A total of 24 Cincom sliding-headstock CNC bar autos were installed between last summer and the beginning of 2019 by Citizen Machinery UK at one of the two factory units operated by Shannon-based medical component manufacturer, Smithstown Light Engineering.
The major investment followed Smithstown’s receipt of a contract from a multinational medical firm for machining multiple variants of two types of endoscopic device parts from 303 stainless steel bar. Annual quantity is currently 18 million for the production of nine million assemblies.
Managing director Gerard King had identified the business opportunity in 2017 and machined sample parts on a 20 mm bar capacity Cincom L20 installed three years previously to fulfil another contract, which is still running, for turning a 316 stainless steel spindle used in a medical delivery device.
Discussions progressed and, to develop the process further, he decided to buy on-spec a 12 mm bar capacity Cincom L12, which is of more appropriate size for producing the endoscope parts in short cycle times.
Says King: “The first of the L12s started arriving in July 2018, and the last ones were on site by January this year. All are operating 24/7. The lead-time from the customer signing the contract and our shipping the first parts in production quantities was five months. Citizen supported us well during this ramp-up phase.”
All of the latest sliding-head lathes are equipped with Citizen’s patented LFV (low frequency vibration) software, part of the control’s operating system that assists chip breaking when machining materials that tend to generate long, stringy swarf during turning.
For further information www.citizenmachinery.co.uk