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Doosan multi-axis turning centres significantly reduces automotive part cycle times

Doosan multi-axis turning centres significantly reduces automotive part cycle times

Added to MTDCNC by Mills CNC Ltd on 17 April 2012

Somerset-based precision manufacturer Metaltech Precision Ltd has recently invested in three new Doosan TT 1800SY Twin Turret Twin Spindle turning centres from Mills CNC.

The machines, installed at the companys 50,000 sq ft facility in Chard (the third machine was installed in August 2011), are being used to machine automotive parts for one of Metaltech&rsquos commercial vehicle engine supply chain manufacturing customers who themselves operate on a Direct Line Feed basis.

The new TT 1800SY machines have been configured to create a high-productivity manufacturing cell dedicated to the production of these high-volume parts and, since their installation have helped Metaltech significantly reduce part cycle times from 90 down to 60 seconds.

Done in one

TT 1800SY 8-axis turning centres are compact. They have a small footprint and have twin turret and twin spindle capability.

The machines have a 65-mm bar work diameter and powerful 22kW 5,000-rpm spindles (left and right) along with integrated Y-axis (+/- 50mm) and C-axis capability and live tooling. Such functionality combined with their twin turret (2 x 12-position) and 50m/min rapids enable Metaltech to get down to business fast and to achieve consistently high productivity levels.

Says Andy Riste, Metaltech&rsquos Sales Manager:

&lsquoThe TT 1800SYs are high-performance machines, and give us much needed manufacturing capacity and flexibility. The TT 1800SY machines enable us to produce finished parts in a single set-up and, as a consequence, have helped boost our productivity.&rsquo

The advantages of being able to machine parts in a single set-up are well documented and Metaltech benefits from them all.

Improved work throughput and the elimination of production bottlenecks (because parts no longer have to be transferred between machines) are clear positives but they are not the only ones. In addition, part accuracies are improved or are more easily achieved owing to less work-handling and operator intervention.

The bottom line benefits to Metaltech are that the company can make these parts faster, better and cheaper than before &ndash and, should the need arise, has the capacity to ramp up production as and when required.

Continues Andy Riste:

&lsquoThe TT 1800SY machines are the central mainstay element of a proven and reliable machining process that we have developed. 3 mtr long EN31 steel bars are fed into the machines and simultaneous machining on both spindles ensures seamless, continuous production.&rsquo

&lsquoSix Sigma&rsquo means continuous improvement

At the heart of Metaltech&rsquos business operation (and a key to the company&rsquos success) are the organisation&rsquos implementation of continuous improvement and zero defect and waste strategies like Six Sigma.

The decision to invest in TT multi-axis turning centres started when the company applied Six Sigma principles and disciplines to its existing manufacturing operations and processes and identified where improvements could be made.

Says Andy Riste:

&lsquoSix Sigma isn&rsquot an imposed-from-the-top way of working for us. Instead it&rsquos embraced by all of our staff...and that&rsquos why it works so well. We empower staff to think about ways to improve and, as long as the benefits can be quantified, they&rsquoll be implemented.&rsquo

To realise the improvements can often mean investment in new machine tools and/or ancillary production equipment &ndash and this is something that separates Metaltech from many of its competitors.

The company is no stranger to making strategic investment in new machine tools and boasts 50 CNC machines. Many of these have been supplied by Mills CNC.

Concludes Andy Riste:

&lsquoWe have a good relationship with Mills CNC. They have taken the time to understand our business and their after-sales services combined with the performance of the Doosan machines they provide and support are difficult to beat.&rsquo

In addition to the TT machines, Metaltech has invested in a number of Doosan Puma and Lynx lathes and, in July 2011 had a powerful, large-capacity Mynx 7500 vertical machine installed at its facility.

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