Plastics machinist doubles turnover

Producing batches from 30 to 20,000, Hertfordshire-based Plastic Turned Parts (PTP) has invested more than £750,000 in four years to the end of 2019 in six new CNC turning centres, helping it double turnover. Five of the machines were delivered by Citizen Machinery, four Cincom sliding-head lathes and, most recently, a Miyano fixed-head model, bringing the total number of lathes on-site from this supplier to nine.

All except two of the Citizen lathes are fitted with the company’s default option bar magazines from Italian manufacturer Iemca, represented in the UK by 1st Machine Tool Accessories.
Managing director and owner Jonathan Newis says: “We particularly like the Elite model fitted to our smallest capacity, 12 mm sliding-head lathe, which has a big-bore kit to take 16 mm diameter bar. The magazine can be swapped over in a matter of seconds from gravity bar feed to walking-beam operation for advancing smaller stock below 6 mm diameter.”
Newis also singles out for praise an Iemca Boss 338-HD Superfast feeding a 20 mm capacity slider. Turning flexible plastic bar is an esoteric art, one of the problems being that, unlike metal bars, thinner stock sags under its own weight both within the magazine and in the space between it and the lathe. Through 1st MTA, the Italian manufacturer modified the barfeed to include solid panels, rather than standard cross struts, for supporting the plastic bars along the length of the magazine. Also produced were bespoke clamping blocks to ensure that small diameter bar remains horizontal in the gap between where it leaves the barfeed and enters the turning centre.
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