Image Wheels Triumphs at MACH 2024 with Major CNC Machine Discount Win

by Anna

Tipton-based Image Wheels has emerged victorious at the MACH 2024 exhibition, winning a prestigious competition hosted by XYZ Machine Tools. The company secured a £10,000 (plus VAT) discount on the purchase of any new CNC machine from the XYZ range.

Seizing this opportunity, Image Wheels opted for a brand new Proturn RLX 555 gap-bed lathe equipped with ProtoTRAK control. This acquisition is set to boost their production capacity and address the current skills shortage in the industry.


Founded in 1987, Image Wheels has grown to become a leading UK manufacturer of alloy wheels, catering to a global clientele. The family-owned business produces custom alloy wheels for a variety of applications, including race cars, classic cars, and off-road vehicles. To meet the high demand, the company continuously invests in the latest manufacturing technologies.


Jason Worrall, works director at Image Wheels, highlighted the challenge of finding skilled CNC programmers and operators. “We are gradually upskilling our existing manual machine operators, leveraging the user-friendly ProtoTRAK control to simplify this transition,” he explained.


Jason’s first visit to the MACH exhibition proved to be fortuitous. “I didn’t know about the competition until I visited the XYZ stand and filled out an entry form. A few days later, I received a call from XYZ’s area sales manager, John Aspinall, informing me that we had won. It was an incredible feeling,” he said.


The discount was applied to the Proturn RLX 555 gap-bed lathe, known for its large turning capacity, versatility, and intuitive ProtoTRAK control. The machine, now installed at Image Wheels’ Tipton facility, effectively doubles their capacity for producing large 20” diameter wheels.

“This is our first XYZ machine, and with an experienced ProtoTRAK operator already on our team, we can start production immediately. Concurrently, we will train one of our existing manual machine operators on the ProtoTRAK, addressing the shortage of experienced CNC operators,” Jason added.

The Proturn RLX 555, ideal for one-off and low-volume production, enables even novice CNC operators to produce complex parts quickly. Image Wheels plans to use the new machine to manufacture alloy wheels from high-grade cast aluminum, performing various turning, boring, and profiling operations.

The Proturn RLX 555 boasts a swing-over-bed of 560mm, a spindle bore of 104mm, and comes with a 315mm three-jaw chuck as standard. Image Wheels selected the 1m bed version, which includes advanced options such as the DXF File Converter. “This feature allows us to upload DXF files directly, streamlining our process and reducing errors,” said Jason.

Image Wheels adheres to stringent quality standards, including BSAU 50 Part 2 Section 5C, BS ISO 4000-2, and BS ISO 16833. Their products undergo rigorous testing by independent companies using finite element analysis (FEA).

“Our main differentiator is the quality of our products,” Jason concluded. “Winning the XYZ competition at MACH 2024 has given us a significant advantage in overcoming industry challenges, particularly the skills shortage. We are excited about the future and our continued growth.”

Image Wheels’ success at MACH 2024 underscores their commitment to excellence and innovation in manufacturing, setting a benchmark for the industry.

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