Established in 1942, the 'North Bar Tool Company' became the first company in the UK to commercially manufacture torque wrenches. The company's initial demand was driven by the need for the gasket-less cylinder head of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine to be accurately tightened. From this humble beginning, Norbar torque wrenches were born.
Over the last 70 years Norbar’s factory facilities have become state-of-the-art and the envy of the manufacturing industry. This ensures the Banbury based company provides the very latest design, manufacturing and quality control technology to achieve the highest level of innovation and precision in the field of torque control equipment. Now adding to its impressive production facility, is innovative work-holding equipment from Hainbuch.
With Norbar investing in a new Mori Seiki turning centre and a Matsuura VPlus800 machining centre to improve its productivity and capacity, the company also wanted to explore how to reduce non-cutting times through innovative work-holding solutions. This is where Hainbuch entered the equation. Norbar engineers researched various work holding solutions and didn't want to proceed with the usual 5C collet system that was already installed on many other machines at Norbar. So, it invested in the TOPlus system for its 65mm diameter bar capacity Mori Seiki turning centre.
Producing planet gears and sun gears for its carrier gear sets, Norbar's new 65mm TOPlus collet chuck from Hainbuch is now permitting collet changeover times in 30 seconds compared to the previous time of 3-4 minutes. A time that is still the norm on existing machines without the TOPlus. As a company that operates a three shift system with upwards of three changeovers for each shift, the savings and set-up time reductions are quite drastic. The set-up time reductions have been so evident that Norbar is considering a program to install the TOPlus on all its turning centres.
With component batch sizes in the region of 20 to 50 parts, re-setting times are a major factor and the problem with existing work-holding is that the faceplate has to be removed via its 12 bolts. This is what incurs the 4 minute change-over time. Something that has now been eliminated with the TOPlus.
Furthermore, the TOPlus incorporates novel new innovations that permit 25% higher clamping forces. One such development is the new pyramid arrangement of glide surfaces that increase clamping forces and this is complimented by the clamping head rests that offer full-surface contact in the TOPlus chuck body. This allows the TOPlus to provide an unbeatable concentric precision of 0.015mm for chuck sizes up to 100m bar capacity.
Norbar recently installed a Matsuura VPlus800 machining centre and the company opted for the Manok stationary clamping system from Hainbuch. The key feature behind this purchase is the flexibility of using the collets across both the TOPlus and Manok systems for unparalleled flexibility and repeatability. Norbar initially put the Manok system to the test by machining EN24T steel carrier bodies with extremely heavy 10mm depths of cut. To the delight of Norbar, the Manok system eliminated vibration and movement whilst providing a robust platform that can extend the longevity of the company's cutting tools. Upon witnessing this success, Norbar also applied the Manok to work in conjunction with a zero point system that enables the Oxfordshire company to remove and replace the system on the work envelope with exceptional speed and precision.
Commenting upon the installation of the two innovative new systems, Norbar Production Engineer, Mr Darren Smithson says: 'Both the TOPlus and the Manok are great systems, they have helped us improve throughput in the factory. They are easy to us and amazingly quick to set up.'