Automated machining package

As industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers will face renewed challenges as production ramps up again. The skills shortage has not gone away; if anything it has worsened, making the availability of machine automation more pressing. To help meet these challenges, XYZ Machine Tools has created an automation and machine package that provides a cost-effective route to maximising productivity.

The package revolves around the three-machine LR series of XYZ vertical machining centres, with prices starting at £99,870 for a combination of the 500 LR and the XYZ Robo-Tend automated production cell. Robo-Tend features a Kuka Cybertech robot with 10 kg lifting capacity (larger versions available) with vision system. A major advantage of Robo-Tend is the potential for quick disconnection and repositioning to another compatible XYZ machining centre or, to allow conventional use of the machine with an operator.

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25% more wire EDM speed

The introduction of a VL600Q from Sodi-Tech EDM at the Wolverhampton facility of Pemberton Engineering is driving 25% more productivity in the manufacture of automotive press tools, jigs and fixtures.

Founded in 1984, Pemberton Engineering has been specialising in toolmaking ever since.

Initially focusing on small press tools for the lock industry, which was still flourishing in the Black Country during that time, the company soon shifted its emphasis to the automotive sector. From large tools for truck and tractor components, Pemberton Engineering has evolved into an established supplier of high-precision press tools, including complex progression tooling, to tier-one and tier-two automotive manufacturers.

“Apart from a short six-week closure for the initial UK lockdown due to COVID-19, we’ve been really busy,” states managing director Darren Pemberton. “In fact, buoyant is the word I’d use to describe business right now, which is exactly why we needed more wire EDM capacity.
“Although we were already running two wire EDMs, we knew that another would deliver a major boost to operations and allow us to provide customers with even better service and support,” he adds. “Having looked around at the leading wire EDM models in the capacity range we required, the Sodick VL600Q was the obvious choice. Particularly attractive was the 25% increase in speed it would offer over our existing machines.”

The VL600Q houses Sodick’s latest LN2W series power supply unit, which is capable of high-speed, high-precision and high-efficiency machining. Linear motors also feature, providing high-speed axis motion and quick response times.

“Beyond our single shift pattern, the VL600Q is already running lights-out overnight and at weekends,” says Pemberton. “We’re really impressed with the Sodick machine’s performance, which has been faultless to date. It has totally eliminated bottlenecks within our workflow.”

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GM CNC welcomes new starter

GM CNC, the UK’s exclusive dealer for Victor machine tools, has appointed Joe Bricknell as a new area sales representative to bolster the sales operation for this long-established brand.

Bricknell started his career as a mechanical engineering apprentice before going into a direct production role setting various types of CNC machine tools from some of the world’s most recognised brands. Taking the next step in his career, he joined a Midlands-based machine-tool company as a regional sales engineer.

Earning his spurs by selling a diverse range of machine tools and brands, Bricknell jumped at the opportunity to join GM CNC. He says: “GM CNC is a family business that has an exceptional reputation for its customer service and support. To support the UK manufacturing industry for more than 30 years with thousands of machine-tool sales and installations, and to be held in such high regard by UK manufacturers, is testament to the ethos of the company.”

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Renishaw joins umati community

To continue providing customers in the CNC machining industry with vital data that helps realise the benefits of Industry 4.0, Renishaw has become a member of the umati community, which will complement its existing role on the standards committee of MTConnect. As an active member of both communities, Renishaw will support the development of common language standardisation for machine tools by publishing process measurement and part quality data.
The universal machine technology interface (umati) is an open standard backed by the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) and the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA). Members of both organisations worked together in the development of a common information model, based on the OPC UA protocol, to simplify connectivity between equipment and software, and control data exchange between different machines.

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New date for Southern Manufacturing

Following consultation with Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, and the venue’s welcome assistance and understanding, the organiser of Southern Manufacturing has rescheduled the show to take place as a two-day autumn special on 6-7 October 2021. This date diverges from the event’s regular slot in February to avoid conflicting with other events postponed from 2020.

The show’s organiser also makes it clear that Southern Manufacturing will return to its usual position in the calendar in 2022, on 8-10 February. A statement reads that the organising team “believes this decision will enable the market as a whole to benefit under more favourable economic and social circumstances”.

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