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Matsuura HMC delivers long batch runs and non-stop production at CNF

Matsuura HMC delivers long batch runs and non-stop production at CNF

Added to MTDCNC by Matsuura Machinery Ltd on 22 September 2014

Like many subcontract manufacturers, a key factor in machine tool purchase at CNF Precision is to optimise productivity for every square foot of available factory space. So, when the Aylesbury based company was in the market for a highly productive machining centre capable of long batch runs and almost non-stop production, it selected the Matsuura Hplus-300 horizontal machining centre.

With a long term medical contract to manufacture life support components from aluminium and stainless steel, CNF conducted a full review of the market and chose the 15 pallet Matsuura 4-axis machining centre. Discussing why the company opted for the Matsuura, the decision was simple, as CNF's Managing Director Mr Neil Fearnley confirms: 'We wanted a machine that could run unmanned for as long as possible, and for this, we needed as many pallets as possible in the smallest possible footprint. The Matsuura has 15 pallets that are 300 by 300mm and alternative machines had nowhere near the amount of pallets for the size of machine footprint. This is largely down to alternate vendors having larger pallet sizes that were beyond what we needed and the pallet configuration all being at floor level, where Matsuura is 3 levels of 5 pallets stacked vertically.'

After purchasing the Matsuura Hplus-300, CNF tooled each pallet with tombstones and cube workholding stations that enable complete flexibility for the variety of parts running through the production cell. As Mr Fearnley continues: 'At present, we are running a family of 200 assemblies through the Matsuura each week. Each of these assemblies has 5 parts per kit. With such a high volume of parts, we are running the Matsuura 24/7 and often over 15 hours unmanned. This is because the machine is purpose built for such high volumes. It has 120 tool stations that are largely tooled by ITC, a Renishaw tool probing facility and obviously the cube workholding systems.'

The remarkable uptime of the Matsuura means that staff are often tasked with re-loading pallets and removing swarf rather than tending to unnecessary downtime caused by tool changes and lengthy job changeovers. Concluding on the Matsuura acquisition, Mr Fearnley says: 'The Matsuura is the most productive swarf generating machine we have. Maintaining this level of uptime is critical for our order book. Thankfully, it is an extremely reliable machine that is backed up by excellent service and support from Matsuura. We are so pleased with the machine that we are now looking at new plant later this year, and Matsuura will be high on our vendor list.'

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