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Ward CNC helps QFS Technologies
Ward CNC helps QFS Technologies

Ward CNC helps QFS Technologies

Added to MTDCNC by TW Ward CNC Machinery Ltd on 07 August 2015

The installation of a Soraluce travelling table-type milling machine has not only generated improved cycle times for QFS Technologies but it is also providing the desired level of flexibility demanded by the company in machining a constant stream of bespoke components for clients in sectors such as automotive, rail and aerospace.
 
Supplied by Ward CNC Midlands & South, the Redditch office of T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC), the UK’s exclusive distributor for the Spanish machine tool builder, the Soraluce TA-A25 milling machine was purchased by QFS to increase capacity in the face of rising orders at its site in Kingshurst, Birmingham.
 
Accredited to ISO 9001-2008 and ISO 14001-2004, QFS specialises in the provision of a comprehensive turnkey facility for the manufacture of panels and assemblies in addition to associated jigs, fixtures and press tooling for a host of blue-chip customers.
 
It was for the latter workpieces that the machine was installed, says CAD/CAM Manager Tony Goodwill. "Processing a variety of materials, including tool steels, cast iron and model board, no two components are the same, and the Soraluce has certainly lived up to expectations in terms of both cycle times and flexibility."
 
He continues: "The Soraluce extends our machining centre capability by complementing three older machines and it performs a multitude of milling and boring tasks – the mix of operations depends on the design of each unique part, of course. Its purchase was justified on its specification, price and the level of ongoing support being offered by Ward CNC.
 
"Compared with our existing machines, and bearing in mind that because each component is a one-off and therefore cycle time comparisons cannot be made on a like-for-like basis, it is clear however that the Soraluce is more efficient and effective."
 
That the Soraluce features a Heidenhain iTNC 530 CNC system was another critical element in machine selection, he adds. "Since our three other machines also have Heidenhain systems, it makes complete sense to maintain commonality of controls, programming and post-processing routines."
 
The high-end (up to 13 axes) Heidenhain iTNC 530 is widely considered as the de facto industry-standard control for high surface definition and accurate contouring (it features ultra-fast look-ahead processing) on five-axis milling/machining centres, and it lends itself to the production of highly accurate contours at high velocity - block processing time is 0.5 millisec.
 
Such performance levels are also dictated by the quality of machine build: the 28 kW/4,000 revs/min Soraluce TA-A25 is underpinned by robust design principles based on heavy-duty cast iron main machine elements and high-precision linear guides complemented by preloaded ballscrews having double recirculating nuts.
 
The machine has a table of 2,700 mm by 1,000 mm which accommodates loads up to 5,700 kgs plus X, Y and Z axis travels of 2,500 mm, 1,250 mm and 1,200 mm, respectively.
 
Featuring 20-bar through-spindle coolant supply and with a universal milling-boring head indexable in 2.5deg x 2.5deg increments, the machine adequately accommodates all of QFS Technologies’ capacity and capability demands, Mr Goodwill points out, especially in terms of the use of the universal head for the single set-up machining of even the most complex workpieces.
 

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