To date Hockley have been printing all sorts of parts for jigs/ fixtures and tooling solutions – they have an ambition to be the ‘go to’ company for solutions that involve the manufacture of tooling and other such items. The purchase of the X7 also allows Hockley to attack other markets. The machine can print with the new Onyx FR (flame retardant) material, which will undoubtedly open up new opportunities in defence, aerospace, automotive and nuclear applications. Of course, there is also the ability to print with the newly released nylon white and in the future with Onyx ESD (anti-static) for parts containing electronic assemblies.
One of the other things Hockley intend to research is the subject of ‘coatings’. As Lee Evans points out “Onyx prints really well and with a great surface finish, it so stable and strong we have decided to see how far we can go with it. It’s reliable and repeatable so we’re going to look at coating it in different materials, making some of the items we couldn’t do in the past a distinct reality. I’m going to visit one of our suppliers who can do this type of process and see where we get to, there have been times in the past that would have really benefitted from something like this”.
As Hockley wins more work and the business grows the management team have already signalled their intent to re- invest. To quote Ian Eaves “these days it’s not possible to stand still in business and expect to remain competitive for the medium term. At Hockley we’re constantly looking to improve what we do and our decision to keep up with new technology will be a major factor in helping us achieve just that”.