The company being confronted with an existential crisis, the managing director
The success of these policies saw the number of components going through the shop floor for the first time for existing and new customers more than tripling from 10% to 33%. Much has benefited from the design expertise for manufacturing Technoset engineers to reduce spare part costs for customers.
The first new machine tool the company purchased since the start of the pandemic was a highly specified Cincom M32-VIIILFV two-spindle slide-head turn-mill center, which was delivered by
One of the primary reasons for acquiring the latest M32 was the need to machine complex telecommunications components, in particular a 12-piece family of predominantly aluminum connectors for use in the defense industry. Many of them are complex, with lots of milled detail, and design tolerances are less than 10 microns.
This level of precision is achieved reliably even when the lights are off, in part because the lathe integrates Citizen’s LFV (Low Frequency Vibration) software into the Mitsubishi controller operating system. Variants of the LFV function can be called automatically in any part-program to break what would normally be stringy chips into manageable chips. It is no longer necessary to stop the lathe to untangle and remove potentially dangerous chips from the tool and / or component.
Productivity is therefore maximized, the operator is free to perform other tasks in the workshop, and the machine can run confidently without supervision. Programmable chipbreaker software is not only beneficial when machining aluminum connector parts, but will also prove invaluable when Technoset restarts production of high volume aircraft components from Inconel, titanium. , Waspaloy, Nimonic and other superalloys, all of which tend to make bird nests. once turned and drilled.
In anticipation of the acceleration of the resumption of work in aerospace, the subcontractor set up a second shift at the start
Rapid development of turning machine technology
âWhat surprised me was how quickly machine technology has evolved. Our latest M32 is the fifth generation, which has been beefed up and completely redesigned since we installed the latest fourth generation model in 2017.
âThe result was a drastic change in performance. I consider the machine to be the epitome of sliding head technology in terms of productivity, flexibility and speed. It is ideal for milling and turning high value parts. ‘
Improvements to the turning center include 1.5 times faster motorized tools powered by a 2.2 kW motor and a programmable 9,000 rpm B-axis to enable simultaneous machining on five CNC axes instead of four . Combined with the rear tool holder whose Y axis now has adjustable angle tooling, it allows faster production of more complex parts. Overlapping machining allows three tools to be cut at the same time, further reducing cycle times and increasing productivity.
The 10-station turret incorporates a new tooling system using a more robust single drive, also rated at 2.2 kW, for an increased number of live cutters. Only the selected tool rotates, removing heat generation and vibration to improve machining accuracy and surface finish. Like almost all the pieces shot in the
âNormally, to achieve profitable levels of productivity when milling components from smaller diameter bars, you wouldn’t do this job on a lathe with double or more bar capacity, as you would expect. it is slower.
âThis is not the case with the fifth generation M32, which means we can consolidate the work on one platform. The reduced mix of machines in the workshop promotes knowledge transfer and helps alleviate the problem of skills shortages across the industry. ‘
Recently Technoset found itself launching for the job and stuck on a 90 second cycle time which was too long to hit the target price.
To look forward
Focused on digitization and automation, Technoset’s projects are vast. The dark side of the business, which currently accounts for around two-thirds of revenue, is already automated through the use of bar stores. The milling part will take an important step in spring 2022 with the installation of a 5-axis machining center with robotic loading / unloading of components and on-board probing of parts. It will be the first automated cell to manufacture prismatic components on site.
Helping finance the purchase is a
Part of the money will also be spent on acquiring a CADCAM suite for offline programming, a function that is currently performed primarily through manual data entry on machines. Consideration will also be given to investing in laser cutting, part marking, a painting facility and special deburring equipment to achieve the high standards demanded by the aerospace and laser industries.
As any manufacturer knows, there is no point in using the best machine tools without qualified people to operate them.
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