Marine firm installs Heller machines

Heller reports that the installation of two of its five-axis machining centres, one with turning capability, has transformed the efficiency and repeatability with which marine components are machined at an offshore equipment manufacturer and refurbishment centre in the UK.

Four alternative proposals from different suppliers were considered before opting for the Heller solution. One possibility was to install a five-axis machine fitted with a rotary table on a swivelling trunnion. The problem with this type of machine is that the Z-axis stroke is too limited to allow the drilling of deep holes in the top of the casting, unless an unduly large and costly machine had been purchased. Heller FP/CT 4000 machines offer machining capacity with up to 1000 mm in the Z axis.
Previously, the process for machining cast steel components was labour intensive, involving highly skilled machinists setting up each part 16 times on manual mills, drilling machines and lathes. Lead time from customer order to delivery was 24 weeks, partly because machining took a 40 hour man week, typically spread over a month.
Today, the whole process has been reduced from 24 to just six weeks, as the parts can now be milled and drilled in one hit on both Heller five-axis machining centres, and also turned in the case of the second machine. Within the family of six sizes of component, one variant, for example, now takes just nine hours to mill and drill, and requires a further one hour for turning operations.
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Life in the fast lane with Haas

Founded in 1958 by the four Walklett brothers, Ginetta has a long and successful history of producing hand-built road and race cars. By the time it was acquired by Lawrence Tomlinson’s LNT Group in 2005, it had gained a reputation as one the most renowned British heritage race car brands. Taking the lead in British race car manufacturing, Ginetta is putting the UK at the heart of world class motorsport, selling cars across the world and training the brightest stars in motor racing.

Every car is hand-built in a 75,000 sq ft factory just outside Leeds. Recently, the company invested in its first CNC machine tool; a Haas VF-4SS Super Speed vertical mill with 12,000 rpm spindle, 24+1 tool stations and four-axis control. The machine is central to the manufacture of the new G58, an evolution of the G57. This latest prototype was created in response to feedback from existing customers and will boast a 6.2 litre V8 engine, capable of producing 575 bhp. Tipped to be one of the fastest track-day machines on the market, the G58 will lap within four seconds of an LMP2 car, at a fraction of the cost.
The VF-4SS is also cutting parts for the new G60-LT-P1, recently unveiled at Autosport 2018, which is bound for the 2018/19 FIA world Endurance Championships, including Le Mans 24 Hours.
Daniel Shaw, supply chain manager explains the reasons behind choosing Haas: “The Super Speed Haas is perfect for machining the highly complex aluminium parts we produce. It’s very easy to use and great value for money. The complete package was so good we couldn’t say no.”
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DJM installs first XYZ 500LR VMC in UK

Based in the village of Warkworth, near Banbury, DJM Engineering has recently acquired an XYZ 500LR vertical machining centre – the first of its type in the UK – to handle the company’s requirement for one-off and small batch work. A Siemens 828D control was supplied with the upgrade to Shopmill software, along with Renishaw Primo tool and work probing as part of the overall package.

“We are impressed by the capabilities of the XYZ 500LR machine, and are not holding back on speeds and feeds across a range of materials,” says director Colin Merry. “The machine is more than capable of maximising modern cutting-tool technology, and provides us with a working envelope that is ample for our needs in a compact footprint.”
The machine was purchased to meet growing demand for not only its own work on special machines, but an increase in subcontract jobs.
“From the word go, discussing our requirements with XYZ, we were confident that we were being pointed in the direction of a machine that would meet our needs, not just a machine that XYZ wanted to sell,” says Merry. “As a small family concern it is a refreshing change to get such service from a supplier, as it is how we like to think we treat our customers; the result being ongoing business.”
The XYZ 500LR was launched in 2017 as the first XYZ machining centre to feature linear rail guides, a decision taken as XYZ now feels that this technology meets its stringent quality/performance criteria. The three-machine LR series (500, 750, and 1000) also features the standard Siemens 828D, which allows customers to tailor the options to their requirements, such as the Shopmill feature used by DJM.
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NBD director

Measurement Solutions, the UK partner for Creaform 3D portable metrology and Metrologic Group inspection software, has announced the appointment of Andrew Tagg (ex-Faro) as its new business development director.

Following the recent announcement that the business is undergoing a restructuring to better meet the needs of the industrial measurement market, Tagg has been appointed to take responsibility for the business development and strategic growth of Measurement Solutions in the coming years. He has over 10 years’ sales experience within the portable metrology and 3D scanning sectors.
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Robotics symposium

Schunk’s ‘Expert Days on Service Robotics’, now reaching its 10th anniversary, will this year take place from 28 February to 1 March under the theme ‘Smart Future with Cobots and Co-acts’.

Staged at Schunk’s headquarters in Lauffen/Neckar, Germany, the topic spectrum will range from cobot usage in logistics and distribution, through complex control and monitoring technology for robotic systems, to value creation with the help of data-supported methods such as machine learning, visual perception or speech recognition.
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