Nacom grows thanks to investment

Nacom Automation Ltd and its range of Flexopress printers rose from the ashes of liquidation when current owner Nick Cadby, who was a creditor to the original owner of the printing machine business, realised the only way to get his money back was to buy the intellectual property and turn the businesses around.

Part of that transformation was adopting in-house machining in partnership with XYZ Machine Tools.
Flexopress machines are designed and built to order, meaning parts must be designed and manufactured quickly, but the company’s reliance on subcontract machining was causing unnecessary delays. The solution was to bring machining in-house, a daunting task given Cadby’s limited machining experience. However, the XYZ ProtoTRAK control system came to the rescue.
“It was while visiting another business run by a friend that I saw an XYZ 2-OP machine and my curiosity was aroused,” says Cadby. “The compact nature of the machine was perfect for our situation, so I gathered up a few drawings, visited XYZ Machine Tools’ showroom and asked the question: how hard can it be to make these? The answers highlighted just how easy it was with the XYZ ProtoTRAK control, which fills the gap between an experienced CNC programmer and someone with basic machining skills, like myself.”
With that reassurance, the XYZ 2-OP portable vertical machining centre became Nacom’s first step along the road to self-sufficiency. It was quickly followed by an XYZ SMX 5000 bed mill, then an XYZ SLX 355 ProTURN lathe and an XYZ LPM vertical machining centre, with the common thread that all were controlled by a version of ProtoTRAK.
“Eliminating the reliance on subcontracting has cut lead times by at least 50%, and we are in total control of costs and quality,” says Cadby.
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Only two weeks until GrindTec

GrindTec 2020, which runs from 18 to 21 March in Augsburg, Germany, is set to be the largest since the show’s premiere in 1998.

Around 20,000 visitors will enjoy innovations presented by about 660 exhibitors attending from 31 countries. Decision-makers particularly appreciate GrindTec, as the statistics indicate: 64% of visitors have sole decision-making competence or are involved in decision-making, while a further 20% have an advisory capacity. For the first time, MTI magazine will be among the exhibitors at GrindTec.
Despite all uncertainties the grinding market remains strong. Measured against the product value of machine tools in Germany, the machine group of ‘grinding, honing, lapping and polishing machines’ makes up more than 13% of all cutting and abrasion-based machines. In addition, the revenue generated by the production of grinding tools and abrasives, which at more than €1bn, is just as high as that of German ‘grinding, honing, lapping and polishing machines’.
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Bentley to recruit 76 apprentices

As Bentley Motors begins its next 100 years, the company is opening applications for its 76-strong apprentice, undergraduate and graduate intake for 2020.

The new recruits will be employed at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, with Bentley placing particular emphasis on finding candidates with the digital skills and ability to innovate that will help shape its next 100 years. All successful applicants will benefit from a structured career path that will provide the technical, academic and hands-on experience required to support the company’s digital transformation.
Dr Astrid Fontaine, board member for people, digitalisation and IT, says: “An extraordinary range of opportunities are available, designed to drive our business forward and help build Bentley’s future. Engaging and developing the best trainees in the country is key to ensuring Bentley remains the definitive British luxury car company, as well as one that stays true to craftsmanship, innovation and sustainability.”
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Medical firm opts for Mitsubishi

Although Friedrich Daniels Medical GmbH only opened for business in Aldingen, Germany in spring 2019, more than 20 machines are already in operation, including those for turning, milling, drilling, grinding and EDM. The company’s founders, Robert Keller and Andreas Wenzler, see themselves well equipped to act as full-range suppliers of medical instruments.

The company focuses mainly on instruments for surgical procedures and orthopaedic treatment of the spine. As a specialist in machining and, specifically, in EDM processes, Keller uses his knowledge to ensure that the company can also cost-effectively manufacture difficult components for medical instruments, at high rates of productivity.
Keller regards the wire EDM production process as one of the business’s essential core competences: “EDM is the only way to produce the intricate and sometimes complex contours required, especially for components used in medical instruments and accessories. This also applies particularly to the corrosion-resistant and high-tensile steel alloys used in medical technology.”
At Friedrich Daniels Medical GmbH, Keller was the driving force behind the acquisition of a Mitsubishi Electric MV1200S NewGen wire EDM with D-Cubes CNC control. The programmers and machine operators took only a short time to familiarise themselves with the technology, reports Keller. Notably, the app-like operating and programming interface on the touchscreen is much appreciated, particularly by younger professionals who are already familiar with this operating philosophy from their smartphones and tablet PCs.
“However, it is also possible to select the user interface of the previous Advance Plus control system, which allows the MV1200S NewGen to operate very flexibly,” says Keller. “The fourth, rotary axis also contributes to flexible use, enabling the machine to fully produce all conceivable geometrical details on a workpiece in several planes.”
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ONA supplies machines to VW

The Palmela plant of Volkswagen, near Lisbon, has installed an ONA AV35 wire EDM and an ONA QX4 die-sink EDM for its pressing and stamping operation, replacing two obsolete models from another manufacturer. Both machines offer 600 x 400 x 400 mm in X, Y and Z.

Among all the EDM machine suppliers analysed by the plant, ONA stood out “for its optimum quality-price ratio” and “the commercial and technical assistance received throughout the sales process”, reports VW.
VW’s new ONA EDM machines play a vital role in the manufacture of stamped parts at Palmela. Here, the usual wear and/or breakage of matrices makes a rapid machining response essential for their immediate replacement, so that production in the area is assured. More than 800 vehicles leave the plant every day. With the installation of ONA’s AV35 and QX4 EDM machines, the facility has not only reduced the risk of downtime, but increased production capacity.
When ONA asked Volkswagen Portugal to rate it as a supplier of EDM equipment, the company was given a score of 9.4 out of 10, making it an ‘A-Type’ supplier.
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