The success of a Hyundai Wia E200C slant bed two-axis lathe in reducing the machining times of punches and dies, as well as the resulting improvements in product quality, have not only enabled Alpha Punch & Machinery to expand its order book but have also spurred the company to install a new Hartford PRO - 1000 vertical machining centre – which is now producing similar productivity and quality benefits in the machining of both contoured and prismatic punch tools.
According to Julian Smith, managing director of the Rotherham-based specialist punch and die manufacturer, the new machines – both supplied by T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC), the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for the Huyndai Wia and Hartford brands – “have transformed our productivity and quality levels, enabling us to gain new overseas customers while also further improving our service to UK clients”.
Indeed, Mr Smith adds: “Most orders received by 1pm are machined, heat-treated and dispatched on the same day.”
The company has more than 21 years’ experience in the manufacture of punches and dies to suit a large variety of steelworkers. It was, however, the desire to improve manufacturing methods and cycle times, initially on shaft-type workpieces, that a new two-axis lathe was sought.
“With the Hyundai Wia, Ward CNC and tooling supplier Kyocera put together a superb ‘package’ for the machining demonstrations held by Ward CNC at its Sheffield headquarters,” continues Mr Smith. “They got everything right – and their process methods, which include the use of carbide tooling, were replicated when we installed the E200C.”
With swings over the bed and carriage of 550 mm and 350 mm, respectively, plus turning diameters and lengths of 350 mm and 300 mm, respectively, the Hyundai Wia E200C adequately copes with the wide variety of punches and dies processed. This capability is enhanced by the machine’s 12-tool turret, 78 mm spindle bore, 4,000 revs/min spindle speed and rapid traverse speeds of 36 m/min.
“Compared to our former methods, the new Hyundai Wia from day one slashed cycle times on the S1 tool steel punches and dies, and it was this success that immediately made us look at a new machining centre for producing the various shape contoured tools,” adds Mr Smith.
With a pallet working surface of 1,150 mm by 600 mm, travels in X, Y and Z of 1,000 mm by 600 mm by 630 mm with rapid traverse rates of 20 m/min, plus 8,000 revs/min spindle and feed rates of 12,000 mm/min, the Hartford Pro Centre 1000 vertical machining centre also accommodates all possible requirements on Alpha’s prismatic workpieces.
“In both cases, we did look at alternative machines but the back-up and support from Ward CNC have been faultless from day one with the lathe,” says Mr Smith, “so much so that we had no hesitation in returning to Ward CNC when we wanted a new machining centre.”
Alpha Punch & Machinery using a Hyundai Wia E200C lathe and the Hartford PRO - 1000 vertical machining centre for producing punches and dies, including these sets for export to Germany and Portugal