About XYZ

A brief history


XYZ Systems and Service is started with a 500ft² unit in Newton Abbot by its founder, Halifax-born, Nigel Atherton.


Mainly fitting Acurite DRO, rebuilding machines and several used machines being sold, the first 2 service engineers were employed.


XYZ imports its first 2 machines from Taiwan and take on a 2,500ft² unit in Tiverton. 50+ turret mills are being sold every month, business is going very well


XYZ shows first CNC bed mill at MACH ‘88 and start selling lathes


BIG BREAK as XYZ discovered ProtoTRAK, a control what would revolutionise machine shops that did small batch production. As a result of ProtoTRAK, sales would grow from £3m to £15 over the next 5 years.


The company moves to a much bigger 10,000ft² purpose built unit in Willand, Devon with a crane. XYZ soon realised that we needed a much bigger space to deal with so many orders that we expanded the space further by 6,000ft². In ’95, sales of ProtoTRAK were 40+ per month also later that year the ProtoTRAK lathe was introduced


XYZ introduces its first range of vertical machining centres, The Vulcan, equipped with Mitsubishi control systems. Later that year, the benefits off conversational programming were quickly realised and this saw a switch to Siemens ShopMill for the controls.


With products being added to XYZ’s line all the time, a further expansion of premises was needed. XYZ moved to a 48,000ft² unit in Burlescombe, near Tiverton.


Southwestern Industries in the USA turned the supplier customer/relationship on its head by buying out XYZ Machine Tools. Nigel Atherton remained as Managing Director and the company continued to develop its product range and further increase sales over the next 10 years.

2016 – 21

Even though he thought retirement was the next step, the opportunity arose for Nigel to buy back the business which he had founded.

The UMC-5ZX five-axis machining centre was introduced in to the XYZ product range which went down a storm with our customer base.

A year before Covid hit, XYZ posted its best sales figures in its history with over £35m machines being ordered.

The financial year in 2020 began badly with the combination of Brexit uncertainty and Covid hitting sales dramatically. However, our customer base proved to be resilient, and the year ended with a positive note with substantial increases in sales and profits.

What does the future hold?

As far as XYZ Machine tools is concerned, it is a positive outlook with new machine introductions planned for 2021 along with the opening of a new showroom in Huddersfield. Staff development is also a vital element of the company’s development and, as always, the evolution of the business will be dictated in many ways by our customers.

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