When Hailsham based Metaltech Precision Engineers Ltd needed a robust machining centre with a small footprint, they turned to Dugard and its HD1363B heavy duty VMC. With a machine shop packed with almost 30 CNC machine tools and a need for increased machining capacity, Dugard was the only vendor that could meet the company's capacity versus footprint issues.
Heavily involved in the Stainless Steel Pump and oil & gas sectors, MetalTech required a heavy duty machine for processing stainless steel, duplex and inconel shafts, rotary pumps, manifolds and gears. Commenting upon the acquisition process, Metaltech's Joint Managing Director, Mr Doug Murphy comments: 'We were limited by space and when we reviewed the market, Dugard was the only supplier that could offer a VMC with the right capacity (X, Y & Z axis of 1300 X 630 X 600mm) on a small footprint. This is credit to the innovative inverted slideway design that nobody else could offer. Furthermore, we have worked with Dugard for over 20 years and their machine build quality, reliability and service support is far superior to that of many other machine tool suppliers that we have on site.'
The X & Y axis of the HD1363B are configured to eliminate overhang, therefore offering a small machine footprint. The other benefit is that it improves rigidity. When combined with a robust boxway configuration, it gives the 1363B unparalleled rigidity for a machine of its footprint. Since its 2013 installation, the 1363B has regularly been milling subcontract parts beyond 200mm diameter and 200mm long in batches from 10 to beyond 100. The 3-axis VMC incorporates a 24 tool station, through spindle coolant and a powerful Fanuc 0iMD control that makes the HD1363B a great all round machine.
Highlighting the robust nature of the compact 9,300kg VMC, Mr Murphy continues: 'Since installing the Dugard machine, we have improved tool life, surface finishes and productivity by 10-15%. With a BT50 spindle, we can push the machine faster and harder than our other machines. This is a combination of the BT50 and the confidence in the rigid design that allows us to run faster with deeper cuts on hard materials.'
'The benefits achieved from the HD1363B has now seen us remove an ageing VMC and install a Dugard 760E machining centre in January 2014. Bought as part of a cell for machining keyways in shafts, this small footprint machine has been running 24/5 since installation with a productivity benefit of 15%+. The reason for investing in new Dugard machines is the need for improving productivity whilst reducing the footprint of our plant list. Additionally, as a busy machine shop we demand robust and reliable machines that have exceptional back-up and support - Dugard gives us all of this,' concludes Mr Murphy.