From fabricator to all-rounder

Family-owned M&J products started life in fabrication, producing architectural ironwork for industrial and domestic customers over 35 years ago. The natural progression was to move into sheet metalwork. While fabrication and sheet metalwork remain a major part of its business, under the direction of Adam Bills, the Bolsover-based company is now expanding into machining.

“Like any business, we look to drive down costs and add to our competitiveness; upgrading our machining capability was key to achieving that,” says Bills. “Although our customers appreciated and liked what we did, we knew we had to move on from manual machining, and CNC would bring the versatility that we needed. However, our limited experience with CNC meant we had to be careful in which direction we jumped and we probably spent six months researching the best option for us.”
That was two years ago and the decision by Bills was to go for an XYZ ProtoTrak bed mill, which has now been joined by an XYZ 1020 VMC with Siemens control and fourth-axis attachment.
“We were being asked to get involved with more complex contracts, including water pump development and mould work, in particular rotational moulds,” says Bills. “This meant we needed larger capacity and the XYZ 1020 VMC gave us just what we needed.”
The XYZ 1020 VMC has axis travels of 1020 x 520 x 540 mm in XYZ, with an 1120 x 520 mm table able to support workpieces up to 800 kg. Performance is enhanced by the use of boxways with 20 m/min feedrates in all axes and an 8000 rpm, 20 hp, BT40 spindle complemented by a 24-position toolchanger.
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