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Dowse Engineering buys 5 Axis Machine

Dowse Engineering buys 5 Axis Machine

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 20 April 2012

Leading precision subcontract specialist Dowse Engineering Limited has recently invested in a new HPM 450U machining centre from Agie Charmilles.

The new 5-axis machine was installed at Dowse Engineering&rsquos facility in Milton Keynes in January 2012 and has taken its place next to a new linear drive HSM 400U LP 5-axis machine (again supplied by Agie Charmilles), that was installed in the autumn of 2011.

The new HPM 450U is a high-performance, compact and cost-competitive 5-axis machine that, like all GF AgieCharmilles 5-axis machines, enables customers to machine parts in one (or fewer) set-ups thereby helping them improve their productivity and be better positioned to meet their customers&rsquo lead times.

The HPM 450U has a number of things going for it.

The machine is equipped with a direct-drive rotary torque table capable of handling routine milling and drilling operations right through to 3 + 2 positional and full simultaneous 5-axis machining, and the machine&rsquos cutting performance is enhanced by its Hi-Tec and powerful spindle (30kW 20,000rpm).

High productivity and performance are guaranteed via the machine&rsquos integrated automation (7-station pallet changer and 120-position tool changer), and range of SMART technology software modules.

The reasons why the HPM 450U was purchased is explained by Trevor Dowse, managing director at Dowse Engineering:

&lsquoWe are a successful enterprise with a reputation built on technical excellence, lead time fulfilment and reliability, and cost competitiveness. We operate in and across many industry sectors and have developed strong partnerships with customers in a number of supply chains &ndash the most notable being in the motorsport, defence, aerospace, medical and photographic equipment industries.

&lsquoTo maintain our competitiveness we make regular, strategic and prudent investment in new and advanced machine tools &ndash and the decision to purchase the universal, (all-purpose) HPM 450U is a case in point.&rsquo

The HPM 450U has been designed and built specifically for the general precision subcontractor market and is suitable for machining everything from aluminium, steels and Stainless right through to hard and more difficult-to-machine materials.

If high stock removal is required the HPM 450U does not disappoint and the same is true if, and when, super-fine surface finishes are the objective.

Another key strength (and differentiating feature) of the machine is its tried, tested and trusted automation (ATC and APC).

Continues Trevor Dowse:

&lsquoOne of our key strengths is our flexibility. We manufacture high-precision, complex parts from a variety of materials, in one-offs and small batches right through to thousands off (per month).

To meet these production schedules and our customers&rsquo stringent delivery times we operate 24/7 when required and rely heavily on our machine tools to deliver the goods. The HPM 450U is perfect for this environment because we can load up the machine&rsquos 7 pallets with different jobs and let it run overnight.&rsquo

Another reason why the HPM 450U was purchased concerned the quality and responsiveness of the service and support provided by Agie Charmilles in the UK.

Comments Trevor Dowse:

&lsquoWe simply cannot afford machine downtime or production bottlenecks. Our knowledge and experience of Agie Charmilles&rsquo after-sales services and support gave us the confidence to invest in the HPM 450U&rsquo.

The relationship between Dowse Engineering and Agie Charmilles began in 2011 with the company investing a new HSM 400U LP &ndash a high-speed, linear drive 5-axis machine.

The machine was acquired to fulfil a high-value MOD contract for small precision parts. These parts, with their intricate features and details, are machined to high geometrical tolerances and surface finishes.

Owing to the large batches required (per month) full use is made of the machine&rsquos 18 -station APC which, with some ingenious work-holding created by Dowse, enables 3 x parts per pallet to be machined in one set-up.

The HSM 400U LP is the latest generation of high-speed 5-axis machines from GF AgieCharmilles.

The machine is fast (60m/min rapids on X-, Y- and Z-axes) and is equipped with a 13.5 kW 30,000 rpm spindle, a 68-position tool changer, a high-efficiency swarf management system and an innovative thermal control system that dissipates heat build-up, prevents thermal growth and ensures accuracy.

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