New manufacturing investment underscores Ricardo advanced transmissions leadership

The commissioning of a state-of-the-art £500k Gleason GP300ES Gear Shaping Machine marks a key milestone in a strategic multi-year investment programme that aims to consolidate Ricardo’s position as the transmission design and manufacturing partner of choice for worldwide premium motorsports and supercar customers.

The new GP300ES gear shaping machine was formally commissioned today. This highly advanced manufacturing centre incorporates a totally new shaping head featuring a backlash-free direct drive for the cutter spindle. With the appropriate software, additional generating cutter rotational motion required for helical gears can be superimposed electronically on the spindle rotation, making it ideally suited for the manufacture of some of the most advanced transmissions systems demanded for motorsport and high-performance supercars.

Ricardo’s strategic investment in its manufacturing capability extents much further than the introduction of new machining centres and their associated production management systems. With over 10,000 process steps active within the manufacturing operation at any one time, the company has also invested in new planning and scheduling software which was rolled out at the start of 2018. These and other investments aim to drive efficiency and quality benefits for the company’s advanced transmissions customers, including famous luxury, performance and motorsports marques such as Porsche, BMW, Aston Martin, Bugatti, McLaren, Bentley and Ford. 

Commenting on the acquisition of the new gear shaping system and the wider strategic manufacturing investment programme, Ricardo Performance Products MD Mark Barge said: “The commissioning of our new state-of-the-art gear shaping machine is the latest milestone in our strategic development of our performance manufacturing business. Ricardo is one of the few premium transmission manufactures to be able to offer a fully integrated manufacturing and engineering capability, from concept design to in-house manufacture and heat treatment. Through our continued investments we are ensuring that our facilities and engineering capability continues to meet and exceed the most exacting standards required by our global customers both today and into the future.”