SiG success

Family-owned precision engineering firm JJ Churchill of Leicestershire has secured more than £100m in contracts, increased its headcount by 35% and its export forward order book from under £1m to more than £37m after five years on the Sharing in Growth productivity and competitiveness programme.

The Market Bosworth-based company was one of the first aerospace suppliers selected for Sharing in Growth in 2013 when its ambitions were to overcome risks caused by the oil crisis. JJ Churchill now has plans to hit more than £38m and add around 20 new jobs by 2020.
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Okuma five-axis machine released by NCMT

Okuma is now offering an entry-level five-axis machining centre that is capable of handling workpieces up to 600 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height, with a maximum weight of 300 kg. The Genos M460V-5AX, which is available in the UK from NCMT, features a 48-station tool magazine.

Featuring a spindle that offers 15,000 rpm, the machine can achieve high productivity for a range of applications. Providing a maximum power output of 22 kW and up to 199 Nm of torque, the spindle is said to process demanding materials with ease. The spindle’s five sets of bearings are lubricated with oil mist and do not therefore require maintenance. By providing through-spindle coolant, the spindle adds to the shower coolant function. Manufacturers benefit from a three-year spindle warranty that is not limited by number of shifts or operating hours.
For efficient and accurate measuring, the machining centre is equipped with a Renishaw RMP60 touch probe, while the X, Y and Z axes possess an absolute scale. In addition to the hardware, intelligent technology apps like ‘Machining Navi’ for reducing chatter or ‘5-Axis Auto Tuning System’ for compensating geometrical errors, further enhance the machine’s accuracy. As a result of these measures, Genos M460V-5AX achieves a positioning accuracy of 2 micron in X, Y and Z.
For highest precision, the 5-axis machining centre is equipped with Okuma’s Thermo-Friendly Concept. This technology includes a symmetric, box-build, double-column construction made of cast iron. To eliminate any negative influence from the coolant and hot chips, the machine possesses a thermo-shield design. In addition, five sensors in the machine and three sensors in the spindle measure temperature changes and allow for active compensation of thermal deformation.
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Five-axis Quaser at Wilson Manufacturing

Machining specialist Wilson Manufacturing has purchased a Quaser MF400UH five-axis machining centre from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to complete a £310,000 investment drive. The acquisition, which complements the earlier addition of a mill-turn centre, will help the company improve lead times and drive efficiencies.

Based in Hampshire, Wilson Manufacturing, which supplies precision parts into the aerospace, marine, medial and oil and gas sectors, will use its Quaser MF400UH to increase capacity, boost quality and reduce set-up times. The move marks a successful year for the Ringwood-based company, which has seen it create two new jobs and increase sales by 25%, putting the business on course for a turnover of £1.35m.
“Customers are spread across a number of demanding sectors and there is an increasing need for more complex components, a trend that we’ve met head-on with the purchase of the five-axis CNC machine,” explains director Andy Wilson. “We discussed our requirements with ETG and they spent a lot of time getting to understand our processes and the parts we make. This was crucial in providing a complete picture of where we wanted to go, and led to them suggesting the Quaser MF400UH.
“Although it has only been up and running for a few months, we have already been really impressed with the performance,” he continues. “The control, spindle speed and ability to machine multiple faces of complex parts have been game changers – in some instances we have improved cycle time by 30%. This makes us a lot more competitive and, at a time when speed-to-market is crucial, gives us another USP when exploring new business opportunities. We could well make a return on our investment within the first two years.”
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MKB goes large with XYZ

Essex-based MKB Precision Engineering has installed a large XYZ 1100 HD (Heavy Duty) machining centre.

When creating their company, Ken Barnard and his son Matt had just a second-hand manual lathe, a grinding machine and an XYZ ProtoTrak mill. Within a couple of years, business had developed and the company’s first XYZ 710 vertical machining centre arrived, quickly followed by a second. These two machines, with their Siemens Shopmill controls, enabled MKB to fulfil orders that would have not been viable previously, leading to good business growth.
As demand for larger components grew, the pair recognised that a machine was needed with greater capacity, and the larger XYZ 1100 HD was the obvious model of choice.
“While we had our XYZ SMX 5000 ProtoTrak bed mill, part exchanging that for the XYZ 1100 HD was a natural progression, and the addition of tool-changing capacity and fully enclosed guarding allowed us to maximise productivity,” says Ken Barnard. “When we saw the carcass of the XYZ 1100 HD at the MACH exhibition, it gave us the confidence that this larger machine would perform in much the same way. And, with the XYZ 1100 HD having the same Siemens 828D control featuring Shopmill conversational software, it makes it straightforward to transfer work from one machine to another.”
MKB Precision Engineering bought the XYZ 1100 HD specifically for its machining envelope, particularly the large Z axis, which allows the company to easily machine workpieces over 620 mm tall. The large table, at 1100 x 600 mm, can also be utilised to machine smaller parts or, indeed, components in multiple set-up configuration.
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Doosan five-axis on show

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, last month attended the Southern Manufacturing exhibition for the first time in the company’s history. To mark the occasion, Mills CNC showcased the latest Doosan simultaneous five-axis machining centre on its stand.

The machine, a DVF 5000, made its UK debut at MACH 2018, where it proved to be popular with show visitors. Under power at Southern Manufacturing, the DVF 5000 demonstrated the five-axis machining of a complex, high-precision aerospace component.
The Doosan DVF 5000 is a compact, rigidly built machine that provides precision component manufacturers with full simultaneous five-axis machining capability. At Southern Manufacturing, the machine was exhibited with a 17.5 kW/12,000 rpm directly-coupled spindle, although a 22 kW/18,000 rpm built-in spindle option is also available.
While the DVF 5000 machine on Mills’ stand was equipped with a Heidenhain iTNC640 control, models can also be specified with either the latest Fanuc or Siemens CNC. The DVF 5000 offers rapid rates of 40 m/min in its X, Y and Z axes. At the show, the machine was equipped with integrated automation provided by a six-position automatic pallet changer and a servo-driven ATC that can hold up to 120 tools and offers a 1.3 second tool-to-tool change-over time.
The DVF 5000 features linear guides and an integrated thermal compensation system that mitigates against the effects of thermal drift. A 500 x 450 mm table with a maximum table load of 400 kg featured at Southern Manufacturing, but the machine can be supplied with a larger table as an option (630 x 450 mm) if required.
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