On this week’s episode of Swarf and Chips, we have a very diverse show consisting of the entire team sharing their discoveries from engineering encounters with manufacturers across the country. It’s the first time the team are back in the studio since Swarf 100, and they have a lot to discuss!
Colin visited Wilbar Components at their headquarters in Cannock, Mark spoke to the new U.K sales director for Alicona at the SECO, Inspiration Through Innovation event, Paul visited Kelly engineering to discuss the benefits of automation, alongside an informative visit to Whitehouse Machine Tools. Other substantial highlights on today’s episode will include a “stupendous” cycle time challenge from M-CNC in Somerset and catching up with Vero Software at the KMF group, to discuss everything sheet metal!
Beginning the show, we would like to thank all of the suppliers who donated gifts to us to go out as prizes. These include PSL Datatrack, Hyfore, Kyocera, Star GB, Citizen, ZCC Cutting tools, DMG MORI and Cogsdill, with a special shout-out to Lee Donaldson (correct spelling?). Gio also pointed out that Cogsdill has a special offer on their deburring and roller burnishing tools, any opportunity Gio!
Before we head to our first video, Mark tells Lyndsey his reasons for not appearing on our amazing Yamakazi Mazak UK podcast this week was because of a secret project he’s working on, very exciting stuff!
Colin popped into Wilbar to see Gareth, well known for their hydraulic components and subcontract work, with a real enthusiasm for Hurco machines. Regarding their recent purchase of the VMX-42-SI-TI 5axis, Gareth claimed that the machine helps their manufacturing by being far more efficient with less operator intervention! To further amplify their results from the Hurco machine, they have purchased a HyperMILL, and although when they initially used the machine, they did not fully trust the operating system, Gareth assured us that they now have full confidence in the machine creating a part with no operator interception, and through a combination of great machinery with innovative manufacturing software, Hurco has created a much more practical way of work for Wilbar.
Following on from the video, Colin told Lyndsey and Gio that they could still do the 3axis work on this 5axis machine, only the process will be not only quicker but has also improved the cycle time reduction for Wilbar!
Mark caught up with Alicona’s new U.K Sales Director Daniel Steinkellner, who has recently transferred from their headquarters in Austria. His background consists of working in the U.K as an application engineer as well as a Sales Manager in Italy, claiming he has crossed over to the U.K due to its interesting market. Mark stated that a common misconception people make is portraying Alicona as a company that specialises in the laboratory sector, but surface finishing is not just about tooling, it is about the end product. Daniel agreed that they are moving away from that, using methods such as installing devices next to turning machines at the event, allowing them to do an automated measurement of surface finish.
His message to engineers watching, was to visit their showroom and offices in Market Harborough and do some application work together with Alicona.
Back in the studio, Mark reflected on his visit and claimed that Metrology was an important part of engineering, and with Alicona moving away from the laboratory environment and measuring surface ware, it was pivotal to know that when using a tooling solution, to understand at what point it would become optimised or break. Lyndsey claimed that the industry is changing rapidly with things such as automation, along with the technology around it, and Gio pointed out that with machines manufacturing parts at a much quicker rate; and the metrology sector needs to keep up with this.
Paul was in the Emerald isle of Ireland at Kelly precision not only discussing the advancements, importance and innovation of automation but seeing it in action during a live demonstration. Managing Director Jim Kelly told us that automation is simply what keeps the company competitive and growing, and with 60 machine tools and 28 robots on site, it is clear that the company has full confidence in automation. It is also a necessity for a company like Kelly Precision, because Jim explained to Paul that without the automated machines, they would lose up to 40% output on tools. With the company building a huge new facility and taking on more employees, it is clear that automation is helping Kelly Precision expand and grow at a rapid pace. When asked about the strengths of the company, Jim told us that the company is flexible, specialising in on-time delivery and assisting the customer in problem solving as well as being a supply chain.
Jim explained that the domestic market of the company is a mere 20% with the rest of their products going to places such as Sweden, Germany, Italy and the United States to go on construction machines, lorry’s, boats, and without automation none of this would be possible!
Lyndsey, Gio and Mark discussed the trip in the studio, pointing out that a lot of manufacturers are creating automation ready machines, giving people the option to choose adding the option on from themselves or a third party, this is evidence of the sector acknowledging the importance of automation.
Mark brought back the return of the #CycleTimeChallenge in a stupendous manner at M-CNC in Somerset. He caught up with Leigh, who showed him the component of this week’s challenge. It is a component made from titanium for the oil and gas industry with one of the biggest benefits being the reduction from 3 operations, now doing on the DMU with the PH-150 with one operation, there is a snap off and some hand finishing but overall it has led to an astronomical drop in cycle time. The material is hard metal titanium, how long do you think it takes to make this component?
Paul visited Whitehouse Machine Tools and spoke to Ian Hayes about their new agency and also the available machine on display. Ian told us about the UQ-400, which has 40 tools in the carrousel, a swarf conveyor, oil skimmer, a high-pressure coolant for a clean tank, an oil chiller at the back for the spindle alongside other amazing features. The company have been supplying the machines for under four months and have already sold 4 units of the robust machine and Ian claimed that anybody breaking into the 5axis market creating smaller components. Contact Whitehouse to purchase their last machine!
Mark visited Vero and spoke with Justin at KMF headquarters, discussing the software used in the manufacturing of machines. Vero began working with KMF several years ago, who have now evolved into precision engineering after becoming one of the largest sheet metal subcontractors in the U.K. Throughout their journey, KMF decided to use Edgecam for their 5axis Mazak machines, such as the Variaxis and VTC. Justin explained that the bidding of Edgecam was complicated but after looking around the market place, they still chose Vero Software. He also gave us some in-depth information about KMF’s apprenticeship centre, and also Vero’s offer to their customers of free apprenticeship training.
It is clear the team have been busy bringing you the latest news from around the country. With this episode showcasing our enquiries and informative ventures into sectors such as Metrology, Automation and Software, Swarf and Chips once again displays why we are the number one show for manufacturing news and insights!
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