High-level turning raises productivity

Prismatic machining on BT30 and BT40 machining centres accounts for the majority of throughput at the Mildenhall factory of subcontractor CTPE, which produces complex, high-precision components for the medical, marine, scientific, defence and electronics sectors. However, productivity on the turning side of the businessreceived a significant boost recently when an ageing, two-axis, fixed-head bar auto was replaced by a Miyano twin-spindle turning centre with twin Y-axis turrets and live tooling, fed by an LNS Alpha SL65 S short-bar magazine.

Supplied by Citizen Machinery UK, the 10-axis ANX-42SYY lathe is fitted with the latest FANUC 31i 15-inch touchscreen control incorporating a new HMI. The machine also features the company’s superimposed machining, whereby three tools can be in cut at the same time thanks to X-axis movement of the sub spindle. Three-axis simultaneous interpolation and double Y-axis cutting are also enabled.

The sub-spindle offset has the additional advantage of allowing reverse-end machining of long parts with extended tools, while simultaneous machining of the front end of the next component is in progress at the main spindle. Otherwise that would have to wait due to interference caused by back-end operations, lowering production output.

Advantage is taken of the machine’s other stand-out feature, LFV (low-frequency vibration) chip-breaking software in the control’s operating system. In practice, at Mildenhall LFV is on for 10 to 15% of a typical cycle.

CTPE’s operations director Alex Taylor says: “We saw LFV demonstrated on the Citizen stand at MACH 2022. This function is extremely useful when machining aluminium, which constitutes most of our work, and is even more effective on plastics, which accounts for about 25% of our throughput.”
For further information www.citizenmachinery.co.uk