MKB goes large with XYZ

Essex-based MKB Precision Engineering has installed a large XYZ 1100 HD (Heavy Duty) machining centre.

When creating their company, Ken Barnard and his son Matt had just a second-hand manual lathe, a grinding machine and an XYZ ProtoTrak mill. Within a couple of years, business had developed and the company’s first XYZ 710 vertical machining centre arrived, quickly followed by a second. These two machines, with their Siemens Shopmill controls, enabled MKB to fulfil orders that would have not been viable previously, leading to good business growth.
As demand for larger components grew, the pair recognised that a machine was needed with greater capacity, and the larger XYZ 1100 HD was the obvious model of choice.
“While we had our XYZ SMX 5000 ProtoTrak bed mill, part exchanging that for the XYZ 1100 HD was a natural progression, and the addition of tool-changing capacity and fully enclosed guarding allowed us to maximise productivity,” says Ken Barnard. “When we saw the carcass of the XYZ 1100 HD at the MACH exhibition, it gave us the confidence that this larger machine would perform in much the same way. And, with the XYZ 1100 HD having the same Siemens 828D control featuring Shopmill conversational software, it makes it straightforward to transfer work from one machine to another.”
MKB Precision Engineering bought the XYZ 1100 HD specifically for its machining envelope, particularly the large Z axis, which allows the company to easily machine workpieces over 620 mm tall. The large table, at 1100 x 600 mm, can also be utilised to machine smaller parts or, indeed, components in multiple set-up configuration.
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Doosan five-axis on show

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, last month attended the Southern Manufacturing exhibition for the first time in the company’s history. To mark the occasion, Mills CNC showcased the latest Doosan simultaneous five-axis machining centre on its stand.

The machine, a DVF 5000, made its UK debut at MACH 2018, where it proved to be popular with show visitors. Under power at Southern Manufacturing, the DVF 5000 demonstrated the five-axis machining of a complex, high-precision aerospace component.
The Doosan DVF 5000 is a compact, rigidly built machine that provides precision component manufacturers with full simultaneous five-axis machining capability. At Southern Manufacturing, the machine was exhibited with a 17.5 kW/12,000 rpm directly-coupled spindle, although a 22 kW/18,000 rpm built-in spindle option is also available.
While the DVF 5000 machine on Mills’ stand was equipped with a Heidenhain iTNC640 control, models can also be specified with either the latest Fanuc or Siemens CNC. The DVF 5000 offers rapid rates of 40 m/min in its X, Y and Z axes. At the show, the machine was equipped with integrated automation provided by a six-position automatic pallet changer and a servo-driven ATC that can hold up to 120 tools and offers a 1.3 second tool-to-tool change-over time.
The DVF 5000 features linear guides and an integrated thermal compensation system that mitigates against the effects of thermal drift. A 500 x 450 mm table with a maximum table load of 400 kg featured at Southern Manufacturing, but the machine can be supplied with a larger table as an option (630 x 450 mm) if required.
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Accuturn invests in CNC milling capability

As part of Accuturn’s growth strategy, the company is expanding its capabilities with the addition of a further Haas Mini Mill to its range of CNC milling and turning machines. Director Nicola Stokes says: “This will enable us to increase capacity for our existing customer base, as well as allow us to expand into new sectors.”

The new Haas Super Mini Mill has a machine table capacity of 914 x 305 mm, and axis travels of 406 x 305 x 254 mm in X, Y and Z. Accuturn’s Super Mini Mill is enhanced with a faster tool changer, faster spindle and higher rapids for improved production and part finish.
In other news at Accuturn, which is based in Norfolk, the company has taken its first apprentice as part of the company’s continued growth and commitment to encouraging young people into careers in engineering and manufacturing.
Joshua Mallett, 16, from Swannington in Norfolk, originally came on work experience from Reepham High School for two weeks. He stayed in touch with the business and, after finishing school, joined as Accuturn’s first engineering apprentice. Mallett is attending City College Norwich for the next two years, on day release, studying for his Mechanical Engineering Level 2. On completion, it is planned he will go on to a third year to complete Level 3.
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Machine tools drive cost savings

Top tier suppliers to the oil and gas sector need to work smarter, quicker and more cost-effectively to not only meet customer demands, but ensure that their own bottom-line margins are maintained and, ideally, improved.

Starrag bei KSB, Pegnitz, 16.1.2017

As part of Starrag’s product ranges, machines from Dörries and Scharmann, in particular, are paying dividends in global oil and gas work. For example, Burckhardt Compression in Switzerland is reducing unproductive times on piston compressors produced using its portfolio of Dörries and Scharmann machines, which are complemented by high levels of automation. In the Netherlands, Mokveld is reducing formerly long machining times, as well as possible relocation errors and certainly costs, by machining its high-pressure control and stop valves complete in a single set-up on a Dörries vertical lathe. Elsewhere in Europe, one-hit machining is benefiting KSB of Germany, with a Dörries vertical lathe minimising unproductive times and replacing two/three conventional machines in the production of pump housings.
In every case, Starrag can easily and cost-effectively ‘modify’ and supply each machine specifically to suit individual requirements.
Manufacturing piston compressors that operate up to 3,600 bar, Burckhardt Compression uses a quartet of Starrag machines – a Scharmann Alpha 1250 M machining centre, a Scharmann Heavyspeed two-ram-type boring mill, a Dörries Contumat VC 2400/200 vertical turning lathe (VTL) and a Scharmann Ecoforce 2 HT4 machining centre – to machine cylinders, cylinder blocks, frames, valve heads and steering rods. Components are produced up to 5.9 m long and weighing 30 tonnes.
According to August Dünki, the company’s director of large part manufacturing: “We especially gain benefits from the use of the Dörries VTL’s additional moveable work table axis [for set-up and/or in-situ workpiece inspection] and have reduced unproductive time via the 72.4 hp Ecoforce 2 HT 4.”
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Another machining cell at Alcon

When Tamworth-based Alcon Components was awarded a contract to supply the lightweight monobloc brake calipers for a new hybrid electric hypercar, the subcontractor turned to Kingsbury to supply an automated, turnkey machining cell that would produce the aluminium components.

Comprising a Hermle C32U five-axis machining centre fed with pallets from an Erowa Robot Easy 250 automated storage and handling system, the cell has already started producing calipers, as the job had previously been proved out on a near-identical cell installed in 2016. Essentially, the only difference is that the latest machine has extended tool capacity.
The hypercar has one brake caliper per wheel, the set of four requiring in excess of 24 hours to be machined from solid aluminium billets. Four operations are needed: pre-milling on another vertical machining centre, op 1 on the Hermle C32U, transfer back to the other machining centre for simple boring cycles, and finish machining on the C32U. Fully Interpolative five-axis machining of freeform surfaces accounts for less than 10% of cycles on the Hermle machine, with 4+1 and 3+2 strategies used
wherever possible.
A limited number of road-going hypercars will be produced, while a few track-only versions are also planned. Alcon is responsible for the full foundation brake system, pedal box and actuation, as well as a number of precision chassis components. When the contract has been completed, Alcon will split its ongoing production of calipers for high-performance road cars, race cars and defence vehicles between the two automated Hermle-Erowa C32U cells. A smaller C20U on the shop floor, purchased in 2007 with an Erowa automated pallet storage offset to the side rather than positioned directly in front of the machine, will then be reserved for producing prototypes.
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