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PMS Diecasting Bowling Night

Sunday, June 15, 2014

PMS Diecasting enjoyed a great night out at Sheffield’s Hollywood bowl.  It was a big thank you to all the staff for working so well last year during the factory move and continuing to deliver better and better results for 2014.  Congratulations to Norman Hadrami with the highest scores on both games.





Yorkshire Bank Event

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PMS Diecasting Ltd hosted the Yorkshire Bank event YB There on 26th March 2014.   Around 40 people attended the event which introduced Company structure and philosophy, diecasting, 3D laser scanning, reverse engineering and GoTools (precision toolmaking)

Johnathan Rigby demonstrating 3D Laser Scanner on the CMM

Christian Panter and Reverse Engineering

Calvin Higginbottom with a tour of diecasting

Andrew Millard showing off his tool


Friday, November 29, 2013

PMS Diecasting are delighted to have won the Cast Metal Federation’s Company of the Year Award on November 21st at the Annual Dinner.

PMS Diecasting Wins UK Company of the Year in the Cast Metals Industry Awards 2013

Progressive, employee owned and highly successful, PMS Diecasting has won Company of the Year 2013 in the UK Cast Metals Industry awards.

A zinc foundry producing a wide range of diecast components, the company has, over the last 18 months, not only moved to much larger premises and set up two new companies to further support their customers, but also continued to grow as a company in both size and profitability.

“PMS Diecasting are an example of a strong, motivationally run foundry with a fully engaged and involved workforce,” said John Parker, Chief Executive of the Cast Metals Federation which organises the awards. “Their commitment to the customer, the staff and the bottom line shows a company at the top of its game.”

“This Award is recognition of the efforts of the whole team here at PMS.” said Gordon Panter, Managing Director. “All our employees are shareholders, we run a strong ongoing investment programme in our staff, and at every stage the workforce fully share, control and are responsible for improving the company, sharing in the profits and benefitting from its mutual success.”

“The development of one of the most advanced laser scanning facilities and a new tooling facility, and the evolution of these into two new standalone businesses, has really helped us to support our customers better and take the company forward,” he concluded.

PMS Diecasting of Rotherham were one of four shortlisted companies in the Company of the Year Award. The other three were Alucast for its massive staff development programme, Eurac Poole for its Apprentice Scheme and new machine shop and start up foundry M. Sutton Non-Ferrous Founders.

See our new factory

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

See the new PMS Factory of the future.  All our Frech machines are equipped with ABB 6 axis robots and work continously around the clock manufacturing over 43 million castings per year from our UK zinc diecasting foundry.

Nikon Press Release

Thursday, August 29, 2013

At PMS Diecasting in Rotherham, UK, products are inspected by non-contact, 3D laser scanning to an accuracy of 2.5 microns, mirroring the precision of touch probing. It has been made possible by the deployment of an LC15Dx laser scanner on an LK ceramic bridge co-ordinate measuring machine supplied by Nikon Metrology. The combination has proved to be the answer to the challenge PMS was facing to bring its products to market faster and reduce development costs.

PMS diecasting LK CMM - LC15Dx

Widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading and best equipped manufacturers of zinc castings, PMS has many high profile customers including returnable transit packaging specialist, Loadhog, window and door hardware supplier, Avocet, and wire joining and tensioning product manufacturer, Gripple, for which PMS makes 36 million castings annually.

The diecaster prides itself on using the most advanced technology and incorporates robotics wherever possible to streamline processes and make them more efficient and cost-effective. Automated part separation, 100 per cent quality control and management control systems ensure consistent quality.

Gordon Panter, managing director of the employee-owned company, said, “To avoid zinc flash forming at the parting line when a mould closes, the maximum allowable tolerance when machining the two die halves is ±10 microns.

“Our optical profile projector and measuring microscope do not have the necessary resolution to inspect to this level of accuracy, but the Nikon equipment does. We considered both laser and white light scanning systems, but decided on the Nikon Metrology LC15Dx, as it was the only solution that could inspect our tooling to the accuracy we wanted.”

Measuring accuracy increased by an order of magnitude

The equipment is easily capable of inspecting tolerances of ±20 microns required on cast parts as well as features down to half that limit on the tooling that produces them. Freeform surfaces as well as geometry can be captured to the same high level of accuracy, 10 times better than previously possible at PMS. As a result, time-to-market for new products has been reduced and development costs are lower.

Mr Panter continued, “Our improved measuring capability led us to become increasingly critical of the tools we were buying in from external suppliers and this led to the decision to start making our own tools to gain control over their accuracy. It resulted in the formation in 2012 of our GoTools subsidiary, which not only produces die casting tools for PMS, but also enables us to reliably design and manufacture plastic injection moulds, forging dies and press tools for other companies.”

Close-up of the Gripple die being scanned
Scanning zinc diecast actuator shaft
The Nikon Metrology LC15Dx scanning a
zinc die cast actuator shaft for a Loadhog handling product
Close-up of the Gripple die being scanned

Customers drive inspection innovation

One of the drivers for PMS investing in the new metrology equipment was an increasing amount of work being carried out for the automotive sector, including Jaguar Land Rover, requiring a higher level of accuracy and repeatability than was needed in the past. The diecaster also intends to target the medical industry, which also demands top precision components.

PMS diecasting LK CMM - LC15Dx

High quality tooling is key to successful die casting. The laser scanner is able to monitor the toolmaking process as it progresses to make sure that the moulds, and hence the cast components, will be within tolerance. Cavities, cores, slides, electrodes, ejector pin plates and other features are inspected individually after they have been machined, along with the jigs and fixtures holding components during manufacture. The approach avoids introducing errors into the tool as it is assembled.

As Mr Panter pointed out, “People usually assume that what comes off a modern CNC machine tool is correct, but often it is not.

“With the Nikon equipment, we know definitively if each part is within tolerance, so our tools are always spot-on and right first time, guaranteeing the precision and quality of our products and those of customers using our tooling.”

Combined use of laser scanning and touch probing

3D scanning is today the default inspection mode at PMS for freeform parts and standard features, while cores and other deep features are measured with a touch probe, which is also used to align components on the granite table prior to inspection. Either the laser scanner or a probe is mounted in a Renishaw PH10M motorised indexing head for maximum flexibility when programming measuring cycles using Nikon Metrology’s multi-sensor CAMIO software platform. It supports laser scanning and touch probe scanning where needed and has highly productive reporting functionality, ideal for ISIR (initial sample inspection report) approval in the automotive industry.

Using Nikon Metrology Focus software, which manages the point clouds acquired during laser scanning, inspection data can be compared against the customer’s original CAD model. Colour deviation analysis shows how the 3D scanned model differs from the nominal CAD file. This provides a detailed insight into form and features, providing many more data points compared to touch probing. The colour map scales can be adjusted to reflect manufacturing tolerances and annotations quantify deviations from nominal at selected areas.

If two or more products are scanned, for example to monitor wear, multiple objects can be compared showing where each differs from the other. Dimensions extracted from sections of the scan model can be correlated with those on an original 2D drawing, creating an instant ISIR report.

Laser scanning creates new possibilities

3D laser scanning at Rotherham has given rise to a further new PMS venture, that of providing a reverse engineering service for local firms. Highly accurate CAD files have already been produced for plastic injection moulders that did not have any digital data to work from, only physical parts, allowing faithful reproduction of the components. Mr Panter was surprised at how many enquiries he received after announcing the service on the PMS website and has decided to open a new reverse engineering division to expand this side of the business.

Die casting manufacture and the new toolmaking and reverse engineering divisions will be consolidated in August 2013 into new premises opposite the company’s existing facility in Rotherham, which will double the available floor area to 2,600 sq m. It will also accommodate the plant and staff of a separate toolmaking company recently purchased by PMS to strengthen its prismatic machining, grinding, spark erosion and general toolmaking capabilities.

First Casting Produced

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dorota Kuptel of PMS Diecasting Ltd produced our first casting in the new factory of the future at Unit 10 Braithwell Way.  The machine was disconnected from Unit 11 on Monday 5th August and on Wednesday 7th August the machine was up and running producing quality product.

Dorota with our first casting in the new factory

The pushbutton product being produced is a highly complex and critical product which is manufactured at the rate of 60,000 per week for our customer Gripple.
Our 4 slide diecasting machine produces these castings as a single impression at a cycle time of 3 seconds.

Employee Ownership Event

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gripple are hosting an Employee Ownership event at their prestigious Old West Gun Works Factory in Sheffield on 4th July. Over 20 employee owned companies are exhibiting so visitors can see the various ways in which employee ownership can be introduced.



July 4th may be Independence Day in the US, however this year it will also be Employee Ownership Open Day at Sheffield-based Gripple, one of the UK’s most successful champions of the business model.
Companies which have not yet embraced the model are invited to The Old West Gun Works where they will be able to learn and understand face to face its proven benefits, while Gripple staff enjoy a free ice cream thanks to their fellow shareholders!
Gripple is hosting the Open Day in support of the first government and Employment Ownership Association (EOA) initiative – National Employee Ownership Day. The Association’s vision is to see 10% of UK GDP produced by employee owned companies by 2020 and this special day aims to raise awareness to a much higher level. The EOA has two UK offices, one based at Gripple’s Sheffield HQ and the company’s chairman, Hugh Facey has been on the Association’s board for a number of years.
During the Open Day visitors will not only have the opportunity to talk to Gripple staff and the other members of the Gripple ‘family’ of employee owned companies – Loadhog and PMS Diecasting – but also representatives from local companies who have already taken the step after recognising the advantages of EO to their companies and employees, including John Lewis, KPMG, Swann Morton, Abacus Design Associates, School Trends, City Health Care Partnership, Walker Morris, Spectrum Community Health, Sheffield Hallam University, TransaveUK, Co-ownership Solutions, Wrigleys and Wicker Pharmacy.
Gripple is so committed to EO, and convinced of its advantages, that the company has recently moved the model on still further by establishing a private employee owned company, GLIDE (Growth Led Innovation Driven Employee Company Limited), which represents all the shareholder members working in its partner companies with an employee elected board of directors speaking for all GLIDE members – the staff.
Speaking about the Open Day, Andy Davies, Gripple’s business development director and chairman of the GLIDE board, said: “The employee owned companies in our region are keen to spread the good news that EO can be of tremendous benefit to their business because staff feels that they own it! We are delighted to open our doors and will welcome anyone who wants to learn and dispel any misconceptions about EO they may have.”
The Open Day runs from 10.00am to 4.00pm in the Old West Gun Works on Savile Street East, Sheffield – look out for the Gripple spider then just pop in to learn about EO!

For further press information please contact Margaret Laver at Proactive PR on 07723 010 752 or or Sam Dowling at EOA on 07944 381 743 or

PMS Diecasting Party

Monday, July 1, 2013

With the new factory move only weeks away PMS Diecasting decided to have warehouse party and hog roast and even managed to secure some nice English weather.

PMS girls getting the party going


Diecasting Party

In fact Dave's shirt was perfect the new colour scheme


Diecasting Party

Ahhh..Ronald and family - not looking too Goth!


Diecasting Party

Same Dave - different shirt. Maybe modelling for the engineering office colours


Diecasting Party

Dawn and daughter Leah haha - thanks for organising


Diecasting Party

Terry doing his 'Bob the Builder'


Diecasting Party

The 'Ice Man' - I'll be back Oskar and family


Diecasting Party

Richard and Luke - no comment !


Diecasting Party

Definately no comment !

Toolmaking Vacancy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

PMS Diecasting Ltd has a vacancy for a CAD / CAM operator and toolmaker.   Due to the continuous introduction of new products and tooling improvements PMS requires additional tooling expertise.

Situated at Hellaby, Rotherham in our new Factory of the Future the successful candidates will have use of all the very latest CNC machine tool technology with the support of a 5 micron accuracy Nikon laser scanner to verify our work.

Please contact Gordon Panter or Andrew Millard for further information on 01709 701901

Foundry Journal

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taking the tension out of supply

A Kanban-style online supplier stock system is helping one diecasting company to keep a grip on its stock control of components for a leading customer, helping them to effectively manage their transport and production schedules.

PMS Diecasting prides itself on what it describes as ‘fluid thinking’ and the Kanban system used to monitor its production supply for Gripple Ltd, a market leader of wire joiners and tensioners for the agriculture and viticulture market and wire rope suspension solutions for the construction market, is proof of the company’s desire to stay abreast with technology.

Kanban systems are widely used to comply with lean manufacturing and just in time production. They are much more than inventory control systems; they are a scheduling system which allows users to determine what to produce, when and in what quantity. The principle inspired Gripple and PMS to come up with the system they currently use to ensure stock levels are never depleted.

PMS Diecasting’s operations director Richard Moore told Foundry Trade Journal: “We have an order commitment for diecast grips from Gripple at the beginning of the year and we keep on top of deliveries thanks to the supplier stock system that has been developed by them. It helps us to hit 99% on time deliveries for them.”

Armed with a log in code and an iPad, Moore demonstrated the simplicity yet ingenuity of the system which is so visual it is hard even for a technophobe to misunderstand. The online system lists the part number, description, the number of parts the customer used on the previous day and the previous seven days, the stock count, the stock days left, quantity required and a comments section. Using colour coding of red (about to run out), amber (reduced levels of stock) and green (ample levels of stock) it is easy to see which parts need replenishing at any given time. The stock controller at Gripple regularly updates the system and PMS monitor it on an on-going basis throughout the day meaning the onus is on them to supply to their customer’s needs.

Other supplier information is also included so they can monitor any problems which may occur although pricing information is not accessible for obvious commercial reasons. Gripple not only benefits from the knowledge that their stocks will always be kept at the required level but there is also no need for them to employ armies of purchase clerks to keep on top of the situation. Gripples are devices used to join and tension wire, and also to terminate and suspend wires and wire ropes, and to support false ceilings, cable baskets, and similar items. Utilising four 20t, four 80t, one 50t and one 125t Frech diecasting machines, PMS Diecasting produce over 36 million zinc die castings annually for Gripple Ltd so maintaining an accurate and reliable stock control system is imperative.

Kevin St Clair, operations manager at Gripple explains what makes PMS such an ideal supplier for them: “We were initially interested in PMS because they were a small local company investing in the best equipment around, and were especially interested in using robotics – they seemed a bit like us. We’ve been working with them now for about five years, and in that time we’ve both gone through real changes. We’ve doubled our turnover and so our requirements of PMS have grown too, and we’ve had to deal with the issues that come from that kind of growth. Now, they represent a win-win situation for us – a high quality product made locally, so we can meet face to face, and enjoy the benefits of regular, quick deliveries through a shared online Kanban system. What we get from them is excellent.”

Invest to be the best

Embracing Kanban and working closely with the customer are just two of the ways in which PMS are demonstrating a culture of continual improvement. Managing director Gordon Panter sums up the company’s attitude: “We very much believe in working in an environment where everyone at the company feels involved. We are a cohesive team,” he said. “All members of staff have shares in the business and the share price is calculated with a formula that is based on profitability. Everything is profit-driven so employees understand the importance of their role.”

With a firm eye on the bottom line, Gordon and the team are committed to investing in the latest equipment and technology to improve production capabilities with the most recent investment being a Nikon 3D laser scanner which is accurate to 2.5 micron. The equipment will be used to test products on and to build tooling.  With quality diecasting machines, six-axis robotics, automated part separation, 100% visual quality control and management control systems, PMS Diecasting is shaping up to be one of the best equipped zinc diecasting facilities in Europe and it now has its sights set on the automotive market.

The right tools for the job

Last year the Rotherham, UK-based company launched a tool making business Go Tools Ltd to manufacture its own high performance tooling and provide tooling options for other companies. This year sees a relocation to new premises over the road giving both PMS and Go Tools an extra 10,000m2 to play with, providing room for further expansion and a dedicated training room, a crucial part of the plans for continual development of employees.

In the past 12 years PMS Diecasting has continually expanded thanks to a progressive attitude and a determination to drive the business forward. It’s clear to see why an internationally successful company like Gripple is keen to keep a grip on a supplier with such high ambitions and capabilities.


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