Dugard was appointed as the UK agent for the South Korean Hanwha brand at the tail end of 2018 and, to ensure its success, the company has invested in a sliding-head specialist to provide product management. The Hanwha range will also be supported by the existing Dugard sales team.
With almost 30 years of experience in manufacturing, Thomson started his engineering career as a machine shop apprentice at a prominent aerospace subcontract company in Essex, during which time he became team leader. Leaving this post in his late 20s, Thomson has since cut his teeth in technical sales and account management by working at machine tool and cutting tool manufacturers. With much of this period spent at a prominent sliding-head lathe manufacturer, he is well positioned to give the Hanwha brand a foothold in this niche industry segment.
Thomson says: “When this opportunity came along, it was too good to refuse. The opportunity to join a company like Dugard and disrupt the market with a completely new brand is really exciting. I thrive on the challenge of selling the technical features and benefits to end users and, with Hanwha, we have a genuinely market-disrupting brand.
“The Hanwha sliding-head turning range has the technical attributes to compete with leading brands, while offering a significantly more attractive price-point,” he continues. “The machines are available with a FANUC or Siemens CNC, and Hanwha has worked closely with Siemens to enhance both the drives and controls of the range. This means that a Siemens-controlled Hanwha can provide 23 kW of power on both the main and sub-spindle. Such a rating is unparalleled in the sliding-head market, and will put the Hanwha machines in a different league when targeting the fixed-head lathe market. Likewise, this power is ideal for manufacturers that demand high material removal rates on challenging materials.
“Another salient point about the Hanwha is that it is the only siding-head brand that has a true 42 mm diameter capacity guide-bush offering. When removing the guide bush, machine capacity reaches 45 mm, far exceeding that of competitor machines. With more power and greater capacity, the future of the sliding-head industry in the UK is destined to be very interesting.”