XYZ Machine Tools helps to keep vans safe

Exeter-based Van Guard Accessories has invested in a new XYZ 750 TMC vertical machining centre with ProtoTRAK RMX control and 20-station carousel tool changer. The machine enabled this progressive manufacturing business to bring in-house the manufacture of prismatic parts for its ULTI Lock hook-lock, which is the first ‘Sold Secure’Gold level hook-lock for vans.

The first part on the new machine was the lock’s face plate. Fixturing was designed so that 22 face plates could fit on onepallet. Previously, countersinking of the face plates to three different depths took place manually, requiring 15 minutes per part. To subcontract this operation cost £1.10 per component, so in-house machining was easy to justify with a cycle time of 30 seconds per plate and a payback on the machine of less than three years.

Director of operationsLeigh Andrewssays: “The ULTI Lock has been a raging success; we’re making between 4000 and 6000 per month. Typically, each van will have two or three hook-locks, one on the rear door and two on the side door. We’re preparing more fixtures so that we can introduce the machining of other parts in-house. Currently we’re only using 50% of the XYZ 750 TMC’s capacity, so we have plenty of machining time available for different parts. Furthermore, with the machine’s swarf conveyor, we’re able to recover more money from recycling the swarf while at the same time maintaining a clean machine and clean coolant.”

Van Guard chose the XYZ 750 TMC as Leigh Andrews had experience of the machines at a previous company.

“Although we’re new to CNC machining, the graphics and ease of use of ProtoTRAK made the crossover from manual to CNC machining easy,” he concludes.

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