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Tokai Carbon (Europe) Ltd invests in new Doosan multi-tasking turning centre
Tokai Carbon (Europe) Ltd invests in new Doosan multi-tasking turning centre

Tokai Carbon (Europe) Ltd invests in new Doosan multi-tasking turning centre

Added to MTDCNC by Mills CNC Ltd on 20 May 2013

Precision manufacturing specialist – Tokai Carbon Europe Ltd – has recently invested in a new, high-performance Doosan Puma 2600SY turning centre supplied by Mills CNC.

The Puma 2600SY, one of Mills’ most popular and best-selling machines, was installed at Tokai Carbon’s facility in Oldbury (West Midlands) in 2011 and is being used to machine high-precision, complex graphite and carbon/carbon composite parts for a diverse range of industry sectors which include the emerging Semi-conductor, LED and Solar cell production markets, as well as the more established EDM, Foundry (continuous casting and aluminium treatment) and Heat Treatment markets.

A significant and sizeable market for Tokai Carbon  is in the machining of parts for furnace and high-temperature applications where graphite, owing to its strength, high thermal stability, excellent thermal shock, electrical conductivity and good machinability characteristics, is ideally suited for  the manufacture of furnace heating elements, jigs and fixtures, connectors, trays and boats etc.

Capitalising on the upturn

With business picking up fast in the economic upturn, Tokai Carbon conducted an in-house review into its manufacturing capabilities and capacity in 2011 to assess its readiness and ability to capitalise on new and emerging opportunities.

The results, as operations manager Chris Hill remembers, '...revealed that increased demand on our existing machining resources was putting them under pressure and was affecting our ability to achieve production deadlines and meet customer lead times.'

As a consequence the company made the strategic decision to improve its machining (turning) capabilities and, having previously invested in a Daewoo Puma 300M lathe a few years earlier, approached Mills CNC to find out more about its latest turning technologies.

Says Chris Hill, operations manager:

'We were looking for a sophisticated and flexible machine capable of taking bar and chucking work in its stride, ...that could deliver the accuracies and repeatability’s we require (i.e. +/- 25 microns),...that was adept at machining graphite prototypes and one-offs through to higher volume production runs (typically 100 – 400 off), and that could help us produce finished turned parts in fewer set-ups.'

Following discussions between Tokai Carbon Europe and Mills CNC - a 10' chuck/76mm bar capacity Puma 2600SY turning centre (with sub-spindle) was identified as providing the optimum solution.

The Puma 2600SY

The Puma 2600SY specified for Tokai Carbon was equipped with a 22kW 4,000rpm main spindle, driven tooling providing mill/drill capability (5.5kW/5000rpm), a Y-axis (+/- 51 mm) for eccentric boring and milling, a powerful sub-spindle (15kW/6000rpm), and a 12-station (24 indexing) turret.

The machine also featured an automatic parts catcher and pneumatic parts ejector (in the sub-spindle) and, following discussions with Mills CNC, was supplied (as a turnkey solution) with a bar feeder, an output parts belt conveyor and a comprehensive tooling package.

The Puma 2600SY with the bar feeder and conveyor operates as a high-productivity, high-efficiency automated manufacturing cell in its own right and enables Tokai Carbon to machine complex parts quickly and seamlessly.

As a result the company has been able to increase its productivity levels, eliminate production bottle-necks and reduce time spent on job set-ups.

Concludes Chris Hill:

'The Puma is a versatile machine that represents excellent value.

'The fact that the machine could be supplied and installed quickly (soon after order confirmation), and that it was backed by Mills’ after-sales service and support, made it the ‘stand-out’ option.

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