Subcontract friction welding

Efficient in handling small scale and high volume production runs, the in-house Thompson machines are configured to join a wide variety of materials including dissimilar materials and components for many different applications.

KUKA UK Sub-contract facility

With over 50 years of experience, the UK facility is one of the largest in Europe. The department has capability across a range of rotary friction welding machines, supported by an in house metallurgical laboratory, pre and post weld heat treatment capability and full part preparation solutions.

Accreditation: ISO 9001:2008, IS) 14001:2004. BE EN 15620:2019 Friction welding of metallic materials.


For our customers in the power generation, automotive, chemical and nuclear, aerospace and oil and gas industries, KUKA manufacture a large and complex range of geometries and material combinations.

Full range of subcontract direct drive manufacturing solutions

 Our wide range of welding capabilities are supported by advice on materials, geometry, metallurgy and pre and post weld processing and are supported by on-site metallurgical expertise.
  • Weld development and trials

    Full weld development on customer parts to establish the optimum parameter for a fit-for-purpose bond
  • R&D

    Development in bonding of new material combinations and geometries
  • Production batch welding

    From limited batch size to ongoing series production.

Additional Services

  • Turning & Machining Facilities – dedicated machining equipment for Sub-Contract Friction Welding for pre or post machine of components.
  • Flash Removal – On certain machines and applications, the weld flash created can be removed by the friction welder.
  • Pre-washing – Pre-wash certain components within our industrial cleaning machine to remove greases/oils and other possible contaminates.
  • Weld Testing and Validation – Full destructive and non-destructive testing to welding standards.
  • Post Weld Heat Treatment – Heat Treatment or stress relief of components following welding.
  • Metallurgy Lab – Our in-house Metallurgy laboratory for; material selection, pre and post weld recommendations, inspection, analysis & reporting and testing of materials and bonded components.
  • Material procurement & logistics.
Wide range of components from very large section sizes to very small, also for bi-metallic materials.
Thompson's friction welding capabilities cover many material combinations and geometry options including bar to bar, tube to bar, bar to plate, tube to plate and tube to tube, for example. Commonly friction welded components include drill rods, axles, drive shafts, pump shafts and cv joints. 
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