The relationship with US-headquartered Engis brings high volume machines to the Cheltenham-based company’s portfolio, managing director Martin Elliott told Machinery at MACH 2016; Delapena’s own machines are medium volume production units.

For the UK, Engis tooling will continue to be supplied by Henley-on-Thames, Oxon-based Engis, with Delapena supplying the UK on the machine side. In the case of Europe, Delapena will supply both machines and tooling. Engis Corporation in the USA sells Delapena technology.

Engis machines run from those able to machine bores from 1.5 to 150 mm in diameter, with Delapena machines so far having gone up to 900 mm. Delapena has already sold its first Engis machine; a fully automated unit, incorporating gauging, for turbo bearing manufacture at the rate of 1 million parts/year.

As for Cumi, the UK honing specialist has had a business relationship with the Indian firm for some five years, allowing Cumi to make Delapena machines under licence. Delapena has for some two years now been representing Cumi’s offering in the UK and Europe. It is the first time that Cumi has had direct representation in these markets, says Elliott.

Internal and external cylindrical grinders, as well as rotary units, plus abrasives form part of its portfolio, with a particular speciality being machines to help produce tooling for the production of rebar (steel reinforcement bars for reinforcing concrete).

The Indian company’s machines have a German heritage, while its abrasive products have roots in Carborundum and Universal brands - CUMI was founded in 1954 as a tripartite collaboration between India’s Murugappa Group, The Carborundum Co USA and the UK’s Universal Grinding Wheel Co.

Delapena’s subcontract honing service offers an interim solution to a machine tool purchase, Elliott explains, offering this example: “We have a project with an F1 company where for the first season it will subcontract but by the end of the first season will have a risk-free solution that it can adopt in-house.”

More broadly, the growing UK automotive sector has been a major driver in company growth, he adds, with this focused more on the development, manufacture and service of honing tools than machine sales. In a recent case, development over three years has seen Delapena deliver hone tool life improvements of 40%, Elliott underlines. And he points to a predicted growth in UK car output of 20% by 2020, which will boost tooling revenue still further; UK car production is already at the level it was at in the 1970s’ heydays, he underlined.

The company’s turnover grew by 20% during the last 12 months, with the managing director predicting a doubling of the company’s turnover in two years. Currently about half of this is derived from export.

Delapena’s in-depth tooling, machine and process expertise relating to the production of parts having demanding hole and shaft requirements are what underpin its success, says group chairman David Arthur, who bought what was then a troubled honing technology company 10 years ago this year.