Medical device subcontractor expands

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.
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Camloc invests in second CNC lathe

Gas spring and damper solutions manufacturer Camloc Motion Control has continued the growth of its manufacturing and product development arm following significant investment in a second CNC lathe.

The DMG Mori Sprint 32|8, worth £175,000, further increases the company’s capacity to manufacture and develop more complex, bespoke products for customers at its Leicester facility.
Engineering director at Camloc Motion Control, Matt Warne, sees the investment in a second CNC lathe as a significant step forward for the business as part of its long-term growth plans: “Following the success we have seen over the past 18 months as a result of our investment in the first CNC lathe, we made the decision to bring forward our acquisition of the second from DMG Mori.”
This latest investment allows Camloc to accelerate new product development, reduce specialist component lead times and further improve flexibility in providing bespoke customer product solutions.
“Investing in the latest technology and machinery means we can take our products to the next level, delivering tailored functionality that meets specific customer needs,” concludes Warne.
The Sprint 32|8 is a small automatic lathe with six linear axes and a C axis that is suited to workpieces measuring up to 32 mm in diameter and 600 mm in length, from a footprint of less than 2.8 sq m. Productivity is boosted with the automatic workpiece discharge function and a workpiece transfer conveyor, which is offered as standard.
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Okuma to exhibit in Paris

Okuma will exhibit at this year’s Paris Air Show (Le Bourget, 17-23 June, Hall 4 E51).

The company has more than three decades of expertise in machining technology for the aerospace industry. Within Okuma’s aerospace portfolio are manufacturing solutions for many workpieces such as turbine components, gear parts, hydraulic valves and landing gear components. Okuma’s range of turn-mill machines, including the MU-V, Multus-U and VTM-YB series, are predestined for aerospace applications, while the multi-tasking Laser EX series is additionally equipped with additive manufacturing capabilities.
Aerospace manufacturers benefit from Okuma’s intelligent technologies, like its Thermo-Friendly Concept, which compensates for thermal deformation. The benefit is dimensional stability during long-term machining operations. Furthermore, with the use of ‘Dynamic Tool Load Control’, costs can be reduced by allowing the use of cheap tooling inserts for machining difficult-to-cut materials like titanium.
Visitors to the Paris Air Show will have the opportunity to discuss the latest technological trends with Okuma experts, and are welcome to experience the company’s IoT solution Connect Plan. This software-based system provides analytics for improved utilisation by connecting machine tools and providing visual control of factory operations and machining.
Okuma traditionally puts a special focus on dedicated applications for the aerospace industry, and maintains three global Aerospace Centres of Excellence in Krefeld (Germany), Charlotte (USA) and Oguchi (Japan). All three facilities offer demonstrations of the specific solutions in operation and are open to interested visitors all year round.
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26% turn-mill cycle time savings

Hartlepool subcontractor JJ Hardy & Sons, which specialises in supplying the rail and energy sectors, has replaced an ageing lathe with a Genos L3000e turn-mill centre built by Okuma, Japan, supplied through sole UK and Ireland agent, NCMT.

The first job on the machine, which involved turning and milling a batch of parts from brass bar, resulted in each component emerging from the lathe 26% faster than previously.
More recently, a batch of 400 components turned and drilled from 40 mm diameter mild-steel bar showed an almost identical saving. Each part previously took 225 seconds to produce and is now completed in 165 seconds on the Okuma. The one minute reduction per part translates into more than six and a half hours saved, an economy that allowed the subcontractor to hold the price for the customer.
Andrew Pailor, JJ Hardy’s managing director since 2002, says: “With material costs going up all the time, purchasing new machinery to bring cycle times down is helping us to increase our competitiveness and win new business. We identified a requirement for another turn-mill solution and recognised Okuma as the leading manufacturer of machinery to fill that need. We did not think we could afford one, but NCMT’s help made it possible.”
The Genos L3000e has box sideways in X and Z to support heavy cutting, while the NC tailstock runs on a linear guide. A total of 12 live tools in the turret have up to 7 kW of power for prismatic metal cutting in conjunction with the C-axis spindle.
Pailor concludes: “The Genos L3000e is an operator-friendly machine that simplifies cleaning, filtration and maintenance. It is a one-saddle lathe that is strong and compact, ideal for cutting a wide range of exotic materials with ease.”
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£10m investment in brake system production

Liberty, part of GFG Alliance, a global industrial, metals and energy group, has announced its investment in a £10m global technology centre in Leamington Spa.

By the beginning of 2020, in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of automotive production at the site, all of Liberty’s design and manufacturing for braking systems – currently in an adjacent plant – will be transferred to the modern facility, which will also become home to its wider research, design and product development activities.
Among the advanced manufacturing equipment will be £5m of new CNC lathes, machining centres and other equipment bought since the acquisition of 920E (originally Automotive Products). The investment includes two Traub turning centres built in Germany and supplied through Kingsbury, which have raised to eight the number of Traub turning machines on site.
First of the latest lathes to arrive in Leamington was a 32 mm bar capacity TNL 32, which has the notable ability to be changed over quickly from sliding-head to fixed-head operation. The second machine to arrive was a TNX 65, another twin-spindle, twin-turret turn-mill lathe but for fixed-head turning only, which is capable of producing parts from bar up to 65 mm diameter.
Production group leader, Bill Dhesi says: “The latest Traub machines produce parts more than 25% faster than the existing models due to their higher spindle speeds, faster axis movements, quicker turret indexing and higher power driven tooling.”
Many of the components find their way into brake systems, calipers and actuation products for marques such as JLR, Mini, Morgan and other major automotive brands. The parts are supplied to production lines mainly in the UK and to outlets for aftermarket sale.
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