Motorcycle accessory manufacturer automates machining

Automated machining cells are the route to high production output in a small footprint with minimum operator attendance, and in hot pursuit of this goal is Alford, Lincolnshire-based Drury Precision Engineering. Although the firm carries out a small amount of subcontract machining, its main business is the production of its own globally-recognised motorcycle accessories for road and racing bikes, which it markets under the Evotech Performance brand name.

Between March 2020 and February 2021, the company installed three automated, Japanese-built Brother machining centres from sole UK and Ireland agent Whitehouse Machine Tools. Supplied with two of the machines were the same manufacturer’s Feedio vision-based, robotic systems for component load/unload, while the other machining centre integrates a System 3R WorkPartner pallet storage and handling system.

In the area of turn-milling, Drury has long used a bar-fed, single-turret lathe, and there has been a succession of different makes on the shop floor. In place of this lathe today is a more efficient Biglia B438-Y2 twin-spindle turn-mill centre with two Y-axis turrets, also supplied by Whitehouse Machine Tools.

The company decided in early 2015 to transition from conventional 40-taper machining centres to 30-taper models to raise production efficiency in line with rapidly increasing demand for its Evotech products, which are mainly produced by taking light cuts from aluminium billets of rectangular cross section.

First to be delivered was a Brother Speedio R450X1 twin-pallet, 22-tool, 30-taper machine for three-axis work. Output from the machine equalled that of two 40-taper machining centres. A typical crash protector, for example, took 20 minutes to machine instead of 40 minutes. This dramatic improvement was due to the minimisation of idle times through linear rapids, tool change and pallet change all taking place simultaneously, coupled with fast ATC and APC, a 16,000 rpm spindle and 200-block look-ahead in the Brother control.

The tool change in particular is so fast, delivering a chip-to-chip time of typically 2 seconds, that Drury has not only boosted production output but additionally been able to allow its designers more flexibility in SolidWorks. A couple of extra tools are introduced into a cycle, for instance, to add cosmetic features with very little time penalty. To do this on a 40-taper VMC would have unacceptably impacted productivity.

The doubling of throughput and the extra design flexibility were a revelation for Drury. Unsurprisingly, there are no longer any 40-taper machines on site and four further 30-taper Speedios followed the R450X1. The company’s first R650X1 arrived soon after, equipped with a Nikken two-axis table to provide five-axis machining capability.

Next to take its place on the shop floor was another three-axis R450X2, a three-axis R650X1 and, at the end of 2019, a five-axis S700X1 with Nikken table to provide a larger working volume. This machine was originally reserved for prototyping but was diverted into production due to ever increasing demand. All five machines sit in a line on the shop floor and are manually operated.

In early 2020 the three engineers who jointly run the company, Dan Rack, Chris Vines and Nick Cooper, recognised that prismatic machining capacity needed to be increased further, but space on the shop floor was tight. So in March that year, having had good experience with the other Brother machines, they purchased a Speedio M140X2, another five-axis machine, and decided to automate it with a Feedio component storage and robotic handling system developed jointly by Brother and ABB.

The Feedio is designed specifically for Brother machines, rather than being a generic solution provided by a third party, although a couple of other potential automation suppliers were briefly considered at the outset. The unit communicates with the machining centre control via a Profibus interface, while a smart ABB teach pendant incorporating a customised Speedio page is available for programming the six-axis robot.

Notably, the Feedio version supplied with this machine at the outset had a pair of standard, 2 m long conveyors, which are positioned one above the other. However, Drury soon realised that insufficient components could be accommodated to last for the whole of the ghost shift. So to avoid losing night-time hours, the company asked Whitehouse to extend the conveyors to 4 m in a simple exercise that took less than a day. The extra capacity also had the effect of allowing the entire weekend to be utilised for production. In fact, when machining certain parts, up to three days’ uninterrupted production is possible without manual intervention.

A camera and PC built into the Feedio unit allow the robot to detect the position of billets on the upper input conveyor. After machining, components return to the output conveyor below. This particular cell is for Op 1 work on parts weighing up to 10 kg in batches from 100- to 2,000-off; the completion of Op 2 taking place on the manually-loaded Speedios. To ensure system reliability, the M140X2 has been equipped with two Blum probes, one to check the tool and the other to confirm the correct loading of each billet before machining commences.

Careful attention is paid at the component design stage to maximise Op 1 time and thereby minimise the amount of Op 2 metal cutting. In one instance, Cooper, who manages the machining department at Alford, achieved a 9.5-minute Op 1 and a 22-second Op 2. So far, the company has produced around 50 different component types in the cell.

Nearly one year later, the two other automated Speedio cells arrived. One was a larger three-axis S700X2 with a 700 x 400 x 300 mm working volume, a Schunk pneumatic centric vice and a 4 m Feedio system capable of handling heavier components up to 20 kg, again for Op 1 work. The other was an additional five-axis M140X2, but this time fitted with a System 3R WorkPartner 108-pallet storage and handling system. Supplied as a turnkey installation by Whitehouse, the latter is a closed cell to target Op 2 inefficiencies within the factory. Six motorbike parts required in left- and right-hand versions were identified as ideal for production in this cell. They are set up permanently so that both Op 1 and Op 2 are completed automatically, unattended for up to 20 hours.

The former turning machine at Drury, which dated back to 2016, was capable of turning components up to 65 mm diameter from bar. However, its single turret meant that productivity was low and the machine was inefficient at producing small turned parts. So the decision was taken to concentrate on the in-house turn-milling of sub-38 mm diameter components, which accounts for around one-third of throughput, and outsource the remainder of turned parts production.

Drury considered two alternatives but decided in favour of the Biglia B438-Y2 due to the high level of service it receives from Whitehouse on the prismatic machining side. Other points in favour of the Biglia were the ready availability of a post processor and the machine’s ability in its standard configuration to extract up to 150 mm long components without the need for special handling equipment, which would have introduced delay at the end of some cycles.

The machine is the most recent to be installed by Whitehouse at the Alford factory. It has proved to be highly efficient at producing spacers for bar ends and crash protection brackets, for example, in a cycle time of around 1 minute compared with 3 minutes previously. Rack advises that every turned and turn-milled part seems to be produced in around one-third of the time it took before on the single-turret lathe.

Although turning in Drury’s factory has always been automated by a bar feeder, the inception of automatic loading and unloading of prismatic machined parts has seen a step-change in production efficiency. Six years ago the company employed 22 staff, yet today with only three extra operators and in the same shop floor area, turnover has more than doubled.

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Racing certainties

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has recently supplied leading precision subcontract specialist, SRD Engineering, with three new Doosan machining centres. The machines, two DNM 4500 three-axis vertical machining centres supplied with Nikken 4th-axis units, and a DVF 5000 simultaneous five-axis machining centre, were installed at the company’s 18,000 sq ft facility in June 2021.

SRD Engineering’s new machines are now busy producing a range of high-precision and often complex components for customers operating in the motorsport, automotive, electronics, medical, power generation and aerospace sectors. The parts are machined in small-to-medium batches from a diverse range of materials that include inconel, titanium, stainless, steels, aluminium and plastics.

Typical components machined by SRD Engineering are characterised by their tight tolerances (8-10 µm) and exacting surface requirements (Ra 0.8 µm or better). Part cycle times vary considerably, from a few minutes at one end of the spectrum, through to over nine hours at the other end.

The parts machined by SRD Engineering are also required, in many instances, in double-quick time, especially where the motorsport sector is concerned. This helps explain why the company operates 24/5, and why it is committed to investing in technologies that improve productivity and efficiency levels.

Says Mark Bonham who, along with brother Paul, is a director of the company: “We operate in demanding and competitive sectors where quality, lead-time fulfilment and cost competitiveness are the panacea. If you are weak in any of these areas, you’ll be found out quickly and won’t last long.”

SRD Engineering was established in 1989 by Steve Bonham (Mark and Paul’s father) and two business partners. Over the last 32 years the company has changed dramatically and grown exponentially. SRD has expanded its operations considerably and relocated twice. The company now employs 85 members of staff and has, just shy, of 40 CNC machine tools at its disposal.

A constant and recurring theme throughout the company’s history is its commitment to continuous improvement and the regular and strategic investments it has made in its people, plant and equipment, as well as its processes and systems.

“To ensure that you are meeting, and hopefully exceeding, customer expectations you need to monitor and benchmark your business performance and address any weaknesses or concerns before they can impact on your ability to meet quality, lead-time and cost-down requirements,” says Bonham. “We have systems in place to ensure that this is a priority and our latest continuous improvement programme, Project 24, is a company-wide initiative that focuses on restructuring, redeployment, training and investment. It has provided the catalyst and rationale for the recent Doosan machine tool investments.”

Project 24 helped identify a ‘weakness’ in SRD Engineering’s milling section – specifically with three older vertical machining centres which, owing to their age and through constant use, were becoming more unreliable, required consistent and costly maintenance intervention and, if left unchecked, would create production bottlenecks.

To avoid production pinch points, the company decided to replace the three older machines with more advanced machine tools and approached the market to identify suitable replacements.

Says Bonham: “We are always looking to increase our machining capabilities and not just our capacity. Multi-tasking and multi-axis machine tools help increase our productivity and operational efficiencies. Being able to machine components in one hit and reduce part cycle times enables us to better meet customer deadlines. Furthermore, reducing the number of job set ups and avoiding the need to transfer jobs from one machine to another ensures that part accuracy and repeatability are not compromised.

“We approached Mills CNC with our requirements,” he continues. “We had previously invested in Doosan DNM machining centres with 4th-axis units some years earlier and, owing to the machines’ reliability and performance, decided to replace two of our older milling machines with two new DNM 4500 machining centres.”

The two DNM 4500 machines supplied to SRD Engineering are equipped with the latest Fanuc 0iMP control, 12,000 rpm directly coupled spindles, integrated thermal compensation, LM roller guideways, 30-station quick-change ATCs and Filtermist extraction systems. To increase the productivity of the machines, both were supplied with Nikken CNC202 rotary tables.

SRD Engineering is no stranger to five-axis machining and has a dedicated five-axis milling section.

Explains Bonham: “In discussing our future milling requirements and production strategies with Mills CNC’s sales and application engineers, we decided that the third machine would be a high-performance, simultaneous five-axis machining centre capable of processing a range of parts.”

The machine identified was the Doosan DVF 5000 – a compact machining centre equipped with a 12,000 rpm direct-drive spindle, 60-station ATC, linear guides, an efficient swarf conveyor system, Filtermist extraction and the Fanuc 31iB5 control.

“We negotiated a great deal with Mills and part-exchanged our three older machines for the three new ones,” says Bonham.

Key strengths and market differentiators that help separate SRD Engineering from other precision subcontractors are its commitment and ability to go the extra mile for customers, as well as its focus on growth and improvement. In recent years the application of both have seen the company invest in sliding-head lathe technology, enabling it to machine high-precision, complex components in large volumes.

From a standing start, the company now has four sliding-head lathes at its disposal. Indeed, SRD has brought many machining processes in house. To ensure quality, cost competitiveness and lead time fulfilment, the company has lessened its reliance on outside subcontractors – preferring to bring several secondary services and specialisms in-house.

SRD has also made significant improvements to its inspection and measurement capabilities. The recently implemented Project 24 initiative identified the need to further upgrade its capabilities by investing in another CMM and making its inspection room fully air conditioned.

Notably, the company stocks heat-treated materials at its facility just in case a specific Formula One customer needs components immediately.

Concludes Bonham: “Although SRD Engineering is a very different company to the one that was established 32 years ago – not everything has changed. We still operate on the same quality, lead-time fulfilment and cost-down principles that we did when first established, and our commitment to continuous improvement, as evidenced by our recent investment in three new Doosan machining centres, remains a priority.”

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Globally renowned as a leading designer and manufacturer of high-fidelity sound system equipment, such as turntables, streaming systems, amps and speakers, Linn Products employs approximately 160 people at the company’s impressive Glasgow headquarters. Rather than pursue a business model of planned obsolescence, due to the modular nature of Linn Products’ hardware and software, all of the company’s systems are upgradeable. In addition to the ability to evolve, the enduring quality and longevity of the company’s systems ensures the best sound possible for the lifetime of each product.

Quality permeates every aspect of Linn’s activities. To ensure the build quality of the company’s products – and to guarantee their sound reproduction and clarity – in addition to long lasting performance, the company’s staff perform painstaking inspection routines throughout all stages of manufacture.

In order to reduce the company’s reliance on subcontractors, further increase the autonomous nature of its manufacturing operation and provide even greater control over the quality of its components, Linn Products recently made several investments in advanced machine tools.

These investments included the purchase of a bespoke manufacturing cell from Mills CNC. The fully automated system includes a Doosan DVF 5000 five-axis machine tool and a Fanuc six-axis industrial robot. The impressive new cell now runs unattended overnight and at weekends, and has provided significant productivity gains.

Due to the enhanced accuracy capabilities and the high-yield nature of Linn Products’ new manufacturing plant, Chris O’Brien, director of operations, searched for an advanced CMM that had the ability to keep pace with the company’s increased production of precise components. Following a successful and practical demonstration at Mitutoyo’s East Kilbride showroom, an order was placed for a recently launched Crysta-Apex S series CNC CMM.

Explaining Linn Products’ passionate quality philosophy and the purchase of the Crysta-Apex S, O’Brien says: “Ever since Linn Products was stablished in 1973, we have constantly pushed technology forwards in the pursuit of perfect sound. From our very first product, the iconic Sondek LP12 turntable, we have been at the forefront of audio technology.

“All of our high-fidelity sound systems are assembled by hand at our Glasgow factory, and each one bears the name of the person who made it,” he continues. “Our systems are engineered to extraordinarily tight tolerances. To help ensure the continuing quality of our products and guarantee their prolonged performance, all systems are subject to painstaking inspection and testing at each stage of manufacture. Then, prior to despatch, we thoroughly test every product to ensure that it delivers outstanding performance.

After bringing the machining of many of its previously outsourced components in-house, Linn Products needed to source a highly efficient and accurate means of providing inspection.

“Having considered other options, a demonstration of a Crysta-Apex S at our local Mitutoyo showroom proved that it was the ideal advanced CMM for our demanding needs,” says O’Brien. “As it had the ideal size to accommodate our components, we ordered a Crysta-Apex S544 model with a capacity of 500 x 400 x 400 mm.

“Following our new Mitutoyo CMM’s trouble-free installation, our engineering staff were trained in its operation,” continues O’Brien. “As the CMM’s operating system and software are so logical and intuitive, our staff could soon perform a range of inspection routines. Although, when needed they can request help over the telephone from Mitutoyo’s technical staff. Our Crysta-Apex S series machine is now making a significant contribution to Linn Products’ quality management systems.”

Mitutoyo CMMs come in a wide range of sizes and accuracy classes, enabling them to cover practically all precision 3D measuring applications. A large variety of contact and non-contact probes are available, allowing users to perform a wide range of different measurement routines. Complementing Mitutoyo’s CMM hardware, the company’s powerful, yet easy-to-use analysis software allows the interpretation of all measurement results in the timely manner that is so essential for keeping pace with today’s fast-paced production speeds.

The Crysta-Apex S series of high-accuracy CNC CMMs guarantee a maximum permissible length measurement error of E0,MPE = (1.7+3L/1000) μm [500/700/900 series]. In addition, the CMMs deliver a maximum drive speed of 519 mm/s and a maximum acceleration of 2309 mm/s2, resulting in an increase of almost 100 mm in drive distance per second when compared with general-purpose CNC CMMs.

Designed to deliver high rigidity, Mitutoyo’s Crysta-Apex S series CMMs feature unyielding structures. The Y-axis guide rails, which are attached to one side of the granite surface plates, help the machines to maintain high levels of accuracy over years of use. The CMM’s air bearings are located on the bottom faces of the guide rails; also on the front, rear and upper surfaces of the X-axis slider unit. This arrangement helps to minimise vibration, even during high-speed, high-acceleration movements, and ensure stable linear motion. The high-speed and high-acceleration qualities of Crysta-Apex S CMMs dramatically reduces measuring times, says Mitutoyo.

In addition to being a CMM suitable for use in pristine quality departments, thanks to the use of a temperature compensation system, Crysta-Apex S CMMs are able to guarantee the accuracy of measurement under temperature conditions of 16 to 26°C. The temperature compensation system is based on permanently installed temperature sensors located on each scale, working together with sensors placed on the workpiece.

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A clear statement of intent

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has supplied design, manufacturing and fabrication specialist – D & M Design and Fabrication Ltd – with four new Doosan machines.

The first two machines to arrive were a Puma 2600SY Mk II multi-tasking lathe with sub-spindle and Y-axis capabilities and a large-capacity DNM 6700 vertical machining centre with an integrated Nikken 4th-axis unit. These are now joined by a second DNM 6700 machine and a Lynx 2100A lathe featuring a Hydrafeed short magazine servo-driven barfeed.

The acquisition of four high-performance Doosan machines is a considerable and formidable CNC machining resource and, as was the intention, has helped D&M to augment the range of services it can offer. In addition, the investment has opened up a whole new set of opportunities and a completely new revenue stream (the machining and supply of high-precision, complex parts in small to medium volumes to new customers) that the company is keen to exploit.

D&M is committed to continuous improvement and, over its 11-year history, has made regular and significant investment in its people, plant and equipment – and in its systems and processes.
Says Michael Barratt, co-owner and director: “A constant theme running through all our investment plans is improving our manufacturing capabilities; not just on increasing production capacity. We are always looking to manufacture things better, faster and more economically.”

D&M is first and foremost a fabrication specialist. Prior to creating its own in-house machine shop, the company would subcontract its machining requirements to local companies. The situation was not ideal for a number of reasons.

Explains Dave Mawer, co-owner and director: “Not all customers needed or required their parts to be machined. However, for those that did, some issues – primarily concerning lead time fulfilment – were evident. Our customers like, and respond well, to a single source and single point of contact approach where we are in control of all aspects of the job, with all processes taking place under our roof. Having to outsource machining work meant that we were not in full control. And, if any issues occurred during machining it would, in all likelihood, have a negative impact on delivery times; possibly on part quality/accuracy too.”

The outbreak of the pandemic and its impact on D&M’s suppliers compounded matters, affecting access to high-quality subcontract machining services.

“Covid-19 focused our minds,” recalls Barratt. “We couldn’t guarantee to customers when we’d be able to deliver their parts because we were having difficulty locating subcontract machining resources per se – let alone ones that could meet the delivery times we and our customers required. It got to the stage where the lack of in-house machining services was causing us to lose work. This was the catalyst, and it set things in motion.”

Creating a machine shop from scratch in the middle of the pandemic, while keeping the core fabrication business going, would have been a tall order for many, but not for D&M.
“We tackled the project like every other and broke it down into its constituent parts,” says Mawer. “As there was no space in the existing manufacturing facility, we made the decision to build a brand new, purpose-built and dedicated machine shop on land available to us: adjacent to where our welding and fabrication operations take place.

“We wanted the new machine shop to look and be impressive,” he continues. “Our intention was to create a fully-functional machine shop that would not only be the in-house machining resource for our design and fabrication customers, but become a stand-alone precision machining subcontractor that offers high-quality and competitively priced CNC services to existing and new customers.”

The machine shop facility is 3700 sq ft in size and provides ample room for expansion.

Another key decision confronting the directors was recruiting skilled and experienced members of staff to operate and program the machines, and to run the machine shop.

Says Barratt: “As well as having a good reputation we have strong relationships with manufacturers in the area. Both helped us to attract the right people. We initially recruited two people for the new machine shop, but such has been the growing demand for our services that we are looking to recruit an additional machinist.”

Some companies, when setting up a machine shop from scratch, may start their new venture by acquiring used/pre-owned machines. This was not the case with D&M, which straight out of the gate invested in a large Doosan DNM 6700 machining centre featuring a 4th-axis unit and a Doosan Puma 2600SY II lathe with a sub-spindle, driven tools and an integrated Y axis.
“We decided to invest in new machine tools and set about researching the market to narrow down our choice of machine tool supplier,” states Mawer.

D&M adopted a rigorous and systematic approach. The directors talked to their peers, undertook extensive desk research and visited a number of suppliers to discuss their needs.
Says Barratt: “As we didn’t know the machine tool market, the sales process adopted by the different suppliers was important to us. Out of everyone we spoke to, we responded best to the sales staff from Mills CNC. They took the time to listen and understand what we were trying to achieve: there was no ‘hard sell’ involved. We ultimately invested in two Doosan machines from Mills because we wanted to offer quality machining services and build a reputation based on accuracy, quick turnarounds and competitive pricing.”

With the new building ready and the people and new machines in place, D&M – having already informed customers about its new machine shop – waited in eager anticipation for things to take off. The company did not have to wait long.

“Demand for our machining services from existing customers and a whole tranche of new ones has been exceptional,” says Mawer

So much so, in fact, that within two months of operation the company had virtually exhausted its capacity and ordered an additional two machines – its second DNM 6700 machining centre and a Lynx 2100 lathe with integrated barfeed.

Concludes Barratt: “There is no denying that it’s been an eventful time. From a standing start we now have a well-resourced and successfully operating machine shop. The decision to invest in advanced and multi-tasking Doosan machine tools has paid off. We are able to achieve impressive part cycle times and machine high-precision, complex components in single set ups. And we are able to meet tight delivery deadlines.”

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Stainless steel shotgun is start-up’s first project

Clay shooting is a popular global activity as well as being one of the 42 Olympic disciplines and, as in any sport, the quality of the equipment is paramount. One enthusiast who is determined to manufacture a range of affordable yet high-quality shotguns and bring them within the financial reach of a wider market is Christopher Iaciofano, who set up RIMD in Fleet Marsden, near Aylesbury, in January 2021.

To produce metal parts for the guns, he has installed a Hurco five-axis CNC machining centre and a Dean Smith and Grace (DSG) 6.5-tonne manual lathe that was specially adapted in-house to enable the highly accurate deep-hole drilling of barrels. The first gun will be marketed as the ‘Chiltern’ later this year through an established manufacturer of traditional hand-crafted shotguns.

The rationale for establishing the venture was Iaciofano’s identification of a gap in the engineering marketplace for a company capable of undertaking the functions needed to launch a new product – research, innovation, manufacturing and development (RIMD). The company says it is able to remove some or all of these elements from a customer’s activities and inject a high level of expertise to achieve a superior end product and accelerate time-to-market. There is a special focus on R&D, which is generally the first area to be neglected in favour of day-to-day activities.

Having gained a BSc in mechanical engineering at Bournemouth University, Iaciofano subsequently worked in the oil and gas sector. He was responsible for designing and manufacturing chemical injection equipment capable of withstanding pressures up to 3000 bar utilising a diverse range of exotic materials, which he became expert in machining.

With that knowledge and having an antipathy towards the mild steel parts on his own shotgun rusting, he decided to design and construct a new version from a special blend of PH17-4 hardened stainless steel. This material is particularly difficult to machine, as it is sticky and requires very sharp cutters, yet has a hardness of 38 HRc and above, which tends to wear the tooling quickly. To make matters worse, very small drills are involved in production, as well as milling cutters down to 0.6 mm in diameter.

Hurco offers two main styles of integrated five-axis vertical machining centre, one with a swivelling trunnion supporting a rotary table, and the other with a B-axis spindle and a horizontal rotary table. Neither design was suitable for RIMD, as it would have been impossible to mill the outside of the one-piece shotgun barrel from a 76 mm diameter, 900 mm long billet without buying an excessively large machine.

The answer was to purchase a Hurco VMX42HSi three-axis VMC equipped with a Kitagawa two-axis compound rotary table positioned at the far right-hand side of the machining area. The latter enables the 900 mm barrel billet, which has already had the two bores roughed and finished on the DSG, to be fixtured by picking up on the bores and rotated. It is then possible to mill the entire outside along its length using the VMC’s 1000 mm X axis. In the process, the barrel reduces to about 1.2 mm wall thickness and 1.4 kg, just 5% of the original billet weight of 28 kg.

The machine is equipped with an 18,000 rpm spindle, so very high surface finishes are possible. Linear scales provide ultra-precise feedback of the orthogonal axis positions to the control. In addition, the table feeds its rotary positions back to the proprietary Hurco WinMax CNC, which is capable of controlling all five axis motions simultaneously. Many such programs help produce components for the Chiltern gun, all of which come off the Hurco in one operation to within 5 µm dimensional accuracy on all critical features.

Most of the remaining cycles are 3+2, with the rotary axes positioned and clamped to present the part to the spindle in convenient orientations, thus maximising machining efficiency. All programming takes place using either SolidCAM or GibbsCAM, rather than directly at the WinMax control, although the latter conversational software remains a convenient option for future projects.

Iaciofano concludes: “Our immediate business plan is to complete the shotgun venture through to series production and take on another couple of projects. They will be either the cradle-to-grave development of a new product of our own design, or manufacturing support for a third party’s project to relieve them of some of their work.

“It is also a target to take on smaller projects from individuals with great ideas but without the means to bring them to market, and to offer free development and manufacturing for a share of the company,” he adds. “Our intention is to more than double our factory space to 4500 sq ft by expanding into an adjacent unit.”

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