Machine-tool builder Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) has incorporated multi-touch capabilities into its recently released CNC HMI: the C|one control panel.
The main display of C|one, in addition to its multi-touch capabilities, is 24” in size and features increased haptic feedback. This feedback imitates the feel of real hardware buttons to prevent incorrect operation, while enabling the blind operation of functions. An intelligent touch-sensor additionally prevents accidental input due to water and dirt, while a multi-functional rotary dial provides precision for feed and spindle override, and can also serve as a hand-wheel.
When a fuse blows (a problem with a simple enough solution) it can quickly get buried in a traditional NC by the subsequent alarms it triggers. Instead of spending time digging for the root cause, C|one makes the problem clear, ultimately cutting downtime. The panel will indicate initial alarms, even when they cause a domino effect.
Among the tasks improved by C|one is managing programs, where program history and programs saved in the NC are viewable. The most recently selected programs are saved as history and up to five programs can be saved as favourites per table. Time stamps for file changes are tracked, while sub-program files and main program files are easily switched on the display, as well as the workpiece folders (depending on the needs of the operator). Table-dependent programs are selectable and de-selectable, and the system tracks these actions for straightforward review.
SW is exploring additional features for C|one implementation in the near future, such as advanced tool management.
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Buying its first machine in December 2016, Multax Engineered Precision Ltd has already hit the turnover landmark of £3m. This growth is a credit to a core philosophy of automated production and reduced man-hours, and of course investment in the latest manufacturing technologies.
Like any small business start-up, nothing would have been possible without the dedication and determination shown by company founders John McNab and Ashley Mizen, two ex-work colleagues who were working around the clock in their respective posts while setting up the new enterprise. To achieve automated production utopia, the first machine installation was a 10-pallet, five-axis Mikron HSM600U machining centre supported by CAM software from Open Mind Technologies.
The Andover Company now has 17 staff, and has invested close to £3m on 10 machine tools and supporting equipment since its inception.
Director Ashley Mizen says: “Five of our six five-axis machines are automated, and we try to maximise our automation as much as possible. We have skeleton staff working overnight and offer night-shift programming, so that jobs can be delivered ‘next-day’, if required.”
Taking a closer look at why this rapidly-growing automotive, motorsport, aerospace, medical and scientific subcontract manufacturing business places such glowing plaudits upon hyperMILL, Mizen adds: “I was an Open Mind user before we decided to start the company. It is a ‘game-changer’ for our business and we now have seven seats of hyperMILL. It allows staff to check the datum of the part, produce the tooling sheet, put the NC code into the machine and run the verification cycle to prevent collisions.”
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Glacier Energy, a provider of specialist products, services and engineering solutions for energy infrastructure, has won a contract worth circa £1m. The order, from PBS, is for the provision of export gas coolers that will see service on Total Exploration and Production UK’s (TEPUK) North Alwyn Platform in the North Sea.PBS is a new organisation based in Aberdeen which consists of three separate companies: Ponticelli UK Ltd, Brand UK Ltd and Semco Maritime Ltd.
The scope of work includes the design, fabrication, assembly, inspection, testing and supply of four shell and tube heat exchangers. This work will take place at Glacier Energy’s heat transfer solutions division, based in Aberdeen. Work has already commenced on the units with four heat exchangers due for delivery before the end of this month.
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Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has opened a state-of-the-art ‘Turnkey & Automation Centre’ at its campus facility in Leamington. The facility gives Mills a dedicated area to demonstrate its latest industrial and collaborative robot (cobot) automation solutions, and provides a focal point for the company’s successful turnkey and process improvement business which, over the past few years, has grown exponentially.
Says Tony Dale, Mills CNC’s technical director: “More and more manufacturers, as a route to improving their productivity and increasing their efficiency and effectiveness, are taking a much more holistic and comprehensive view of their manufacturing operations. And, rather than just acquiring a new machine to increase capacity, they are investing in turnkey solutions, many of which include advanced automation systems.”
For further information www.millscnc.co.uk
Bumax has recently invested several million SEK in three new state-of-the-art machines to further enhance its operations. Two bolt-pointing machines and one flat-die thread-rolling machine have arrived at the company’s headquarters in Åshammar following a year of planning and preparation. “The machines replace five older semi-manual pointing and thread-rolling machines, and enable us to produce fasteners even more efficiently and safely,” explains Anders Sjölund, who is both manager of the company’s service and maintenance function, and project manager.
For further information www.bumax-fasteners.com