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.
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