Renowned in the Motorsport arena as a transmission specialist, Thatcham based Xtrac has recently acquired two new machine tools from Matsuura. MTD went along to Xtrac to take a closer look at why the opted for the Matsuura machine tools..
We spoke with Martyn Selby, the Head of Manufacturing at Xtrac Ltd and he told MTD: 'We recently acquired the Matsuura MAM72-100H for the machining of castings. Its a flexible two pallet machine with full 5-axis capability inside the work area that enables us to reduce our set-ups when machining complex castings. Flexibility was undoubtedly a key consideration as well as speed and changeover options. We are not a high volume manufacturer and the average batch on the machine will be in the region of 20 parts, but we can machine quantities as low as 2-3 with the Matsuura with rapid set-up times.'
The machine has 240 tool stations which is ideal for Xtrac, as Mr Selby continues: 'We had one casting that demanded a high quantity of tools, but with the Matsuura capability of reducing set-ups and increasing flexibility, we now require fewer tools for each job.'
Eluding to why the company opted for the Matsuura machine, Mr Selby says: 'We already have a number of Matsuura machines on site and the support and service we receive is great and they are always on the end of the phone if we have an issue. Whilst repeatability, accuracy, speed, quality, reliability and flexibility are a given, we know that is exactly what we will get from a Matsuura machine. '
At the same time as the MAM72-100H machining centre arrival, Xtrac also took delivery of a MAM72-35V Vertical Machining Centre with a 32 pallet changing system. Unlike the 100H that was acquired for castings, the 35V was purchased for the manufacture of internal components for the gearboxes that Xtrac produces. This machine can accept larger batches, it has a faster spindle speed and it is more flexible than the 100H, according to Mr Selby. 'This machine has a 32 pallet loading system that allows us to load parts into the machine and forget about the job, as all the parts will come out as finished components. Both machines have been excellent additions to our plant list and they have delivered everything we would expect for a supplier as prestigious as Matsuura.'