited several CGTech customers along with more experience company staff. At one end of the engineering scale, a trip to Babcock Rosyth, home to one of the largest waterside manufacturing and repair facilities in the UK, provided an eye-opener with the scale of the large machine tools being used. At the other end of the precision spectrum was a visit to two of the UK’s Formula One teams, Mercedes-AMG and Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Based in Brechin, Scotland, Mark Watson will provide day-to-day technical support for Vericut users operating in a diverse range of manufacturing industry sectors. Here, his previous engineering experience will be invaluable. As a time-served apprentice qualified to SVQ Level III in CNC Machining, he has hands-on experience of some of the most difficult machining challenges faced by workshops across the country.

“During my apprenticeship I worked for Brechin-based Kelman Engineering producing, amongst other parts, rolling stock wheelsets or ‘bogies’ for railway vehicles,” explains Watson. “From here I moved to Kestrel Engineering, a subcontract engineering business based in the North of Aberdeen, specialising in oilfield equipment.”

As a newly qualified CNC programmer, he started off with simple parts, but this progressed with experience as he gained both machining skills and CADCAM knowledge, programming part models in Inventor and creating CAM programs using Vero EdgeCAM.

He continues: “The role became end-to-end from programming the parts, setting up and proving the jobs out, running the machine and self-inspecting to ensure the specified tolerances and finishes were being achieved.”

As a subcontract workshop, Kestrel Engineering produces a wide variety of components for several industry sectors. However, it was oilfield equipment, mostly consisting of downhole tools such as tubulars, wellbore clean-up tools, valves and crane fabrications, as well as R&D work. “Materials ranged from straightforward, free-cutting aluminium to 4140 high tensile steel for aggressive gaseous environments, Super Duplex stainless steel, Inconel 718, as well as Hardox 600 for a non-oilfield application. The latter being extremely challenging at around 57 HRc,” Watson adds.

He was also responsible for all cutting tools across the prismatic machining side of the business, in both metric and imperial, to suit the various customer requirements. All of this experience and being part of a small team that had to address the complex challenges that customers from various industries would approach the business have added to his skill-set.

Concludes Watson: “This is a great challenge for me, the software is very powerful and performs its goals exceptionally well, and I look forward to providing worthy support for existing and new Vericut users in every industry sector.”