Kingsland Engineering has installed a new Sodick SL600Q high performance wire EDM at its UK headquarters in Sheringham, Norfolk. This specialist in the design and manufacture of machines for structural steel processing is using the new Sodick wire EDM to manufacture any special tooling required for Kingsland machines by its customers, such as punches, dies and blades for example.
Kingsland is a name synonymous with steelworkers. As a brand, the company is instantly recognisable by generations of engineers who have been tasked with using steelworkers to process structural steel material such channel, section, flat and bar, typically more than 10 or 20 mm thick. The company, which has origins dating back more than half a century, today produces full CNC and automated steelworkers.
Steelworkers, or ironworkers as they are sometimes called, are multi-purpose machines able to perform operations such as punching, angle cutting, section cutting, shearing and notching on structural steel. Aside from the build of machines, the Sheringham facility is also a toolmaking shop, producing the punches, dies and blades required for Kingsland machines. It was for this area of the business that the company recently identified the need to acquire a new wire EDM.
"Before installing the Sodick machine we operated two other wire EDMs from another supplier", explains Bernard De Muynck, managing director at Kingsland Engineering. "I have been here two years and throughout this time we had huge reliability problems with the existing machines, so the decision was taken to source a replacement."
Following a review of all the main EDM technology suppliers, Mr De Muynck opted for a Sodick SL600Q from Sodi-Tech EDM, a machine that has proven itself as extremely popular across a variety of industry sectors as a smart entry into linear wire cut EDM. Among its numerous attributes are linear motors and absolute linear scales in the X, Y, U and V axes, a 10-year warranty on positioning accuracy, advanced wire tension control, an energy saving circuit, automatic water level control, automatic wire threading and superior surface finish functionality. It also features rigid cast construction and a ceramic work zone.
Installed in May 2014, Mr De Muynck, says that "the machine was selected because of its superior technology, reliability, accuracy and speed, ensuring it will bring real benefits to customers using our tooling".
Manufactured from D2 tool steel that is specially heat treated in a vacuum furnace for long and productive working life on a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, Kingsland’s tooling can take numerous shapes and sizes. It is manufactured on the SL600Q to extremely tight tolerances and against demanding lead-times – the company offers next-day despatch for tooling.
"The Sodick machine, which has replaced both of our previous wire EDMs, has proven itself to be a real asset to our company," says Mr De Muynck. "We run it almost non-stop – given the chance I think our operators would even use it for ordinary turned and milled parts", he adds light heartedly.
"Ultimately we are very happy with our choice of wire EDM," concludes Mr De Muynck. "It runs well and importantly has introduced the reliability that was previously lacking. We haven’t had a single problem since it was installed."
Although part of the Haco Group of companies headquartered in Belgium, Kingsland Engineering at Sheringham is the group’s main knowledge centre for structural steel processing machinery, specialising more and more in traditional machinery as well as sophisticated automated production systems.