Hartford SW216 now available

Now available from Ward CNC are the Hartford SW216 and Hartford LG500 machining centres. Suitable for larger capacity work, the Hartford SW216 is a double-column, bridge-type travelling-table VMC with a 2 x 1.45 m table that can support the machining of parts up to 7000 kg. With X, Y and Z-axis travel of 2 x 1.6 x 780 mm, this 50-taper spindle workhorse has an 18.5 kW spindle motor for heavy cutting operations, regardless of material type.

Ward CNC says that the SW216 offers a blend of flexibility, rigidity and performance for the machining of large components. From an optional perspective, the machine is available with 22 or 26 kW spindle motors, a 32, 40 or 60-position ATC, and the choice of FANUC, Heidenhain or Hartrol Plus CNC control.
Also available is the Hartford LG500. Pitched as a high-quality, robust and capable three-axis machining centre, the LG500 has a competitive price point. With a 24-position ATC, an 8000 rpm high-torque 5.5 kW spindle motor and a BT40 spindle taper, Ward CNC says the Hartford LG500 is suitable for any machine shop.
Available with a FANUC or Hartrol Plus CNC interface, the Hartford LG500 is offered with a list of options. The Hartrol Plus interface has a 19” touchscreen control with an ergonomic angular operation panel. Behind this configuration, is the facility for five groups of value-added app, which include program management, operational assistant, machine monitoring, utilisation rates and maintenance support, all with an array of options that ensure ease-of-use and high functionality.
For further information www.wardcnc.com

Machining centre for electrification sector

A specialist in industrial automation products and solutions, Comau, and Exechon, which offers patented technologies to develop parallel kinematic machine solutions, have joined forces to design and produce a Comau machining centre able to handle lightweight framing and structural components for sectors such as electrification.

Harbouring the objective of spearheading a new machining paradigm for large, complex aluminium parts, the companies have started a strategic co-operation. The pair will thus leverage their respective competencies to develop a concrete solution for customers that can cost-effectively meet key drivers within the evolving machining market, which include: the expanded use of lightweight components that reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions; the growing importance of electrification for automotive manufacturers; and the increasing degree of production complexity within the aerospace sector.
Exechon will develop the core of the new machine, while Comau will leverage its 45 years of industrial automation and integration experience to guarantee the best fit for each project.
Luca Ferrero COO of Comau Machining, says: “The importance of this project extends through to Comau’s ability to offer a 360° service connected to electrification, with new lightweight machining centres as a central link. Coupling a lightweight approach in machining with our body assembly competencies and battery assembly know-how, we can now complete the value chain and deliver advanced solutions for battery case machining and more.”
For further information www.comau.com

Visor production

TRB Lightweight Structures is using its material science know-how and specialist equipment to produce vital PPE based on the Foster + Partners design in the battle against COVID-19.

The company has redeployed personnel and machinery – which normally create advanced composite components for electric vehicles – to produce an innovative reusable face visor, and is now generating 1000 of these per day. TRB has adapted its expertise and cutting equipment to manufacture the simple, reusable visors, one every 50 seconds.
For further information www.trbls.com

Free weekends thanks to automation

The tool-making division of Gateshead-based TDX, which supplies services and tools to the thin-film plastic thermoforming industry, mainly for food packaging applications, has started to automate its machine shop. The latest purchase is a German-built Hermle five-axis machining centre with a 20-pallet storage system installed by UK agent Kingsbury, which is now working 24/7.

Two members of the management buyout team that purchased TDX in 2013, Neil Atkinson and David Renton, were especially pleased to progress the investment. Five-axis machining was usually the bottleneck at the 24,000 sq ft tool-making facility, and it normally fell to the two directors to go into the factory two or three times on both Saturday and Sunday to change over five non-automated five-axis machining centres.
Since the Hermle C250 with linked HSFlex automated pallet change system entered production, weekend visits have been unnecessary. Each aluminium thermoforming mould billet is pre-machined on one face and then milled on the other five sides internally and externally in one operation in from four to six hours. So 20 pallets equates to an average of 100 hours’ machining on the Hermle, which is more than enough to keep the production cell busy non-stop from Friday afternoon to Monday morning.
Atkinson says: “The automated milling cell has not only eliminated manual intervention at weekends, but requires minimal attendance during the week, releasing the operator for other tasks. We approached six potential suppliers, all of which carried out machining trials. Kingsbury demonstrated the fastest cycle time on the Hermle, approximately 10% quicker than the best of the others. Surface finish was also better.”
For further information www.kingsburyuk.com

Xtrac receives Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Vehicle transmission specialist Xtrac has received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The company won the award in the ‘Innovation’ category for its development of an Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle (ILEV) gearbox range spearheaded by Xtrac CEO Adrian Moore.

Xtrac previously received a Queen’s Award for Export and Excellence in 1992, less than a decade after it was founded to serve the motorsport industry. Nowadays, as well as continuing to serve the industry globally, it has successfully reached out to the automotive mainstream.
For further information www.xtrac.com