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KAFO Machining Centre Selected For High-Value Defence Parts
KAFO Machining Centre Selected For High-Value Defence Parts
KAFO Machining Centre Selected For High-Value Defence Parts

KAFO Machining Centre Selected For High-Value Defence Parts

Added to MTDCNC by TDT Technology on 29 September 2017

Rotherham-based Newburgh Precision Ltd, a world leader in the contract manufacture of high-specification, project-critical component parts and assemblies, has acquired a new KAFO KMC-4140 double-column CNC machining centre from sole UK agent, TDT Technology. The machine has been purchased to produce high-value components for the defence industry.

Newburgh Precision's components and assemblies are benchmarked against the best in the world and distributed globally to customers in all major industrial sectors, including defence, aerospace, rail, oil & gas, and power generation. For this reason the company is quality-assured to AS 9100/BS EN ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Helping to generate annual turnover of approximately £4 million is a workforce of 65, around 90% of whom have served an apprenticeship, including current managing director David Greenan: “Our people are a major factor in the success of Newburgh Precision, which in combination with continuous investment in technology and facilities, means we are able to retain our position as the UK's premier contract manufacturing company,” he says.

The company’s most recent investment is a KAFO KMC-4140 double column CNC machining centre with automatic head-changing capability.

“We recently secured a long-term defence contract for large stainless steel components and needed extra capacity,” explains Mr Greenan. “Initially, we began producing the parts on an existing bed mill, but this machine already had a busy workload and it was apparent we needed a new resource.”

Assessing the various options online, Newburgh Precision shortlisted two machines, including the KAFO KMC-4140, which met the company’s requirements of size, capability, build quality and price.

“As luck would have it, we were aware of a company in France that had both of the machines on our list,” says Mr Greenan. “One of our team paid them a visit and, upon discussion, discovered they had a preference for the KAFO. In my opinion you cannot beat personal recommendation when you are making significant capital investments.”

Duly installed by TDT Technology in July 2017, the commissioning process passed off “surprisingly well”, as Mr Greenan explains: “We’ve had experience of installations with other machine tool suppliers in the past – involving far more expensive machines than the KAFO – which have proven a challenge to say the least. As this was our first encounter with TDT Technology, we were unsure what to expect. However, it went very well – the machine worked first time and was cutting metal when they said it would be. Engineers from KAFO were also present.”

The KAFO KMC-4140 is a double-column, 50-taper machine with a capacity of 4100 x 4000 x 1100 mm in the X, Y and Z axis respectively. A thermal-symmetric box design base with high static and dynamic stiffness is among the machine’s notable features. This build quality helps ensure accurate and superior quality during heavy-cutting operations, while extending tool life.

“To be honest, the KAFO is not the most expensive machine in the world, but its build quality – in terms of strength and rigidity – belies its price tag,” says Mr Greenan. “This is good news for us because the free-issue material for the stainless steel defence part carries a value of £80,000 per workpiece. As a result, high build quality is paramount in ensuring precision and repeatability.”

Newburgh also says the speed of the KAFO machine means the company can process parts around 25% quicker than using its bed mill.

“We are going to talk with TDT about buying another KAFO in the near future, possibly one that offers even bigger capacity,” concludes Mr Greenan. “We must invest continuously if we are to remain competitive.”

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