Ceewrite Engineering supplies major OEMs

CATIA V5 training, support & software implementation

PGT Ceewrite (Ceewrite Engineering), based in Portland, Dorset, manufactures components for the aerospace, military and nuclear industries. Their work must be carried out to the most exacting standard to meet the needs of the OEMs that they supply. The majority of their customers are in the aerospace industry where the increasingly stringent demands of the industry and its regulators are reflected in Ceewrite’s need for the highest level of software, training and support.

The company has benefited from the introduction of Dassault Systèmes CATIA V5 supplied and supported by Desktop Engineering.

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Ceewrite Engineering

Among the components and parts that the company manufactures for the aerospace sector are door, flap and undercarriage actuators and hydraulic components. Ceewrite operates to a manufacturing process control (MPC) system that provides thorough stability and reliability. The system includes information on exactly how parts are made including speeds and feeds, tool life and precise operation timings; all aimed at ever-increasing levels of manufacturing excellence.

Paul Lavars, Managing Director of Ceewrite, had the vision of transforming his company to become an elite supplier to the aerospace industry. His experience at senior management level with blue chip companies provided him with the knowledge and insight necessary to transform Ceewrite. He explained,

When I purchased the company five years ago, it was a general subcontracting business with a diverse customer base. Our plan was to raise the level of complexity of the components we produce, move our company into the top 10% of capability, and reduce the customer base to less than 10 key partners.

Falcon image Courtesy Dassault Aviation Aerospace blue clouds

Exacting Quality standards

The fulfilment of Paul Lavars’ aims required a high level of investment as well as re-education of the workforce to ensure that they were aligned with the aims of the business. The emphasis is now on manufacturing process control as well as operator skill. This was necessary to be able to achieve and maintain the exacting quality standards demanded by the aerospace industry and to allow full traceability for the critical components and assemblies which Ceewrite manufactures.

Increasing the complexity of parts and assemblies, together with a significant rise in orders for more complex components from customers, provided the springboard for investment in 5-axis machines. The company now has two 5-axis Chiron machines, with Wixroyd fixturing and Renishaw laser probing and work probing. Its old CAM system was unsuitable for 5-axis programming, prompting an evaluation of new solutions. Paul Lavars said,

CATIA V5 is the aerospace standard and we want to be a leader in the industry. Installing an integrated CATIA V5 system from Desktop Engineering puts us ahead of many of our competitors and gives us a clear commercial advantage.”

Ceewrite is now able to take digital models directly from its customers and evaluate and programme them in its Manufacturing Engineering Department, providing concise instructions for the setters and operators to follow.

The company has a database of around 10,000 different parts, and produces work in batch sizes of approximately 25. New parts are added all the time. This results in 3-400 different components being made each month.  The ease of use of CATIA V5 and the rapid changeover of parts on the Chirons is crucial to success.

Paul Lavars added,

With 5-axis machining we can dramatically reduce resetting requirements. Previously, we needed three or four operations, now this is down to one or two. Setting and programming are both more complex but, we have the right tools in CATIA V5, laser probing, work probing and modular fixturing – it is clearly paying off.”

Complete solution

Paul Lavars and Desktop Engineering share an approach to working with clients,

We aim to solve engineering problems – not just supply components. We work in a very close partnership with major aerospace manufacturing companies, resolving engineering issues and providing them with a complete solution. We take the same view with our suppliers, and we anticipate developing our relationship with Desktop Engineering into a long-term partnership.”


Aerospace propeller CATIA computer image 900x600


Ceewrite has an impressive array of equipment, including induction brazing to NADCAP and the ability to lapp components to within two light bands. Paul Lavars concluded,

By 2005 we had reached a turnover of £3 million, and we have exceeded this figure by a significant margin in 2006. We have achieved this by proving to our customers that we can meet the very highest quality standards. CATIA V5 has become a cornerstone of our company, and we anticipate further investment in 5-axis machining technology.”


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