When Parker Precision set itself on a course to improve productivity, precision and output, the Bilston business acquired a Mazak QuickTurn 200MSY turning centre equipped with a Hainbuch collet chuck. The impact of the new investment soon snowballed into a raft of new machine purchases.
Installed in 2012, the Mazak was purchased for its sub-spindle turning capability with the aim of reducing second operations, part handling, potential for error and of course improving throughput. The impact of the Mazak QuickTurn rapidly noted the arrival of a second 200MSY, a 250MSY and a Hyper Quadrex – all fitted with collet chucks from workholding experts Hainbuch. In addition to this, the AS:9100 certified manufacturer has purchased three sliding head turning centres from Star and a 5-axis VariAxis i500 machining centre.
Commenting upon the delivery of Hainbuch Spanntop Combi collet chucks with the Mazak machine tools, Director at the 28 employee subcontract company, Mr Marc Corns says: “When we set about replacing machine tools with new technology, the ‘done in one’ slogan from Mazak caught our eye as we were intent on getting parts off the machines with no operator intervention. However, our concern was transferring complex parts from the main to sub spindle and maintaining our average +/-0.01mm tolerances on dimension and concentricity precision. To this end, Mazak recommended a Hainbuch 65mm diameter Spanntop Combi collet chuck for the sub-spindle. This worked so well on the first machine, we specified the Hainbuch collet chucks on the sub-spindle of every subsequent machine installation.”
Manufacturing anything from critical electrical housings for the petro-chemical industry to actuation components for the aerospace industry, the subcontractor is registered on the UTC ‘gold program’, which signifies the importance the family owned West Midlands company places on quality. “Initially we were confident in the machining precision of the Mazak machines, but somewhat apprehensive of the dimensional consistency between front-end and back-end machining. Hainbuch has more than delivered in terms maintaining repeatability, precision and concentricity levels.”
Machining batches from 20 to over 200 on the manually loaded chucking machines, the clamping forces, concentricity, accuracy and ability to delicately hold machined surfaces without marking the parts were all considerations for Parker Precision. These considerations were all overwhelmingly solved by the Hainbuch Spanntop Combi dead-length collet chucks. The components machined at Parker Precision are particularly challenging with considerable and often heavy duty milling operations on materials that vary from steel through to titanium, Monel, beryllium copper and much more. Not an issue for the Hainbuch range.
Reflecting upon the previous turning centres and the efficiency of the machines, Mr Corns continues: “It is difficult to establish a quantifiable gain with the Mazak machines over their predecessors. The ability to conduct one-hit machining as opposed to continuously using secondary operations is huge for our business. It has slashed cycle times, manual handling, lead times and it has given us more capacity to take on new work. Added to this, there are major benefits in terms of quality, precision, consistency and the reduced opportunity to create scrap. The Hainbuch Spanntop Combi system is a major contributor in all of these factors. One thing we can certainly quantify with the Hainbuch system is the savings in regards to collet changeovers. Our previous 5C collet system on the old machines used to take up to 30 to 45 minutes to change over. This creates a lot of down time and lost machining hours when we are changing components over with regular frequency. The Hainbuch Spanntop Combi enables us to change from one component or diameter to another in less than 10 seconds. This is a huge saving.”
This flexibility is afforded by the ability of the Spanntop Combi to conduct radial clamping without axial movement of the clamping head as well as the flexibility to clamp workpieces with a short collar or shoulder length. By applying axial draw force to pull the components against the end-stop, the workpiece and the process is made considerably more stable.”
This is credit to the extremely high clamping forces that guarantee component stability. The benefits of the Spanntop Combi dead length chucks on the sub spindles at Parker Precision has since noted the company also changing many of the main spindle chucks to Hainbuch products.
Commenting on this, Hainbuch Engineer, Mr David Noakes says: “The Spanntop range of chucks have made an instant impact for Parker Precision. To bring these benefits to the complete process, we have now installed Spanntop Combi chucks on many of the turning centres, which give flexibility by allowing adaptions such as our ‘Mando’ mandrel system and our ‘Jaw module’ 3 jaw chuck adaption which are both quick change and zero point to maintain sub micron accuracy.