VMC aids growth at HiCi

Like many businesses, 2020 posed challenges for HiCi, a designer and manufacturer of hand tools for joiners and carpenters under the Trig Jig brand.

CEO Dan Soanes-Brown says: “Thankfully we’re now seeing the release of pent-up spending within the UK construction industry. Projects that were postponed are coming back and we are seeing that reflected in demand for our tools.”

The result is an expectation of strong growth for existing products, driven in part by an ambitious schedule of one new product launch every month in 2021. The first two of these new products, a carpenter’s square and a T-square, are the first to benefit from production on HiCi’s latest investment, an XYZ 750 LR vertical machining centre.

Equipped with a 12,000 rpm spindle, Siemens 828D control and optimised digital servos, the XYZ 750 LR – with its linear rail construction – met the company’s performance criteria. Like every capital investment, price was also a consideration, and here the XYZ 750 LR also came out favourably.

“Price is obviously important and there were three machines that we were looking at; the XYZ 750 LR was the most competitively priced and I couldn’t see where the extra £10,000 for the other machines was going,” says Soanes-Brown. “Another factor was the ability to actually see the machine in action, with XYZ Machine Tools being the only supplier able to demonstrate a machine of the specification we wanted. For a young company like ours it was important to see what we were spending our money on.”

He concludes: “Once we have the XYZ 750 LR running to 80% capacity we will order a second machine, as we look on it as a long-term brand investment and will go with XYZ again.”

For further information

Heavy-duty VMC packs a punch

For manufacturers seeking a heavy-duty machining centre that offers a stable platform for high removal rates on challenging materials, GM CNC has introduced the UK market to the Victor Vcenter G135 vertical machining centre.

Confirming its credentials is a Meehanite casting with a wide-base A-frame design, a wide span column, four box-ways and screw removers with a box-way width of 145 mm, and an overall machine weight of 11,500 kg. Upon the G135’s foundation is a 1400 by 700 mm table that can accommodate parts up to 2200 kg.

This three-axis axis workhorse offers travel of 1350 x 700 x 700 mm in the X, Y and Z axis, with a BT50 spindle taper. The gear-head spindle design generates a power output of 18.5 kW with torque of 498 Nm.

Developed, manufactured and built in-house by Victor, the 6000 rpm spindle has a gear-head concept that retains maximum torque levels throughout the speed range. This factor makes the Vcenter G135 suitable for machining hard materials and exotic alloys.

The Victor Vcenter G135 vertical machining centre has an automatic tool change unit offering 24-tool capacity that can accommodate tools with a maximum weight of up to 15 kg. Furthermore, the axis feed motor on the machine generates 3 kW of power on all axes with a rapid feed rate of 20 m/min and axis acceleration of 0.28 G, which is driven through 50 mm diameter ball-screws.

As standard, the Victor Vcenter G135 is supplied with the latest FANUC CNC, fully enclosed splash guarding, spindle oil cooler, screw-type chip removal, bottom guarding for coolant flushing, rigid tapping, three-step warning lights, automatic power-off and levelling pads.

For further information

The ultimate in chip evacuation

In January 2021 MODIG Machine Tool applied for a new patent on a revolutionary innovation – the world’s first Inverted machine tool. With its inverted machine tool line-up, MODIG says it is transforming generic five-axis part and component machining to achieve the ultimate in chip evacuation. The machines are available in the UK from M-Tech.

With optional spindles for high-speed and high-torque applications, and exceptional access to complex part contours, MODIG inverted machining centres are said to optimise the machining process.

In essence, an inverted machining centre is a vertical machining centre turned upside down, but it is not that simple, as inverted machining constitutes a radical departure from traditional machining. Working inverted means easier chip evacuation with less consumption of coolant. Gravity makes chips fall with a natural flow from the workpiece and cutting zone, while the stability, together with the optimised chip-handling system, yields higher performance.

The inverted machining (IM) design, allows machines to be located side by side to optimise footprint and enable load-unload automation. Notably, the chip conveyor is at the back of the machines with easy access for chip handling. The loading of material and unloading of parts take place either manually from the front or by a pallet system, or with overhead loading.

IM machines have a cast-iron base around the structure, locked in all four corners, making the machine highly rigid and enabling the tool to work with extreme precision. Single spindle, dual spindle and four spindle options are available.

MODIG is a family owned business with over 11,000 machines sold worldwide in sectors that include aerospace, automotive, electric vehicle and defence.

For further information

Dugard expands growing team

As the UK gradually returns to post-pandemic levels, Dugard has appointed David Rawson to support the company’s growth across all brands in its portfolio. Joining the business in April as area sales manager, he is now serving Dugard’s expanding customer base in the north. With almost 30 years in manufacturing, Rawson has spent the past 10 years working for some of the UK’s most prominent machine tool and ancillary equipment manufacturers.
Commenting upon the addition, sales director Colin Thomson says: “From previous experience of working with David, he has an excellent and professional rapport with clients, and his industry knowledge and ability to create the most productive and cost-effective solution for customers is second to none. David has extensive experience of working with cost-competitive machine tools, high-end solution-driven machine tools and sliding-head turning centres, all of which are available in the Dugard portfolio.”

For further information www.dugard.com

Hydroforming press for space sector

Beckwood Press Co has recently delivered and installed a Triform model 68-10FC Fluid Cell sheet hydroforming press to a major supplier of space launch vehicles. The machine features a 1.73 m diameter round forming area that can hold one large tool or multiple smaller tools simultaneously, and a versatile recipe handling system.

Once the tooling and blank are loaded, they are transported into the press via an automated hydraulic shuttle system. The operator then sets the optimal forming pressures (up to 689 bar) and the desired dwell times, if any. Notably, the versatile recipe set-up feature allows the operator to program up to 10 individual steps, selecting the desired pressure and dwell time for each. Up to 500 recipes can be stored in the HMI for fast, easy recall.

During the cycle, a pressurised rubber diaphragm acts as a universal die half, applying equal pressure over every square millimetre of the part’s surface. The finished part is near-net-shape, requiring little or no secondary finishing operations.

“This is the largest Triform press featuring a round forming area and one of the largest sheet hydroforming machines in the world,” says Josh Dixon, Beckwood’s director of sales and marketing. “Beckwood is proud to support the ongoing efforts in commercial space travel and excited to manufacture machinery for this emerging industry.”

For further information