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Mazak's new machine tools 'cut it' for McConnell

Mazak's new machine tools 'cut it' for McConnell

Added to MTDCNC by Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd on 29 July 2016

McConnell is a name synonymous with the 'hedge cutter' and this globally renowned brand has just opted for a Mazak VariAxis i-600 5-axis machining centre to manufacture its latest product design enhancements. With offices around the UK, the Ludlow based company is a world leader in the manufacture of hedge cutters, cultivation equipment, arable machinery, material handling, rotary and flail mowers, power arms and much more.

Commenting upon the Mazak i-600 acquisition, Nigel Francis the Senior Production Engineer at McConnell says: "We needed to change production measures for hydraulic blocks. This meant speeding up our production and getting greater flexibility and that is why we opted for the Mazak machine. We've used Mazak machines in the past and we're very pleased with their machine tools and back-up service. This is why we opted for Mazak again."

The twin pallet Mazak i-600 5-axis machining centre is producing parts that were previously machined on a horizontal machining centre.  However, a design change required compound angles on the new hydraulic blocks and this is what led to the arrival of the i-600. Commenting on this, Mr Francis says: "The Mazak is more than twice as fast as the previous machine. We are now achieving all our targets and we are brining work back in-house that was previously subbed out. Furthermore, the enhanced throughput has reduced inventory, a double-win situation for us really!"

The machine is running 24 hours a day and this is partially credit to the options that McConnell chose. These options include an 120 tool carousel for all the product variants and the twin pallet system that was selected for production speed and reduced set-ups.  Features such as the latest Mazatrol control system and high pressure coolant supply are standard features on this impressive machining centre. In conclusion, Mr Francis says: "Mazak offered us a complete turn-key package that solved all our issues. It was supplied with Microloc workholding on the pallet system, two weeks programming training and also 6-7 programs already installed to get us up and running. We always look for the best solutions and deals when specifying new equipment to replace ageing plant. In the last couple of instances, Mazak has certainly come up trumps ahead of the competition."

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