The installation by Ward CNC of a Hyundai-Wia vertical CNC lathe (VTL) is enabling Hi-Spec Precision Engineering to slash cycle times on tubular and disc-shaped parts – in one case, completing a 450 mm diameter disc in just 17 minutes compared to one hour 30 minutes. And one tubular workpiece that used to take 20 minutes to machine on a CNC centre lathe now comes off the Hyundai-Wia VTL in only six minutes.
Darren Grainger, managing director of the specialist sub-contract machinist, says the machine hasn’t stopped working since it was installed – within just three weeks of ordering from Ward CNC’s Sheffield base – and is producing similar, impressive cycle time savings on a range of bearing housings and associated parts.
'We were using a combination of flat-bed lathes and an ageing VTL to machine these large diameter parts in low batch quantities,' says Mr Grainger. 'Then, as order numbers grew, we started to struggle to maintain throughput because the existing VTL, in particular, was not especially quick to say the least. The problem was compounded when one customer offered larger-capacity disc-type work.
'So, we initially began looking at a larger capacity centre lathe,' he continues, 'then saw that the Hyundai-Wia LV800 would offer everything we need but in a much smaller footprint, which was ideal for us since space is at a premium.
'Ward CNC provided an excellent value-for-money package and had an LV800 in stock. We visited the company’s Sheffield showroom then ordered the machine immediately. It was up and running in less than three weeks and it hasn’t stopped.'
Pointing out that the machine’s turning length capacity of 800 mm was a key factor in its choice, coupled with the 890 mm swing over the bed and X and Z axes travels of 440 mm and 810 mm plus rapid traverses of 20 m/min in both axes, Mr Grainger also highlights that the machine’s 30/22 kW spindle power and gearbox provide all the power required 'to remove lots of metal accurately and quickly'.
Providing rigid and accurate operation via box guideways and high-precision double-nut ballscrews in all axes, the Hyundai-Wia LV800 is the latest addition to the growing portfolio of now ten CNC machines at Hi-Spec Precision Engineering, which was established in 2004 by Mr Grainger, formerly a CAD designer at a hydraulics company.
Today, with eight employees, the company offers a range of machining/production engineering services to fulfil a growing order book for a variety of components and assemblies for clients in industries that include fluid power, motor sport, agricultural and construction.