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MTD check out BROTHER machine installations at MRT
MTD check out BROTHER machine installations at MRT
MTD check out BROTHER machine installations at MRT
MTD check out BROTHER machine installations at MRT

MTD check out BROTHER machine installations at MRT

Added to MTDCNC by Whitehouse Machine Tools on 22 October 2015

MRT Castings in Andover has been buying machines from Whitehouse Machine Tools for over 20 years. To investigate why this subcontract manufacturer of gravity and high pressure die castings is so loyal to a single brand, MTD travelled to Hampshire to find out more...
MRT Castings has undoubtedly made the Brother line of machine tools its machine of choice, acquiring some 20+ machines over the last 20 years from Whitehouse Machine Tools.

Discussing the purchase of so many Brother machine tools, MRT Castings Managing Director, Mr Phil Rawnson says: 'At the heart of the company, we are an aluminium die casting company. This is a fast process where we produce near net shapes, so in terms of machining content we are not taking out a lot of material. What we need is a particularly fast machine that can keep up with our die casting process and the Brother range certainly does that.'

'The Brother machines are fast, accurate, repeatable and in all the years we've had Brother machines, that is exactly what they have been. When we look at the machine speed, we are performing a lot of operations that demand a lot of fast tool changes. We also need fast acceleration as each operation is relatively short. We are also hitting lots of faces and trying to get parts off the machines complete. Furthermore, we have rotary tables on most of our machines, so we need a fast indexing unit. For us, buying the Brother machines is all about minimising loading, downtime and overall cycle times by getting a general collective of fast processes.'

The company is a manufacturer of small to medium size production runs of aluminium die casts that are manufactured in tool steel mould tools. The moulding machines are creating a part every 40 seconds, with some tools generating multiple parts on each cycle. So, the productivity of the Brother machines is a key factor, as is the reliability.

Running an extended day shift, MRT Castings currently has 18 Brother machining centres on its shop floor, seven of these machines are twin pallet configured machines. Commenting upon the plant list, Mr Rawnson says: 'We have gradually updated our plant list to gain additional speed and capacity over older machines, as the new machines have larger work envelopes. However, we have grown organically so instead of replacing the older machines, we are adding new machines whilst simultaneously running the old machines as productively as possible.'

With regards to the reliability of the Brother machines, Mr Rawnson says: 'The Brother Series are Japanese machine tools, so they are very reliable. To do our bit, we have preventative maintenance contracts with Whitehouse Machine Tools and this has been excellent in ensuring our machines keep running.'

The Plant List Grows...

The most recent addition to the plant list at MRT is two new Brother Speedio S1000X1 machining centres. Eluding to why the company moved to a larger machine tool, Mr Rawnson says: 'Our range of castings has extended in recent years, we are now producing larger parts and hitting more faces, so the S1000 will help us to machine these castings. We haven't sacrificed speed or capability by taking on machines with a larger envelope. They are still used for small parts, but it gives us the option to produce large castings. The larger machine still has a BT30 tool configuration and the same rapids as the smaller machines with a very fast and powerful control. However, we now have 1000mm in the X-axis and we can swing parts up to 550mm, which wasn't previously possible.'

The company has grown by 70% in the last 12 months and it has recently taken on a new factory. Commenting on this, Mr Rawnson concludes: 'We needed extra space to accommodate our growth and no doubt Brother machines will play a big part in our existing and future growth plans.'

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