It would be accurate to say that with four Nakamura-Tome machine tools from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) that Ashby Engineering is certainly an advocate of the Japanese built brand of machine tools.
Established in 1977, the Abingdon based company supplies components to a wide range of industries that include the medical, motorsport, cryogenics and scientific sectors. To manufacture these components, the company has a Nakamura Super NTY-3, a WT-300, an AS-200 and an older WT-150 among its armoury of machine tools.
The NTY3 machine is a twin spindle turning centre that has 3 turrets and 3 Y-axes whilst the WT-300 is an 80mm diameter capacity twin spindle and twin-turret machine with a single Y-axis on the upper turret. For smaller parts, the AS-200 is a single turret, Y-axis centre with a 65mm diameter bar capacity that stands alongside the WT-150 machine, which is a 50mm bar capacity machine for smaller parts. Talking about what sums up the Nakamura line of machines, Ashby Engineering’s Managing Director, Mr Robin Ashby says: “The Nakamura machines are very well build machines that are very accurate and very reliable and they never give us any problems at all. Looking at a complex stainless steel job we do, it previously took 8.5 minutes on the older WT-150 because we had to machine the parts from billets as they wouldn’t fit through the machine spindle. This incurred manual intervention of moving the jobs to the sub-spindle. Now, we machine the part in less than 6 minutes as a complete part that is also de-burred.”
Paying more attention to the Nakamura Super NTY-3, Robin continues: “Having the 3 turrets and the formation of the Y-axis makes programming quite straightforward and easy. This is because there are so many ways to make the parts on the machine whereby a single Y-axis limits the options of how to machine parts. It just gives so much more flexibility to do whatever operations in any way you want.”
Looking at the smaller AS-200, Mr Ashby concludes: “We bought this because we do a lot of small parts that are also less complicated. It is also a well constructed machine with a very small footprint, even though it has a 65mm bar capacity and a chuck facility. We try to get upwards of 16 hours a day out of the machine. In contrast to the smaller machine; the 10 inch chuck WT-300 machine is very powerful and well built with its box slideways and this is because it has been specified for very heavy duty machining.”