Shaking up the market

MACH Machine Tools, part of the Vigilance Group, has recently introduced a range of CNC bed mills equipped with the advanced DynaPath control. There are three machines in the range: the MDM 700 (X, Y and Z-axis travels of 710, 400 and 500 mm respectively); the MDM 850 (830 x 500 x 610 mm); and the MDM 1000 (1000 x 500 x 610 mm).

In addition to the machines’ ISO40 taper spindles with up to 5000 rpm spindle speed, and 1524 x 330 mm working tables offering a maximum load capacity of 500 kg, all three models are equipped with a range of value-added features supplied as standard. These include a 12.1” touchscreen, MPG hand wheel, air draw bar, interlock table guard and coolant equipment. Furthermore, Wi-Fi capability facilitates ‘remote’ diagnostic and online support.
The DynaPath control system is inherently versatile and features conversational and ISO/G-code programming capability. An 8 Gb on-board (program) storage facility, combined with 1000-line look-ahead, ensures fast processing speeds and responsiveness.
Another feature of the control is its simple to understand menus, and the integration of on-screen graphics to help eliminate programming omissions and errors. The provision of an advanced DXF reader, as standard, featuring grouped hole and contour selection, adds to the control’s flexibility and appeal.
Datum setting using alignment, a suggested feeds and speeds database, sub-program calling, the ability to use macro-programming, the ability to facilitate program simulation using tool path or 3D rendered graphics, and programmable spindle control – are among further features of the DynaPath control.
“The first MDM machine – a MDM 1000 – arrived in the UK at the end of September and was sold immediately,” says Mike Corbett, MACH Machine Tools’ CNC machine tool divisional manager. “We’ve since brought in more machines, and interest in them has been nothing short of phenomenal.”
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Five-axis machining of composites

Founded in 2003 jointly by John Biddlecombe and Simon Kingdon-Butcher, Global Technologies Racing (GTR) is a specialist manufacturer of laminated carbon-fibre components for the UK motorsport sector, supplying most of the Formula One teams.
Over the past decade and a half, GTR has become so successful that the constantly rising demand on its machine shop in Easthampnett, West Sussex, meant it needed to expand into a second facility in nearby Bognor Regis at the beginning of 2018. Shortly after moving in, a pair of Hermle C400 machining centres was ordered from UK agent Kingsbury to boost the contract machinist’s capability for five-axis processing.

The first, with a coolant tank for ‘wet’ machining and an additional 50-pocket tool magazine to supplement the standard 38 cutters, was delivered in mid-2018. This machine was followed in February 2019 by a second model equipped with dust extraction for the ‘dry’ machining of composite materials without coolant. Both machines have a trunnion-mounted table that provides the fourth and fifth
CNC axes.
Kingdon-Butcher says: “Wherever possible we avoid the wet cutting of carbon fibre, but some of the components produced at our Fontwell factory have aluminium or titanium inserts within their structure, depending on the customer’s specifications. In those cases we have to cut in the presence of coolant to avoid the heat that would be generated if we were to machine metals without coolant. This ensures that the structural properties of the adjacent areas of composite are not affected.”
Tolerances down to ± 0.01 mm have to be held and, while this is commonplace when machining metals, on carbon fibre parts it is challenging. GTR’s success in this area is down to its long experience working with composites, coupled with the rigidity of the Hermle machines.
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Largest-ever investment at Tayside Precision

Major growth in the oil and gas sector has seen a Scottish manufacturing specialist tap into the expertise of the Engineering Technology Group (ETG). Tayside Precision Tools Dundee, which is an expert in manufacturing complex parts in small volumes, recently invested in a new Quaser MV184 that has immediately unlocked additional capacity.

“The components we are milling require a very precise finish and the Quaser gives us the ability to produce repeatable accuracy faster than ever before,” explains John Welsh, Joint owner of Tayside Precision. “We’ve already secured a contract in the oil and gas sector to go straight on the machine.”
Tayside’s Quaser MV184 is the largest investment the firm has ever made and is the first time ETG has worked with the company.
Welsh says: “ETG were great, from understanding our milling requirements and identifying the machine, to helping us spec it out in the agreed timescale. I was also very impressed with the training, which meant we could quickly get the most out of the machine.”
Ross Milne, regional sales manager (Scotland) at ETG adds: “The MV184 is a great addition for specialist subcontractors like Tayside Precision Tools Dundee, with the large table area providing superior flexibility for work in progress. The space allows for varied work holding, so you can set up different parts on the table at the same time, which helps reduce set-up times.”
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Innovation drives investment

When pneumatics expert John (Jack) Bushby formed Sheffield-based Air Accessories in 1967, it was as a wholesaler of proprietary products from the world’s leading manufacturers, something that continues to this day.

From those early days, customer service was at the heart of everything the company did, and this vision remains under current owner and managing director Nick McKee. Part of that service is delivering products that meet customer needs precisely, and these don’t always come from a standard catalogue; therefore, a need for additional machining capacity to meet in-house product development was required.
Turnover has doubled since McKee took over the business and led to a push from Ian Malpass, Air Accessories’ production manager, and CNC setter operator Clive Glossop, to extend its in-house machining capacity. Already a user of an XYZ ProtoTRAK mill, an update to this machine seemed to be the obvious route for the company to take, as that control is ideal for the one-off and low-volume work planned. However, Malpass and Glossop had other ideas.
They put forward a proposal to bring in vertical machining centre capacity in the form of an XYZ 500 LR VMC.
“At the back of my mind was the fact that we are pneumatic engineers, not production engineers, and my thought was a machine of this type was a luxury, not a necessity, but I recognise that to get the best out of people you need to have better equipment,” says McKee. “The new machine would also reduce our reliance on putting work out to subcontract and, give us greater flexibility. Now that we have the machine, we may well become production engineers as it gives us the flexibility we need; it’s like having another member of staff.
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Mazak five-axis machine set for UK debut

Yamazaki Mazak’s new CV5-500 entry-level five-axis machining centre is being given its UK debut at the company’s EMO Encore in December. The open house, which is being held at Mazak’s European Technology Centre in Worcester on 3-5 December 2019, will showcase 26 machines in total.

The star of the show will be the CV5-500, a new fully simultaneous five-axis machine developed in the UK for European machine users engaged in, or aspiring to, five-axis machining. Mazak’s CV5-500, which is being brought to market at a competitive price point, has a high-rigidity bridge construction with a fully supported trunnion table.
A new versatile 12,000 rpm spindle is capable of a peak performance of 18.5 kW and 119.4 Nm, making it suitable for a range of materials. Crucially, the machine has a compact footprint, ensuring its suitability for smaller machine shops, and can be easily automated with a side-loading door and robot interface. The CV5-500 is equipped with SmoothX CNC, Mazak’s specialist five-axis version of its Smooth Technology.
Another standout machine at EMO Encore will be the new Integrex i-200H ST, which is equipped with a second spindle, a newly designed lower turret and multiple turning and milling spindle specifications. In addition, the machine is equipped with a new CNC, SmoothAi, Mazak’s latest artificial intelligence control.
Mazak will also be giving UK launches to two new specialist gear cutting and measurement machines, with the highlight being the Integrex e-1250 V/8S AG. The AG series, which stands for Auto Gear, is a range of high-specification machines featuring specialist hardware, software and metrology, which in combination produce highly accurate gears compared with conventional CNC machining.
Additionally, EMO Encore will include a specialist laser open house featuring the Optiplex 3015 Fiber III laser equipped with multi-control torch and intelligent functions.
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