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Johnford VMC at Active Moulds offers more Speed

Johnford VMC at Active Moulds offers more Speed

Added to MTDCNC by DTS (UK) Ltd on 22 February 2013

Active Moulds Ltd is a Sheffield based progressive engineering company; indeed they are one of the few that still has apprenticeships.  In 2012 they doubled their turnover from 2011 and in 2013 they are forecasting to grow a further 30% again.  They are based at Brooklands Park Industrial Estate, Dinnington near Sheffield, from where they manufacture and supply high-quality mould tools to the concrete industry. 

The mould tools they produce have several cavities within them, so although the mould tools may be 1m x 1.5m in dimension within it there may be 10 to 15 pockets or cavities all of which represent a different type of product paving slab/concrete product.  Their Kerb Mould, Paver Mould, Masonry Mould and Special Mould tools are supplied to the concrete industry who, in turn, use the moulds to produce paving slabs, bricks and various other concrete products. 

Active Moulds supply and produce moulds for blue-chip companies such as Marshalls Paving, the UK's leading manufacturer of superior natural stone and innovative concrete hard landscaping products, and The Brett Group, the largest independent construction and building materials group in the UK, who will both make millions and millions of paving slab products using Active Moulds tools.

In support of their client base, the Active Moulds Ltd machine shop used to consist of just one vertical machining centre (VMC) and one milling machine.  But in order to keep up with demand they decided that the time was right to invest in a new machining centre in 2012.  After extensive research of the machining market, they decided to purchase a Johnford machining centre from the Chorley, Lancashire based DTS (UK) Ltd.

Their original machining centre was a trusty Leadwell machine that had given them good service over a number of years.  However when it came to sourcing a new machine they were determined to make a step-improvement and identify a machine that gave them a lot more in terms of features, speed and performance.

Whilst researching the market for a machine it became evident fairly quickly to the Active Moulds purchasing team that the Johnford VMC machining centre was in a class of its own.  They identified in the Johnford many of the attributes they were seeking in terms of its robustness, geared head and through spindle coolant. 

What is more, their traditional Leadwell machining time for the pockets and cavities had been between 3 to 5 days, whereas the Johnford reduced that to 2 days, a significant time saving.  Another important factor in selecting the Johnford was the fact that they had over 1m in the Y-axis which will enable Active Moulds to put slightly bigger tools onto the machine, thereby giving them much more flexibility with bigger components.  The Fanuc control on the Johnford machine was also an important feature in reaching their decision, as they'd used Fanuc controls previously and wanted to continue with this control feature.

Active Moulds Ltd Managing Director, Darren Soley commented, 'The Johnford machine has delivered everything we expected from it.  It is heavy-duty, robust and powerful and here at Active Moulds we are machining very hard materials (300 to 320 Vickers in hardness) on our mould tools and the applications are very demanding.  Some of the pockets and cavities we machine require a great deal of stability speed and precision.  The Johnford machine has the weight, the capacity, the power in the geared head, and the ability to remove swarf whilst machining, thanks to the through spindle coolant.  All of these factors go together to provide an ideal solution for us at Active Moulds and now we are looking forward to growing our business on the back of our Johnford purchase whilst also happily trying to keep up with the growing demands of our customers.'

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