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Hainbuch workholding cut our set up times and gave us flexibility
Hainbuch workholding cut our set up times and gave us flexibility

Hainbuch workholding cut our set up times and gave us flexibility

Added to MTDCNC by HAINBUCH UK Ltd on 10 January 2015

When Fort Vale Engineering Limited witnessed an increasing demand for its CNC machined components in its barfeed and general turning departments they looked to increase their machine tool capacity to meet demand. The addition of 8 new CNC machines which included a Nakamura WT150 as a barfeed lathe and a Mori Seiki CL1500M chuck lathe to the existing portfolio of machines immediately eased the production pressure. Fort Vale who are the world leading manufacturer of precision valves and fittings for transportation of bulk liquids in the ISO container tank, road tanker and rail industries turned to Hainbuch and their quick change chucking systems to help further reduce set-up times on their new machines.

Configured in two separate cells, one consisting of the new Mori Seiki CL1500M and the other running the new Nakamura WT150 with the existing barfeed machines, Fort Vale invested heavily in its latest production cells. Part of this investment program included the implementation of a Hainbuch quick change collet system, which is making significant time savings for the cell. Fort Vale, a global supplier of new OEM equipment and after-sales  spares supply, its components and assemblies are used to transport gases and liquids by road, rail and sea. This means the parts and assemblies must meet stringent quality control procedures.

Manufacturing components in anything from stainless steel & plastics through to difficult materials such as hastelloy, the new Nakamura is responsible for producing valve components from 6 to 65mm in diameter, batches from 1 off to 1000+. A valve could consist of up to 10 different components from the barfeed cell, hence batch sizes vary to a great degree meaning flexibility is key in changeovers. With such a diverse product line, flexibility is a core competence for the new turning machines. As Fort Vale's Engineering Manager, Mr Stephen Maher comments: 'Our turning department is a flexible production cell with an extremely diverse and often complex flow of parts. We are continually looking at our set-up times, so when we invested in the two new machines, we realised that we could save additional production time by implementing new work holding philosophies.'

On its current barfeed lathes, Fort Vale has collet systems that have 6 bolts that need removing to change collets on every set up. The result is a changeover time of around 4 minutes. By introducing the Hainbuch quick change collet system, the changeover time on the new Nakamura is a staggering 20 seconds. As Mr Maher continues: 'Our facility is running 24 hours a day 5 days a week. Depending upon our production schedule, we could be changing the collets 4 to 5 times each day. That is when you really notice the difference in the set-up and changeover times.'

The Lancashire based OEM has a Hainbuch fixed collet chuck system on the new Nakamura  that delivers astounding changeover times. With regards to the Mori Seiki machine, Hainbuch engineers introduced its innovative new Centrotex modular system. The Centrotex system has a backing plate that fixes to the turning centre and this plate provides the ability to interchange up to three different types of clamping system. The Centrotex interfaces between the machine and the clamping device  and delivers complete flexibility with quick changeovers between  its 3 jaw chuck, 2 Jaw chuck and collet chuck system when required.

Mr Maher concludes: 'The Hainbuch systems we have bought has improved our set up times and made us more flexible. Furthermore, the precision, run-out and the clamping process have all been improved. We have an aggressive machine tool replacement policy & are continually looking at ideas & solutions to improve our set-up times, there is no doubt we will continue to consider Hainbuch for our future work holding solutions.

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