Established in 1988 and employing over 150 staff, family-owned Irish manufacturing firm PB Machine Tech produces more than 5000 customised hydraulic cylinders per week at its factory in Bagenalstown, County Carlow. To boost production capacity, in November last year the company purchased its third Taiwanese-built Leadwell V-40iT five-axis VMC.
Supplied by sole sales and service agent in Ireland and the UK, WH-Lead, the 12,000 rpm BT40 machine was required due to increasing demand for its hydraulic products from manufacturers around the world in the agricultural, access platform, construction, environmental and materials handling sectors.
Ray Kehoe, general manager – component division at PB Machine Tech, says: “We introduced one-hit manufacture in our factory some years ago following heavy investment in turn-mill machines, and were keen to replicate this on the prismatic machining side of our business. We started that process in June 2018 by augmenting our three-axis VMC capacity with the purchase of our first five-axis machining centre, a Leadwell V-40iT. With one-hit machining, perfect components are produced easily every time. Multiple sequential set-ups on several machines are a thing of the past, as is the manufacture of expensive fixtures.”
After seeing the benefits in terms of raised quality and reduced lead-times resulting from installation of the first V-40iT, its capacity was quickly filled, prompting investment in a second at the end of 2020 and now a third. Control is by Fanuc 0i-MF Plus that, in the case of the machines supplied to Bagenalstown, is able to interpolate four CNC axes simultaneously, although full five-axis operation may also be specified.
Kehoe’s concluding remark was that PB Machine Tech is happy to recommend both Leadwell machines and WH-Lead as important partners in addressing the current economic challenges facing Irish and British manufacturers.
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