College invests in future with Colchester

Colchester Machine Tool Solutions (formerly 600 UK) has installed a range of manual lathes, mills, drills and saws into Coleg Cambria in Wales to meet the training needs of high-profile construction and aerospace employers in the region.

Nick Lyon, assistant principal at Coleg Cambria, says: “We’ve had a great relationship with 600 UK over many years and the equipment has always been high quality and, most importantly, my learners enjoy using the machines.”
The order comprised of 14 Harrison M300 lathes, six Clausing 3VS milling machines, three Clausing pillar drills and a Clausing bandsaw. One of the students at Coleg Cambria gave a general overview, saying: “I came to Coleg Cambria with no machining experience, but the machines are very easy to use. The dials and gauges are well marked and intuitive, and it makes the education process easier to understand how things work. You can easily switch from imperial to metric and this simplifies the learning process even further.”
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GCH wins business with large-capacity lathe

Fortune favours the brave, so they say, and there is no doubt that GCH Precision Engineering is reaping the rewards of investing in a Hyundai-Wia heavy-duty, large-capacity CNC turning machine.

After realising that OEMs across a number of industries were struggling to locally source (within Scotland) large-capacity machining for complex parts requiring milling as well as turning operations, Graham Hawthorne, CEO of the East Kilbride (Glasgow) based company, knew that GCH could secure this work if he installed the Hyundai-Wia L500LMA slant-bed lathe with C axis and driven tools.
The result is that GCH is now cost-effectively processing a wide variety of work that falls within the turning length and diameter capacities of 2109 and 690 mm, respectively, on the machine supplied by TW Ward CNC Machinery.
Included in the order book are workpieces being machined from most materials – from EN3A steel to EN36 high-tensile steel, aluminium, super duplex, Inconel and plastics for clients in the aerospace, oil and gas, food and drink, and pharmaceutical sectors, for instance, as well as parts for robotic machinery and components for the onshore drilling industry.
“Knowing that such work was increasingly being outsourced either overseas or south of the border, I knew that we had the in-house skills to handle such projects – all I needed was the machining capacity,” says Hawthorne. “At the same time, we needed to replace some ageing machines – a radial arm drill, a manual lathe and an older, smaller capacity CNC lathe – and while the Hyundai-Wia has effectively replaced all these, it has, importantly, also extended our capacity to satisfy this larger work.”
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Diamond investment for tooling business

Astley Diamond Tools is a two-person business based in Witton, Birmingham that recently made a significant investment in the latest Low Frequency Vibration (LFV) turn-mill technology from Citizen Machinery UK.

And, within just three months of installation, proprietor Ben Astley has been able to transform the firm’s blank-turning operations for its diamond-tool production and open a door to new revenue
by using his sliding-head machining platform to provide
a subcontract turn-milling service.
“Swarf problems totally controlled our business of machining silver steel blanks to which we then electro-plate diamond finishes,” says Astley, who is progressively appreciating the benefits accruing from the installation of a Citizen Cincom L20-VIIILFV turn-mill centre. He describes a recent example of 500 rotary diamond burrs used to fettle cast iron. Astley relays how he had to almost stand by his previous aging Citizen sliding-head machine and stop it every five or so parts to clear the tangled bird’s nest of swarf that had accumulated.
“It would take at least 70 hours to produce the batch, but now, with LFV, I can complete the same order well inside 16 hours. I can now concentrate on the electro-plating, packaging and other duties such as paperwork. Most surprising, perhaps, is that new machine has opened a new door in providing customers with a subcontract turning service. Customers who often just call
in to collect parts or give me
an order for diamond tools or plating work are immediately impressed by the new machine and giving me orders for other turning work.”
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The all-round solution in machining

MS40C-8 is the name given to an eight-spindle machine tool from Index for the fully automated production of complex components.

Indeed, there are a number of good reasons why the CNC multi-spindle machine, made near Esslingen, Germany and driven by Kollmorgen servo technology, is seen as a true all-around solution in machining technology.
For instance, the optimum speed and feed rate can be programmed for each spindle location and each cutting edge, and these can even be modified during the cutting process. Moreover, the eight fluid-cooled motor spindles integrated in the spindle drum are infinitely variable, require no maintenance, and are driven with synchronous motors. Kollmorgen AKM permanent magnet servomotors are installed in the cross slides.
Index uses the Kollmorgen motors, in part, as positioning axes for the tools. High-power density enables compact designs that take up less space when installed in the work area. Furthermore, the good torque density of the AKM synchronous servomotors allows Index to convert the rotational movement of the motors into a linear motion without gears. The ball bearing spindles are connected directly to the motor shaft for this purpose.
A lack of gears means there are fewer moving parts, and improves the zero backlash and overall stiffness of the drive. Index needs zero backlash and stiffness, especially with multi-stage thread cutting, so that the tool always completes the next machining step precisely using the threading attachment.
Fitting with Drive-CLiQ is an example of how the synchronous servomotors from Kollmorgen can adapt to the diversity of CNC and automation technology, particularly for machining. This design configuration lets machine builders use drives outside of closed systems, without losing any of the convenience or performance benefits.
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P&T invests in Nakamura to surpass £2m sales

A fast-growing County Kildare manufacturer is settings it sights on smashing the £2m sales barrier after investing in CNC machine technology. P&T Precision Engineering, which currently employs 15 people at its Naas Industrial Estate facility, has purchased a Nakamura AS200 LMY twin-spindle lathe that will help it take on new orders and work with harder materials.

The company made the decision during a ‘Smart Machining’ event held by the Engineering Technology Group in Newbridge, and will take delivery of the machine in July, where it will be installed and a number of components proven out. It is anticipated that the sub-spindle capability will give the firm the opportunity to build on its expertise in design for manufacture, and should lead to new contracts in the food, packaging, print and medical sectors.
“Our relationship with ETG goes back to 2016, when we made the conscious decision to invest in upgrading our machining capabilities with the acquisition of a Quaser MV184 vertical machining centre,” says Darragh Walsh, who runs the company with his business partner Kevin. “The technology lived up to its reputation, but what we were really impressed with was the level of service, support and understanding delivered by the team in Newbridge.
“Following the success of the first purchase we decided that we would take on another CNC machine in 2018 and jumped at the chance of attending the Smart Machining event so we could see the technology we had in mind first-hand,” he continues. “We were not disappointed. The demonstration was world class and we had no hesitation in placing the order for the Nakamura AS200 LMY there
and then.”
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