What goes around comes around and the XYZ Lean Production Machine (LPM) is a case in point for specialist manufacturer of precision quality industrial blades and machine knives, Horsham-based Precision Edge and its director Ross Candfield.
“We initially considered buying an XYZ LPM machining centre five years ago, but after due consideration we decided our workload wasn’t quite right for the machine and went for an XYZ SMX 5000 bed mill with the ProtoTRAK SMX control instead,” says Ross Candfield. At the time Precision Edge was machining a lot of profiles, so the bed size and capability of the SMX 5000 was ideal for its needs alongside an existing SMX 4000 bed mill. As time went on workloads changed and Precision Edge needed additional capacity, with the LPM still in mind it returned to XYZ, but came away with one of its innovative XYZ 2-OP machining centres.
“The decision to go with the 2-OP at the time was again the right move for us as we were producing relatively small batch sizes in exotic materials, and the 2-OP is perfect for light machining of these parts. In fact, it made a significant impact on our productivity due to its flexibility and ease of setting using the Ball Lock fixturing system.” After having the 2-OP for 18 months, business growth meant a need for further machining centre capacity and the advantages seen from of the XYZ 2-OP, with its ProtoTRAK control and Jergens Ball Lock table finally created the opening for an XYZ LPM to complete Precision Edge’s machining capabilities.
“With already having the 2-OP, the addition of the LPM was straightforward as the programs are compatible between the two ProtoTRAK controls and the fixture plates that we had invested in were also transferrable between the two machines. The additional spindle power means that we can also maximise cutting data and we are seeing cycle times reduce dramatically and productivity improvements as a result. The capability of the LPM goes beyond improved cutter performance as we can now machine a part from blank to finished machined in a single set-up. Prior to the LPM’s arrival this would have been completed on three machines.”
The XYZ LPM is a compact machining system that makes the transition from bed mill to machining centre straightforward. It uses the ProtoTRAK PMX control system, which will be familiar to anyone using other ProtoTRAK variants and newcomers to CNC will find it extremely easy to use, and features a 16 station tool changer, 15 hp/8000 revs/min spindle and, the 900 x 500 mm table benefits from the innovative Jergens Ball Lock location system. The Ball lock system utilises precision locating bushes to enable quick, accurate and repeatable fixture location, making set-ups straightforward, with fixture plates transferrable between any Jergens equipped machine, such as the XYZ 2-OP.
“Like the XYZ 2-OP before it, the XYZ LPM has made an immediate impact on the way we work and our overall efficiency,” says Ross Candfield. “With the LPM in place we feel that we now have a machine for every eventuality as far as our business is concerned.”