At its new Tewkesbury manufacturing plant dedicated to the production of Airbus landing gear kits, Bowmill Engineering has installed a Jones & Shipman Suprema Easy cylindrical grinder as part of its multi-million pound machine tool investment programme that includes eight new machining centres and high levels of automation throughout. The factory in Tewkesbury replicates a similar bespoke facility at Bowmill’s headquarters in Poole.
Nick Epps is the managing director of Bowmill and when it came to specifying the grinding machine, he admits a particular affinity with Jones & Shipman: “I’m a time-served toolmaker by trade and a good deal of my apprenticeship was undertaken using J&S manual machines. Here at Bowmill we operate three J&S machines in Poole, while a sister company – Taymar Precision Grinding – also operates a number of J&S machines.
“The Jones & Shipman Suprema Easy is a multi-purpose machine that is known as an ‘all-rounder’ being equally adept at processing high-volume production grinding work or fulfilling high-precision, small batch quantities and one-off work as encountered in environments such as ours,” he continues.
Bowmill has identified nine critical Class 1 kit components that require grinding tolerance finishes – retaining pins, uplock pins and spacers. Some are chrome-plated – a grinding challenge in itself – but all grinding programmes are stored in the memory of the machine’s Easy graphical software which offers a real advantage with its speed of set-up for dressing and grinding cycles utilising touchscreen technology.
Bowmill’s machine has a 650 mm grinding capacity between centres, although longer 1000 and 1500 mm capacities are available.
For further information www.jonesshipman.com
A new generation of stream-finishing machines built by OTEC Präzisionsfinish is now available in the UK from Fintek. The SF1-Automation with chain loader is typical of the range. The ability to load and unload without stopping ensures the best return on capital investment.
In stream finishing, components are clamped in a holder and lowered into a rotating container filled with grinding or polishing media. The finishing effect is generated by the media flowing around the parts, as well as independent rotation of the components. The process offers very short finishing times.
Smoothing, polishing, edge rounding, deburring and removing coating droplets are all tasks at which the OTEC SF1 is said to excel. A combination of these is usually performed in a single operation, producing surface finish values as low as Ra 0.01 µm.
The SF1-Automation chain loader has 64 positions which can change in diameter according to the workpiece or tool to be processed. Parts ranging from 3 to 32 mm in diameter can be finished in a single batch.
Cycle times depend on the complexity of geometry and standard of finish required, but typically range from 30 to 300 seconds. The SF1 is suitable for both dry and wet finishing.
OTEC stream finishing units are available in different drum sizes and with different media/compounds. Fintek is able to supply all supporting services, including installation, training and support.
For further information www.fintek.co.uk
Visitors to the stand of Anca at EMO (Hanover, Germany) this week will find out how the company’s latest software product launch, Management Suite, aids customers keen on adopting Industry 4.0 strategies (Hall 6, Stand K59). Also in action on the stand will be company’s first Dual Robot technology.
Anca’s Management Suite provides customers with the technology to monitor the performance of their machines no matter where they are in the world. The software also enables companies to run smart factories by providing live production information that enables staff to make data-based decisions about operational improvements.
CNC grinders from Anca now have the capacity to integrate several manufacturing operations into a single production line using the company’s first multi-robot production cell solution. Using a single robot, TXcell can automatically load both the grinding wheel packs and the workpiece. However, with the addition of a second robot in the TXcell, the solution can also complete secondary operations unmanned.
A further innovation in the EMO spotlight will be the new TX Linear, which will be on show for the first time in Europe. Among the stand-out features are Anca’s LinX linear motors on the X, Y and Z axes, an updated Anca AM5X CNC and servo drive system, and a new user-friendly front panel with touch-screen and ergonomic tilt adjustment to suit different operator heights.
For further information www.anca.com
Prompted by increasing demand, Oldham-based North West Polishing Ltd is currently involved in further expanding its production facility and investing in new, highly efficient plant. As a major element in its latest expansion phase, the company recently purchased a VG T-300-3K polishing machine from Ellesco.
Managing director Andrew Marston says: “Having previously purchased polishing machines from other suppliers with somewhat mixed results, we turned to Ellesco. Together, we came to the conclusion that the T-300-3K polishing machine would satisfy our requirements. Following a trouble-free installation and operator training, our new polisher is now enabling us to process much greater quantities of products in a range of high-quality finishes. Furthermore, the speed of the machine ensures that we are able to deliver within the strict timeframes required by our customers.”
The VG T-300-3K uses three abrasive belt heads fitted with 300 mm belts, each driven by individual 7.5 kW motors. According to Ellesco, swapping from one abrasive belt grade to another is both quick and easy. The machine boasts pneumatic floating linishing heads that automatically compensate to ensure consistent pressure is applied to long, non-uniform workpieces. In addition, the T-300-3K provides powered adjustment for different thicknesses of bar and box-section products, while automatic belt tension removes unwanted oscillations.
With a through-feed conveyor, speed adjustment allows slow throughput for demanding applications such as heavy scale removal and pronounced extruder draw lines, through to fast throughput speeds for fine finishing and jobs where minimal heat generation is a requirement.
For further information www.ellesco.co.uk
The Engineering Quest, which has manufacturing facilities in both Milton Keynes and Great Gransden, Bedfordshire, has extended its surface grinding capability with a Perfect PFG 4080 AH semi-automatic machine from RK International Machine Tools. This choice followed a strategic review of existing capacity and the changing requirements of customers, particularly in the oil and gas sector, where the company was witnessing increasing volumes.
Surface grinding at the Milton Keynes facility was mainly manual and this limited production to single components per set-up. With the addition of the semi-automation that the Perfect machine brings, along with its 400 x 800 mm maximum grinding area, it is now possible to load the table with up to 20 components, in some cases increasing productivity by 400%.
The construction of the Perfect grinder uses a spindle design featuring P4 class contact bearings that give runout of less than 2 μm. In addition, the spindle is a cartridge-type that is sealed and lubricated for extended life, while the use of Turcite-B on the slideways further aids precise movement, as well as the elimination of stick-slip.
“We took our time over the decision to upgrade our surface grinding capacity and our cell supervisor played a strategic role in the final selection; we need to know that staff will be happy with the equipment which we provide,” says managing director Steve Matheron. “The choice to go semi-automatic was driven by several factors, one to improve efficiency and two to provide a cost-effective solution that matches the way in which
we utilise machine tools.”
For further information www.rk-int.com