Starting out in 1993 in Highworth, VNF were two designers working in automotive tooling with 2D AutoCAD. 3D CAD was in its infancy and systems were fiendishly complicated and expensive, but winning the first Airbus work enabled investment into CADDS5 and further investment in people. Quickly two became five and work diversified to include both production extrusion equipment and planning & layout work for Raychem (later Tyco). Progressing through the nineties brought more automotive and aerospace work including the A319/320/321, plastic moulding work with the ChillCan and Heineken, Jaguar's first aluminium production vehicle - the X350 (XJ), and Aston Martin's hybrid carbon-fibre/aluminium VH1 platform with the DB9. 1999 brought relocation to premium offices in Swindon's Old Town, and an increase to three floors (six offices) and a team of 14 designers, working at all stages from sheet metal pressing in our press-tooling department, through sub-assembly joining and final assembly tooling and everything large or small in between; with almost any material. The millennium brought more premium clients and exciting projects from the likes of Koenigsegg, Honda, BMW, JLR and KUKA in automotive, to Nothrop Grumman, Airbus, Bombardier, GKN, and many others across several tiers of supply and all of which we still supply today.
Still based in Old Town, we are now almost entirely Catia V5/6 based although we have capacity for SolidWorks and AutoCAD for design, where work demands. We have high specification equipment throughout to cater for the most demanding and complex products and assemblies with fully redundant and secure IT systems audited and accredited to ISO standards. We are fully compliant with ISO:9001, we have highly skilled and competent leadership and management in place and can boast over a hundred years worth of experience in the industry. Our skill base is primarily (but not exclusively):
· Automotive and industrial robotic/automated/manual production & assembly tooling
· Automotive and aerospace concept engineering
· Aerospace and defence production and assembly tooling
· Special purpose industrial machinery
· Industrial/commercial mould tooling
· Structural and elemental analysis
· Simulations, layouts and planning
· Process engineering and improvement
· Productionising, ramping, scaling, lean manufacturing and efficiency
The saying goes that 'fortune favours the prepared' so we will be striving to continue our great relationships with our current customer base, and delivering top class solutions in the most innovative and efficient ways we can. We are constantly watching new developments in our core industry sectors and are looking forward to some exciting new challenges and developments on the horizon; and how we can work with or utilise them. Some immediate examples are; the increasing adoption of singular, small and medium scale automation - perhaps soon into the home; Industry 4.0 and the more general Internet Of Things making control and automation faster and more efficient; 3D printing developments -being able to download parts and create them, from mixed materials, live and on site where they're required; and globalisation, cloud working and international collaboration which will streamline the future of our business.
Above all this wonderful technical development though there is still our core foundation - our people - and we are proud to be playing and continuing to play our part in the future of engineering, with our intern programmes. No matter where technology takes us we will still need the engineers and innovators in the background to harness and apply them!