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FANUC Confidently Gives Customer 'Try Before You Buy' Deal
FANUC Confidently Gives Customer 'Try Before You Buy' Deal
FANUC Confidently Gives Customer 'Try Before You Buy' Deal
FANUC Confidently Gives Customer 'Try Before You Buy' Deal

FANUC Confidently Gives Customer 'Try Before You Buy' Deal

Added to MTDCNC by FANUC on 21 August 2016

When R&G Precision Engineering Ltd encountered difficulty achieving the desired precision levels on a new machining project with its existing machine tools, the Northamptonshire subcontractor called on the expertise of FANUC to help out. 

The family owned subcontract company has a proud history of manufacturing complex precision components for customers in the defence, aerospace, medical, scientific and telecoms sectors, but when the remarkably tight tolerance parts came through the door, the existing line-up of machines struggled to cope. 

Explaining the situation, R&G Precision Engineering's Managing Director, Mr Enzo Chiarelli says: "We had an agreement to take a job for a customer, thinking we had the machines on-site that could process the work. When we set-up the jobs, the first few parts came out OK, but as we progressed to the tighter tolerance parts, we felt we were stuck because we couldn't achieve what the customer wanted. We couldn't expect our customer to open up the tolerances on this new prototype job, so we explained our problem to FANUC."

"The FANUC team were brilliant. They were confident the new Robodrill D21LiA5 machining centre could meet the tight tolerances, so they said they would put the machine in 'sale or return'. This meant that we could take the machine, try the parts and if the ROBODRILL couldn't do hit the tolerance band, it went back. If the machine could do the parts, we would buy it. This got us out of a tight spot and also showed the confidence the FANUC team has in the capability of the ROBODRILL."

The rapid delivery of the FANUC ROBODRILL D21LiA5 High Power Version machine marked the arrival of the tenth FANUC machine for the Wellingborough business. Commenting upon the history of the relationship, Mr Chiarelli continues: "We had our first FANUC machine in the mid 1990's. Back then, the ROBODRILL was regarded more as a drill & tap machine, which we bought for doing telecoms parts. The machine was even introduced to us as a 'drill & tap' type machine; but keeping in contact with the FANUC reps and seeing the machines progress at exhibitions down the years, they have certainly developed. We now look at the challenging parts and the precision that can be accomplished on a FANUC ROBODRILL, and we can appreciate that the new breed of machines are at the forefront of real high quality and high specification products in the machine tool market."

The purchase of FANUC machines down the years has reflected this evolution, as Mr Chiarelli refers to the importance of speed and reducing non-cutting times: "We now have a fourth axis on most of our FANUC's, this limits our down-time as jobs come-off all our machines complete. Whilst the machine is running, the guys are getting the next job ready to go, so fast cycles and the elimination of non-cutting times are critical to us. The FANUC machines cater perfectly for this environment with high spindle speeds, fast set-ups and very fast tool changes."

Agreeing with this sentiment, Mr Phil Parish, the Head of Programming and Engineering at R&G Precision says: "The machines have come on leaps and bounds. The new machines are much faster, more precise and even the tool changers are faster. The FANUC ROBODRILL D21LiA5 machine we bought is the longer bed version; this allows us to do more jobs with more set-ups at greater speed."

Referring to the work that led to the latest acquisition, Mr Parish continues: "We needed a machining centre that could achieve a 20 micron true position on a variety of parts. None of our existing machines could do the job. We called up FANUC, they installed this shiny new ROBODRILL and it came up trumps for us! This 20 micron 'true position' may sound a little rocket science, but what we're trying to achieve is a hole or feature to within 4 microns in two directions and that is very tight. This was beyond our older machines but the new FANUC ROBODRILL had no problems."

The new ROBODRILL D21LiA5 had no issues in meeting the tight tolerance band because it was delivered as a complete package with a Renishaw probing system and laser attachment. The laser feeds geometrical data to the probe and once the part is probed and calibrated to within 0.5 micron, the machine delivers precision results. Concluding on the existing project and the latest addition to the plant list, Mr Parish says: "This job is machining aluminium, so its all about speed and precision. With tools smaller than 1.2mm diameter, we are running the spindle at 24,000rpm to maximise productivity and material removal. This strategy is complemented by the remarkable tool changeover times and the rapid axes travel rates. However, the key factor for our business is precision; and FANUC certainly delivered with the ROBODRILL D21LiA5 machine."

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