No delivery too challenging for XYZ

Having won a substantial six-machine order from Přibram Technical College in the Czech Republic, XYZ’s distributor Rexim had to overcome significant challenges to deliver the machines.

With careful negotiation, permission was granted to open up the inner and outer doorways, removing the door frames and cutting away brick and plasterwork to make the openings just large enough for the machines to pass through and remove. Adding to the challenge was the need to get the machines up a large flight of stairs between the outer and inner door, as well as negotiate a 90° corner. The stairs required a stage to be created on to which the machines were positioned before being slid through the door.
Preparation for the move took a total of 50 hours prior to the machines’ arrival, with just eight hours required to offload and locate the six machines, which comprised an XYZ 660 HD vertical machining centre, a CT 65 LTY turning centre, an SMX 3500 ProtoTrak mill, an SLX 355 ProTurn lathe and two manual training lathes. Once installed, a further 16 hours were needed to reinstate the doorways, work that involved 60 bags (25 kg each) of cement/plaster and two pallets of bricks.
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50 years of Heidenhain (GB)

Established in Burgess Hill in 1969, Heidenhain (GB) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the German manufacturing group Dr Johannes Heidenhain GmbH, is this year celebrating 50 years of supporting industry.

Employing 24 people, the company is the sales, service and distribution centre for the UK and Ireland. Application engineering as well as customer service and support are also provided, covering the firm’s CNC systems, digital readouts, encoders, length gauges, measuring probes and machine calibration equipment.
A network of trained, regionally based distributors specialises in offering local sales and service of Heidenhain encoder products. All distributors are authorised, have exclusive access to the manufacturer’s technical databases, and are assisted as required by specialists in Burgess Hill. The test equipment they use is calibrated every two years.
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University installs Excetek wire EDM

Supplied by Warwick Machine Tools, an Excetek V650 wire EDM has been installed at the University of Wolverhampton.

Graduates working on the UWR Racing team at the university, which runs a competitive car in the Formula 3 series, are using the machine to produce critical parts.
At the University of Wolverhampton, the Excetek V650 is used primarily to remove printed parts, created using additive manufacturing technology, from their supporting structures. An accurate cut must be provided in demanding conditions, with raw un-sintered powder material often left within cavities inside the component, which presents further challenges. The Excetek V650G was chosen because it can meet all these demands.
A non-contact process, wire EDM does not induce stress into the raw material; it will cut anything that is conductive. Even super alloys can be cut as easily as mild steel. Using 5-axis cutting allows different profiles to be created on the top and bottom side of the part. Components measuring up to 1000 mm can be cut on the Excetek V650.
Versatility of process is another benefit of wire EDM. For example, users can produce a gear on an Excetek EDM machine to an ‘as-ground’ finish. Conceivably, this means that users could load a heat-treated blank on the worktable, and cut the internal spline and outside gear profile such that the part would come off ready to use. For the students at Wolverhampton, this flexibility allows them to think outside the box.
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A&M EDM achieves record £6m sales

Midlands-based A&M EDM propelled itself to record sales of £6.1m in 2018, a 32% increase on 2017. The company is attributing the feat largely to its investment of £750,000 in CNC machinery and equipment.

Headquartered in Smethwick, A&M EDM provides precision engineering and EDM capabilities. West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, was invited to commission new equipment from an investment of £0.75m in 2018. Arrivals included a five-axis Hurco CNC machining centre, two spark eroders, a Hitachi handheld analyser for alloy identification and Renishaw laser calibration equipment to enable the preventative maintenance of 22 CNC machining centres. The investment was part funded by a £50,000 grant from the Black Country LEP Growing Priority Sectors fund. A&M also recruited 10 extra staff in 2018, taking the current workforce to 67.
Mayor Andy Street saw demonstrations of A&M’s CNC machining, quality inspection, and spark and wire erosion capabilities for aerospace, automotive, Formula One and production assembly customers. He commissioned the five-axis Hurco machining centre, met apprentices at work, discussed skills development and the role of advanced manufacturing and engineering as the dynamo of the West Midlands Industrial Strategy.
Street was presented with a memento of his visit, which was produced using A&M’s manufacturing capabilities. Electrodes were wired to cut the lettering, while an embossed West Midlands Combined Authority logo was created by spark eroding the required shape.
Managing director of A&M, Mark Wingfield, says: “It was a privilege to host the Mayor and discuss the importance of supply chain SMEs to competitive manufacturing in the West Midlands. We value working in partnership with the public sector; the Growing Priority Sectors grant enabled us to accelerate investment and create new engineering jobs. We will continue investing in our capabilities, skills and apprentices.”
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Coolant supply optimised at SKF plant

Coolant pumps from Spandau Pumpen are now being deployed for the machining process and a modular island filter system, including chip conveyor, at the SKF Lubrication Systems plant in the Czech city of Chodov.

Supervisors have been noting lower energy and operating costs, and higher system availability, ever since installation. The filter system serves two production lines, each with three machine tools and a single-station solution. Full-flow cleaning of chips up to 25 µm in size is facilitated, plus up to 5 µm by a second fine-filter stage. Spandau Pumpen supplied three low-pressure and three high-pressure pumps (PS and LMP series), each with frequency converters.
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