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Three acquired products broaden aerospace line from Cincinnati lamb.

As Cincinnati Lamb's aerospace-machine unit settles into its new digs in Hebron, Ky., its existing product line of large gantry mills, tape-laying machines, etc. finds itself bolstered with the results of some recent selective acquisitions. Specialty machines once made by Marwin, Ingersoll, and Modig are now being offered to aircraft manufacturers worldwide by the division of America's largest machine-tool builder.
 The builder, formed last year in the merger
 of Unova Inc. 's Cincinnati Machine and Lamb
 Technicon units, has now completely moved
 out of its Marburg Ave. campus in the Oakley
 section of Cincinnati, north of downtown. The
 Oakley site, overlooking Interstate-71, is being
 turned into a shopping center.

Cincinnati Lamb's ( executive offices have moved to Chesterfield Township, Mich., not far from the Warren, Mich., plants where vertical-spindle MCs and traditional Lamb Technicon products are made.

What's being called the "Cincinnati Operations" is really not in Cincinnati but rather across the Ohio River in Kentucky, less than five miles west of the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport. The move into that existing Unova facility, which also houses a growing aftermarket-services business as well as highly specialized aircraft-making machines, has gone smoothly, according to several managers.

While the physical move was being planned, Cincinnati Machine was also looking for products to flesh out its menu for high-tech customers.

When the AB Marwin went into receivership in England, agents of the British bankruptcy court offered portions of the Marwin product line to Cincinnati, and a deal was struck to acquire international intellectual-property rights and spares for a couple of Marwin models (but not the entire Marwin product line, as implied in the story on Asquith Butler Marwin in M.I.R. 11/1/ 03). The Marwin Automax is a horizontal-spindle five-axis plate mill for large prismatic aerospace parts. Several are being built in the Cincinnati Lamb facility in Mildenhall, England, for a British job-shop customer, Huddlestone. The Marwin Alumax machine, also picked up, is more suited for long, wide parts.

Another product plucked this past year from the bankruptcy tree has been the Power Flow machining system developed to machine aircraft stringers by Modig Machine Tool A.B. (Virserum, Sweden, see M.I.R., 5/29/03). Chip Storie, Cincinnati Lamb's VP for global aerospace sales, says that since the acquisition in the Spring, several machines have been built in Hebron. Like the Marwin machines, acquisition of the Modig designs involved purchasing the intellectual rights and a supply of parts.

A slightly different bankruptcy situation brought a specialized, highs-speed drilling machine designed by Ingersoll Milling Machine (Rockford, Ill.) into the assembly bays of competitor Cincinnati Lamb. When Ingersoll International declared bankruptcy and abruptly closed its doors in April, it had yet to deliver on a $12.3-million order placed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. (Ft. Worth, Tex.) for three custom machines. The drilling rigs were to be used by LM Aero to produce its next-generation aircraft, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Halting work on the machine tools, which stand two stories high and cover a 70- x 20ft. work area to drill holes in the JSF fuselage, would have put an insurmountable bottleneck into the schedule to build 460 aircraft by 2013 for the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Britain's RAF.

Lockheed Martin appealed to the federal bankruptcy judge in the Ingersoll case. In June, according to reports in local Rockford newspapers and in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, the aircraft producer hired Cincinnati Lamb to complete work on two of the machines at the Ingersoll plant in Rockford. A third machine moved to Cincinnati Lamb's new Hebron facility before delivery to Ft. Worth.

So, with judicious acquisitions via various bankruptcy situations, the aerospace arm of Cincinnati Lamb appears to emerge stronger than before. The Unova division says it is positioned to fully support the acquired brands in the field. As to branding, though, they'll adopt the Cincinnati Lamb name. So it will be the C-L Power Flow, the C-L Automax, etc.

Cincinnati Lamb, Hebron, Ky. 859-534-4600.
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Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Date:Nov 25, 2003
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