Advanced Engineering 2016 - National Exhibition Centre, 02 - 03 November 2016

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Altec Engineering Group

Altec Engineering Group

Stand B10

Contact details

DH65PF Durham
United Kingdom

The Altec Engineering Group comprises of companies with complimentary skills and services, which when combined provide unparalleled engineering expertise to our customers. We operate to the highest standards in every aspect of our business ensuring that we meet our contractual, equal opportunities and environmental obligations.


  • ECU Assembly System

    This automated machine follows a number of previous systems built by Altec for the same customer, and is used to perform a series of assembly and verification tasks on an ECU component.
    The sequence begins with the operator placing a plastic moulded box and populated PCB to the first station on the rotary indexing machine. As the parts are being loaded, the 2D data matrix label on the PCB is scanned and the information stored within the PLC data memory. This information is then picked up via a PC interfaced with the customer traceability system to keep track of the parts as they are assembled. The data is transferred around each station, with the prior step information added for each operation, to ensure the customer has full traceability of each part at any point during the assembly. This feature allows the customer to store process specific data with the 2D matrix code, for future reference.
    The operator then loads the lid and presses the start button, initiating a machine vision system operation to verify the presence and correct orientation of the box and lid, before the machine indexes to the first of the automated stations. This, and the subsequent station within the machine, are each used to insert screws, automatically fed from vibratory bowl feeders to the Weber drivers, which check the torque and insertion height as they are being inserted.
    At the following station a new “Product & Assembly” number is obtained via an Ethernet connection to the customers traceability system and this information is then Laser Engraved in the form of a 2D data matrix code to the assembly.
    A further index of the machine presents the assembly to a scanner which reads and verifies the 2D data matrix code before the finished assembly is presented to the operator for unloading.
    ALTEC System Configuration

    Rigid steel fabricated machine base framework

    Fibro Rotary indexing table system

    ROFIN laser marking system

    Cognex Machine vision and Keyence 2D matrix scanning systems

    Weber Automated screw-driving systems, including screw feeding systems and integrated Z axis

    Servo operated linear drive units to allow automatic X-Y re-positioning of screw drivers for other variants

    Omron PLC based machine control system

    Quick change fixturing for multiple variants

  • Automotive Cam Assembly

    Altec operates across diverse markets, including the
    Automotive sector, where we work with both the OEM’s
    and Tier 1 & 2 suppliers. This case study showcases
    Altec’s capabilities in robot and system integration
    within an OEM’s Automotive plant. The Altec system
    comprises of 2 operational stations, linked by a roller
    transfer system plus a KUKA robot & Bosch Rexroth
    nut drivers, all of which is enclosed within perimeter
    safety guarding, incorporating an operator access
    aperture protected by a light guard.
    At the first station, the cylinder head is manually loaded
    onto a base plate, before being located & locked
    into position on the fixture. A guide plate is placed
    onto the cylinder head, then 6 dowel pins are located
    and pressed home using a pneumatic hammer tool.
    Sensors located on the guide plate are used to detect
    that the dowels are fully inserted before the cylinder
    head is released.
    Within the second station, the cylinder head is located
    on a transfer table where the operator can locate a
    guide plate to the cylinder head, to allow the correct
    placement of Cam Bracket and Bolts. Sensors are
    used to ensure that the correct bracket is fitted for the
    variant being processed and the table then transfers
    the cylinder head into the guarded robot cell.
    Within this cell the KUKA KR16 robot incorporates 2
    torquing spindles. The robot
    positions the spindles over
    the cylinder head and the
    tightening operations are
    then initiated. The bolts are
    tightened in pairs and in a
    pre-determined sequence, to
    a mid-torque point to ensure
    seating and location before
    being finally tightened to the
    final torque requirements. The
    cylinder head is then returned
    to the operator.
    ALTEC System Configuration
    • Rigid steel fabricated machine bases at each station
    • Roller transfer conveyor system
    • Station tooling & fixturing
    • Integration of KUKA KR16 robot and Bosch Rexroth Nut
    • System perimeter safety guarding, plus light guards
    • Siemens S7 300 PLC control

  • Robot Gluing Cell

    Automation is no longer just the mainstay of manufacturing as more and more of our daily routines and tasks are assisted by computers or automation in some form or other.
    The once tedious task of mowing the lawn can now be performed automatically using one the many robotic lawn mowers now available on the market today. However, even robotic mowers require assistance from automation during their manufacture, as this Robot Gluing Cell produced by Altec Engineering’s demonstrates.
    The Altec system is designed to automatically dispense adhesive onto a rubber “Bumper Strip” which in turn is assembled to one of the main plastic mouldings that makes up the outer body housing of a leading make of robotic lawn mower.
    The gluing cell operates in a semi-automated manner, with an operator priming the system with the rubber strip and main moulding. The 2 parts are secured in precision machined profile nests, with the plastic moulding held in the upper half of the fixture and the rubber strip in the lower part.
    A FANUC LR mate 6 axis robot is used to manipulate an adhesive dispensing nozzle around the profile of the rubber strip, ensuring consistency in the quantity of adhesive and repeatable positioning of the adhesive profile on the part. With the gluing operation completed, the lower half of the fixture is automatically raised to attach the rubber strip to the main moulding and the fixture remains closed for a short time to allow the adhesive to cure. The fixture then opens, allowing the operator to remove the finished assembly.
    The stand-alone cell is built upon a robust steel fabricated base frame and controlled using a PLC based system. Double guard doors are used to protect the operator during the robot cycle.
    ALTEC System Configuration

    Rigid steel fabricated machine base framework

    FANUC LR mate 6 axis robot system

    Altec designed and manufactured station tooling & fixturing

    Loctite adhesive dispensing system

    System perimeter safety guarding with double access doors

    PLC based system control

  • Ball Bearing Insertion System

    The challenges for Altec on this project included inserting ball bearings into a ball carrier and feeding the assembled carriage into an outer rail assembly to complete the process.
    The machine was built upon a robust steel fabricated framework with a steel base plate and an aluminium extrusion upper guard frame with clear polycarbonate panels. The machines electrical control and pneumatic components were housed in a cabinet at the rear of the framework.
    The operation of the system begins with a ball track being fed into the left hand side of the machine and an outer rail carriage pneumatically clamped within the right hand side of the system. The track is then also clamped pneumatically and pitched / indexed through the machine. As the track passes through the machine, ball bearings are fed from a hopper and inserted into the track. This sub assembly is then progressively assembled into the outer rail carriage at the output side of the machine.
    All components are checked for part presence using a combination of sensors at all stages of the assembly process. Once again, the comprehensive range of skills within the company which include: machine design, control and software design, machine building and development and project management, allowed Altec to provide a turnkey solution for the customer.
    ALTEC System Configuration

    Rigid steel fabricated machine base framework

    Allen Bradley PLC control system

    Track indexing / pitching system

    Hopper feed system for ball bearings

    Machine safety guarding
    Ball Bearing Insertion System
    Ball Bearing

  • Windscreen Assembly System

    The latest special purpose systems built by Altec
    clearly demonstrate the diversity of concepts and
    applications where we apply our expertise.
    The machine shown here is one of a pair, designed
    in conjunction with CARV Design, and built by Altec
    to perform a series of assembly and inspection
    operations on car windscreens. The system is designed
    to produce a range of component variants and uses
    interchangeable fixturing, which is coded to allow
    automatic selection of the correct machine programme
    and sequences.
    The individual components, which include rain sensors,
    perimeter trim, brackets and clips, are manually loaded
    to the assembly fixtures by the operator. The glass is
    then also loaded and the automated sequences begin
    when the operator presses a two handed start system.
    The machine uses a series of sensors and a Keyence
    vision system to check alignment and the presence of
    all required components before Siemens servo systems
    position the brackets to match the glass orientation.
    With everything checked and in position, the system
    initiates the Dukane ultrasonic welding sequence.
    This project demonstrates the comprehensive range
    of skills within the company which include: machine,
    control and software design, machine building and
    development, welding process knowledge and project
    ALTEC System Configuration
    • Rigid steel fabricated machine base framework
    • Keyence machine vision system
    • Dukane ultrasonic welding system
    • Siemens servo drive systems
    • Siemens based machine control system
    • Quick change fixturing for multiple variants

  • Robot M.I.G Welding Application

    As a supplier of special purpose equipment, you can
    never be sure which technologies you will be required
    to integrate within the next project.
    In this case it was a combination of a 6 axis robot and
    a M.I.G welding system. These technologies were
    complimented by our toolmaking, fixture design and
    manufacturing skills, to bring together the key elements
    of this robot welding cell.
    The system is manually loaded and once the parts
    are in position, the robot completes a series of welds,
    joining 2 reinforcing brackets to a front sub-frame, for
    the Ford Fiesta ST Model.
    Once the reinforcing brackets have been initially tack
    welded in position, their securing clamps automatically
    open to provide additional access for the weld
    torch, enabling the full welds to be completed. Each
    reinforcing bracket is secured to the sub-frame by 2
    ALTEC Engineering Limited took turnkey supply and
    build responsibility for this project, providing the
    benefits of a single point of contact for the end user.
    This project demonstrates the comprehensive range
    of skills within the company which include: machine,
    control and software design, machine building and
    development, welding process knowledge and project
    ALTEC System Configuration
    • 6 Axis Yaskawa DX MA1400 Robot System
    • Binzel M.I.G Welding
    • Robot & Weld Set Mounting
    • Component Fixturing
    • Safety Guarding System
    • Robot Programming

  • Infra-Red Welding System

    When asked to develop a flexible, precision joining system for a range of plastic filter components, Altec selected Infra Red Welding as the preferred joining technology based upon its attributes of speed, energy efficiency and non-contact operation.
    The products assembled and joined by this Altec system are a range of liquid filter cartridges, used extensively within the pharmaceutical, beverage, ultrapure water and fine chemical industries.
    These demanding applications require that each unit is assembled and joined in a precision manner to achieve a hermetic seal. The Altec system has the capability to handle a wide range of filter lengths (up to 1,000mm) as well as varying diameters. The production solution is not only flexible but allows quick and easy change over between the different part types.
    The Infra-Red welding process is faster and more energy efficient than alternative hot plate welding. Also, heating takes place without any physical contact with the part or tooling and the heat energy can be accurately controlled and focused exactly where it is needed, on the weld joint area.
    The components to be joined are loaded into the machine fixtures before the infrared heating elements, each of which incorporates multiple lamps, move into position and the heating cycle commences. The machine control system enables individual control of each lamp, allowing fine-tuning of the temperature across the different zones.
    ALTEC Engineering Limited took turnkey responsibility for this project, providing the benefits of a single point of contact for the end user. This project demonstrates the comprehensive range of skills within the company which include: machine, control and software design, machine building and development and project management.
    ALTEC System Configuration

    Flexible system - produces a range of part variants up to 1,000mm in length and varying diameters

    Quick change tooling maximises productivity

    Fast & efficient Infra-Red welding process

    Control of individual lamps allows fine tuning of the temperature in different zones

    Servo press systems guarantee accurate and repeatable dimensional tolerances

Product news

  • Quick Hydraulics Targets Yorkshire in Expansion

    Quick Hydraulics has revealed plans to set up an operation in Bradford. The venture will provide hydraulic services and repairs and create eight jobs. This move is further proof of the North Shields company’s resurgence after it was bought nine months ago by the Altec Engineering Group.

    Earlier this year, Quick revealed their aim to create up to ten jobs by moving into Teesside to improve customer relationships and Managing Director Andrew Esson, said the Yorkshire endeavour will provide the same benefits.

    Quick Hydraulics, which works with companies including Sunderland car maker Nissan, Hartlepool Power Station, and Caterpillar, known for manufacturing articulated trucks, will open as part of Altec Engineering Group company Sigma Technologies’s 21,000sq ft facility on Bradford’s Euroway Industrial Estate.

    Andrew Esson said: “We have been helping industry in the North-East keep their hydraulic equipment running for more than 30 years, and training our customer’s engineers for more than 20 years. The investment in this new facility on the Euroway estate is a perfect opportunity for us to bring our high-quality hydraulic work to Yorkshire and the Humber.”

  • Sigma Set For Growth with New Facility

    As part of its strategy for growth, and following further investment from parent Altec Engineering Group, Sigma Technologies has re-located to a new state of the art 22,000 sqft manufacturing facility.

    The new facility, conveniently located close to the M62 Motorway, has double the manufacturing floor-space of the company’s original Shipley factory, and will allow Sigma to pursue its growth objectives within current and new market sectors.

    Sigma’s core business is sub-contract machining of parts in a diverse range of materials. The company embraces a pro-active approach to managing the supply chain and accepting responsibility for processes such as welding, specialist coatings and kitting of parts. Additional investment has been made in a soon to be delivered rotary carousel system to provide storage for finished components and service JIT delivery scheduling for major customers.

    Sigma’s General Manager Andrew Millington commented: “This new facility provides the launch-pad for our planned growth and expansion into new market sectors. Being centrally located and close to the M62 and M1 motorway networks also provides easy access to customers across the UK.”

    In addition to the recent move, Sigma has also embarked upon an aggressive 5S programme and has invested in ProgressPlus production management software to enhance communication with both customers and suppliers and to streamline processes.

    Andrew Millington continues: “ProgressPlus provides us with more enhanced and in-depth traceability functions for both our quality department and day to day operations team, to locate information more freely from one source within the system instead of pulling numerous resources together to achieve the same solution. It will allow us to generate and create a variety of reports to monitor performance across many key indicators from delivery to efficiencies from machines and personnel.”

  • Sigma Technologies Re-Locate to New Facility

    Altec Engineering Group company Sigma Technologies is currently in the process of moving to new premesis in Bradford.

    Located adjacent to the M606 Motorway, and only a few minutes from the M62 trans-pennine route, this new facility is ideally situated and provides the additional floorspace required for further expansion.

    Also taking advantage of this new facility is Altec Engineering Group company Quick Hydraulics who will use this site as a springboard into Yorkshire with a shared office.

    Look out for more information on Sigma and their new facility, once the move is complete.

  • Altec Engineering Group on the Acquisition Trail

    Altec Engineering Group announced today the acquisition of Newton Aycliffe-based Hydrofit Alliance.

    Alastair Waite, CEO of Altec Engineering, said: ‘Having acquired Quick Hydraulics last October, this was an excellent opportunity to do something really transformational within the hydraulics sector. “Quick Hydraulics and Hydrofit both have excellent reputations and their strengths are highly complementary to each other, and to the wider Altec Group. The expanded Altec hydraulics division immediately becomes the largest specialist hydraulic engineering business within Yorkshire and the North East.”

  • New Appointment Strengthens Altec Engineering Group's Aerospace Strategy

    Altec Engineering Group’s Aerospace sector strategy has received a significant boost with the recruitment of industry expert Chris Melrose.

    Introduced to Altec through their links with BGF, Chris brings extensive experience of the Aerospace sector from his previous roles as Managing Director of a General Electric joint venture and a VP of Bombardier Aerospace (Short Bros). Chris also sits on the Council and various committees of ADS, the Aerospace, Defence and Security trade association and has particular expert knowledge of the engineering, defence, nuclear and aerospace industries.

    Chris will work closely with Altec’s Group Business Development Director Paul Lackenby to reinforce the Group’s strategy for growth within the Aerospace sector, with a specific focus on the CNC Precision Machined Components manufactured by the Group’s CNC Division and the Specialist Coatings capability also offered by the company.

  • Altec Engineering Group Commits to the Next Generation by Joining the 5% Club

    Durham based Altec Engineering Group has showcased its commitment to the next generation by joining The 5% Club, an industry led initiative focussed on driving momentum into the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students.

    The campaign was initiated by defence technology company QinetiQ with an aim to get the UK’s public and private companies to commit to raising the number of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates on formal programmes to 5% of their total workforce within five years.

    The aim of the campaign is to tackle both the chronic skills shortage and youth unemployment in Britain and help the country remain at the forefront of innovation. It also asks members to publicly report their progress in their Annual Report.

    Membership of the 5% Club reinforces Altec’s already strong commitment to apprenticeship recruitment and training. Currently, an impressive 10% of the Group's 150 strong workforce are in various stages of apprenticeship training, either in-house or with local further education colleges and universities.

    Altec Engineering CEO Alastair Waite comments: “We are delighted to be part of an organisation which recognises the benefits which formal apprentice training can bring to both individuals and the business which employs them.” Waite continues: “Apprentices make a significant contribution to our business, not only from the work they do whilst they are training, but also in the stability they provide for the company as we look to the future. Bringing our own engineers up through the ranks allows us to be completely confident that we will continue to have the necessary skills and resource to maintain growth within both our current and new market segments.”

    Dr Sam Healy, Programme Director of The 5% Club said, “We’re delighted to welcome Altec to the initiative. The company’s existing efforts to invest in the next generation are greatly welcomed and together we can strive towards a brighter future for young people in Britain.”

  • Altec Embrace 5S Technology

    Altec Engineering has embarked upon a 5S programme to evaluate its workplace organisation capability & visual management standards.

    The 5S philosophy engages employees through the use of 'Standards' and ‘Discipline' covering housekeeping and concentrating on maintaining the standards & discipline to manage the organisation - achieved by upholding & showing respect for the workplace.

    Using the set principles of Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardise and Sustain, 5S relates to workplace organisation will form a solid foundation upon which Altec can base the company’s drive for continuous improvement. This systematic and methodical approach will allow Altec’s nominated teams to organise their workplace in the safest and most efficient manner, with the process being managed through the use of team generated audit documents at regular pre-determined intervals.

    Altec are also focused on the 6th S – Safety, and work very hard to ensure our environment is not only clean and efficient, but also as safe as possible for our employees and visitors.

    The benefits that will be realised by implementing this programme include: improved safety, a greater sense of ownership and involvement for employees, reductions in waste and subsequent improvements in performance and productivity.

  • Altec Engineering Add Quick Hydraulics to the Group

    We are delighted to announce that Altec has acquired leading hydraulic engineering business Quick Hydraulics. The company has been bought out of administration and the jobs of 19 employees saved in this deal.

    Altec CEO Alastair Waite said: "We were attracted by the excellent reputation of Quick Hydraulics in the market place and the expertise of the team in delivering high quality hydraulic systems and solutions. "It was an obvious fit to widen the Altec Group capabilities and reach."

    Andrew Esson will continue as Managing Director of North Shields-based Quick, which counts SMD, Siemens, Baker Hughes and EDF Energy amongst its clients. He said: "We have been through a very challenging 12 months due particularly to the downturn in the oil and gas sector. "Many of the projects we had hoped to land were either subject to delays or cancelled altogether and it was clear that we would have to restructure the business. I am delighted that Quick has become part of the larger Altec Engineering Group."

    Altec now employs more than 150 people and is the fastest-growing sub-contract precision engineering company in the North East.

Contact Altec Engineering Group now!

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