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Puma 480M Lathe Installed at Kigass Aerospace

Puma 480M Lathe Installed at Kigass Aerospace

Added to MTDCNC by Mills CNC Ltd on 28 March 2012

Leading precision manufacturing subcontract specialist Kigass Aero Components Ltd., has recently invested in a new Doosan Puma 480M lathe from Mills CNC.

The multi-tasking Puma 480M lathe was installed at the company&rsquos facility in Warwick in 2011, and is being used to make high-precision, complex parts for a leading UK aero-engine OEM.

Since its installation, only a few months ago, the machine has proved (and is proving) its worth. Set-up and cycle times have been reduced. Work throughput has improved. Production bottlenecks are less common and part accuracies, due to less work-handling and transfer between machines, are being more easily achieved.

The decision to invest in the new technology was driven by the company&rsquos need to acquire larger turning capacity and capability, and to drive out cost from their existing manufacturing process by reducing part set-up and other non-cutting times.

Says Peter Platt, managing director:

&lsquoOur existing turning technology for small diameter parts (much of it supplied over recent years by Mills), is more than adequate for our needs - but our turning capability for handling larger diameter parts (600-mm and above) needed attention.

&lsquoHowever, we weren&rsquot just looking for a larger machine tool. Instead we wanted to develop a new stable, reliable and repeatable manufacturing process to make these larger diameter parts to the accuracies, geometrical tolerances and surface finishes required...and, after discussions with different machine tool suppliers, determined that the Doosan Puma 480M from Mills would be a central component in us achieving our objective.&rsquo

The parts being manufactured on the new Puma are required in small batches (approx 30 per month), and are characterised by their intricate features and details. Prior to the new investment parts were milled and turned on different machines.

The arrival of the new Puma, with its driven tool capabilities, has meant that some milling operations previously undertaken on separate machining centres are now being performed on the new Puma lathe.

Continues Peter Platt:

&lsquoWaiting for our (milling) machines to become free was creating a production bottleneck. And spending time and resources on job set-ups was also inefficient and costly.

&lsquoOriginally we thought that a mill-turn machine would be a good way of addressing the challenges we were facing and would allow us to produce parts in fewer set-ups. But, having discussed our ideas with Mills it became apparent that the best and most effective solution (and the one that would give us most flexibility now and in the future) would be to invest in a large, high-performance lathe with driven tools.

So that&rsquos what we did.&rsquo

The Puma 480M is a large, powerful and versatile lathe ideal for many tough machining applications where fast and efficient stock removal and guaranteed high-accuracy and super surface finishes are demanded.

The machine supplied to Kigass had a 21" chuck/165.5mm bar capacity, a 45kW (gearbox-driven) 1,500 rpm spindle, and a 12-station turret. The machine has driven tooling capability (11kW/3,000-rpm), and was supplied with Seco&rsquos Jet Stream high-pressure coolant system and a tool-setting probe.

Concludes Peter Platt:

&lsquoThe Puma 480M has a Fanuc control &ndash something we are more than familiar with, and we already had experience (good) in operating Puma multi-axis lathes&rsquo (The company already has 2 x Puma 2500Y machines).

&lsquoThese factors as well as the new machine&rsquos cost-competitive price, its availability and the fact that its backed by Mills&rsquo after-sales and service support made the decision to go with the Puma 480M an easy one to make.&rsquo

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