Yamazaki Mazak is set to exhibit a Rolls Royce designed Merlin MK 68 A engine restored by an employee as part of the festivities for the inaugural National Manufacturing Day on 7th July.
The engine will be displayed and run during the day to showcase to visitors the type of products that have been designed and built by talented engineers and manufacturers. With hundreds of young people registered to attend the event, Mazak is hoping that the engine’s presence can help cultivate a passion for engineering in the next generation.
Paul Lawrence, purchase lead at Yamazaki Mazak UK, began his quest for a Merlin engine in 2012, locating ‘Mable’ the same year before making the formal purchase in 2016. The restoration took place over a ten-year period with specialists called upon to assist with the project.
“My two passions have always been history and engineering, so Merlin engines have always had a natural draw for me,” stated Lawrence. “The project began just over a decade ago, with Mable finally being ready for action in 2020.
“This has proved to be a true labour of love and has only been made possible through collaboration with a number of similarly enthusiastic companies. That said, I truly couldn’t be happier with the result.”
The restoration began with disassembly of the engine into major sub-components by Leeds-based specialist Flight Engineering. Lawrence then took it upon himself to clean all the components and source some of the rarer ancillary items, such as the brass coolant header tank and propeller spider.
Dero Fabrication was called upon to manufacture 12 new exhaust stubs, with the company using an on-site 6KW Mazak Optiplex Fibre II laser for cutting, forming and fabrication.
Serial number 367869, Mable is one of roughly 55,000 Rolls Royce Merlin engines manufactured by the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit, USA, during World War II. The company produced around a third of the 168,000 Merlin engines made in total, with a small number still in flight today.
The Merlin MK 68A was used in the RAF’s Avro Lincoln II bomber – the force’s last piston-engineered heavy bomber and successor to the renowned Avro Lancaster. Today, Lawrence and Mable tour the UK as Merlin Heritage giving live demonstrations of the engine in action.
“Equipped with a state-of-the-art Mazak laser, I knew that Dero would have the capacity to fabricate fresh parts for the engine,” concluded Lawrence. “Dero showed enthusiasm in the project throughout and delivered the order to the exacting standards required.
“Through the collaboration of numerous specialist companies, we have been able to bring a key piece of history to life and I am looking forward to firing Mable up at the event!”
As part of the other activities planned, Mazak will also showcase the range of skilled, well-paid and rewarding career opportunities available in UK manufacturing.
In order to register for the event, visit: https://discover.mazakeu.com/national-manufacturing-day.