Manufacturer of bespoke nameplates, labels and signs

Rudd Macnamara Acquires KEYENCE Measurement System, Improves Quality


Rudd Macnamara has acquired a new KEYENCE IM-7000 measuring system recently. Based in Handsworth, in the heart of the United Kingdom's industrial area, Rudd Macnamara was established by Ernest Rudd in 1890 as an engraving company; today, Rudd Macnamara is a diverse manufacturing organisation centred on print.

“We have a very wide range of in-house processes and we take pride in being able to offer our customers innovative solutions they might have been unable to find elsewhere” explained Graham Caunce, Managing Director at Rudd Macnamara. “Two of the most important markets we serve are the brewery & drinks sector where we manufacture bespoke font branding, beer pump clips, and bar signs; and in the aerospace sector where we manufacture nameplates and labels used on equipment that is incorporated into aircraft, and also branding decals for aircraft exteriors.”

Precise Needs

Rudd Macnamara management identified a need for more precise measuring equipment as a direct result of end users’ complex requirements. “Dimensional integrity of our nameplates is critical to our business” continues Caunce. “Most of the nameplates we make are in anodised aluminium or stainless steel manufactured using a variety of processing techniques resulting in some level of variability that needs to be controlled and eliminated.”

The Midlands specialist has been manufacturing these parts for many years. However, it became of the utmost importance to improve assurance processes according to Graham Caunce. “We started looking not only at digital optical measuring solutions but also at our internal manufacturing processes to reduce variability which includes hard tooling.”

Consistency and Tolerances

Being able to guarantee parts were consistently within tolerance was crucial to Rudd Macnamara’s future success. With that in mind, company management took a closer look at tooling. “We felt that to achieve the tolerances required on a consistent basis some of the processes employed needed to be replaced by blanking and piercing tools as well as CNC processing where possible” says Caunce.

Staff also needed a quick way of checking that what they were manufacturing was in line with the supplied drawing. This is where the investment in the KEYENCE IM-7000 machine proved especially helpful. According to the managing director, the best word to describe how the KEYENCE measurement system has helped Rudd Macnamara is ‘assurance’.

Quality Assurance

It is now possible to quickly check a large number of parts and identify any rejects. Rudd Macnamara’s personnel know that what is supplied is correct, in line with drawing and within tolerance. Moreover, where the KEYENCE machine identifies a high number of rejects, staff are able to review the route to manufacture and quickly identify any improvements that are required.

“We looked at other machines. But we found the KEYENCE IM-7000 system was quick to programme and even quicker to use” analysed Caunce. “Up to 100 parts can be checked in a few minutes, however we find it is best to load the bed with some 10 parts; that makes it is easy to keep track of the good parts and identify any rejects. We can also identify and measure print whereas competitive machines could not.”

Since Rudd Macnamara introduced this new measurement machine, internal reject rates have improved. “That can only help the bottom line” concludes the company’s managing director.