Tool room gets capability boost

The tool room at one of the globe’s leading manufacturers of domestic, commercial and industrial cleaning equipment has received a boost in capability with the arrival of a Sodick AD55L CNC spark-erosion machine from Sodi-Tech EDM.

Chard-based Numatic International Ltd, manufacturer of the world-famous Henry vacuum cleaner, says its new Sodick AD55L CNC die-sink EDM has enhanced the site’s mould-tool repair, maintenance and modification services.

With so many of its products comprising plastic components, Numatic operates its own mould shop. Supporting the mould shop is a tool-room facility, which has the task of repairing, modifying and maintaining around 2000 different mould tools, ranging in weight from 100 kg to 15 tons.

“Obviously some tools become obsolete over the course of time, but these are usually countered by new arrivals – we’re expecting 96 new mould tools this year, for example,” explains toolroom supervisor Scott Connett. “Addressing issues such as tooling modifications and general wear and tear, are the most common tasks for our tool-room team.”
Numatic’s existing manual spark-erosion capacity was coming up to 20 years old and the gap in capabilities, compared with a new CNC machine, was plain to see.

“We looked at various spark eroders, but for us it was more about service and support,” says Connett. “So, even though the AD55L was our first Sodick, we chose it because Sodi-Tech EDM came top of our assessments in terms of aftersales service.
“We’ve certainly noticed the difference since it was installed,” he adds. “With our previous manual machine we would need three or four electrodes to achieve our desired end result, whereas on the Sodick we just use a roughing and finishing electrode. As you would expect, the machine is also much quicker.”

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