Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Micro Metalsmiths Opens Machining Facility

Micro Metalsmiths has launched an advanced, high-efficiency machining facility, based around its recent acquisition of nine CNC Fanuc Robodrill machines. The facility is at Kirkbymoorside, near York, and is one of the company's two production sites in North Yorkshire. The launch event was attended by customers of Micro Metalsmiths, senior representatives of major international equipment suppliers and consultants to the facility. These included Mike Fujita, president and chief executive officer of Fanuc Robodrill Europe, and Mike Berry, general manager of 600 UK, part of machine tools group 600 Group plc.

Guests heard Christopher Shaw, Micro Metalsmiths's chairman and managing director, detail the reasons behind the company's decision to create a dedicated, centralised machining facility - capable of both manned and unmanned machining operations - and to make a major investment in the latest Fanuc Robodrill technology. He said that the present-day marketplace requires even higher degrees of accuracy than could normally be achieved by the company's previous generation of machine tools, which operated at maximum spindle speeds of 10,000rev/min.

This requirement has a direct impact on Micro Metalsmiths's two core business streams: the supply of precision metal components produced from in-house investment castings coupled to high-quality machining; and the design and manufacture of microwave components for the aerospace and telecommunications markets. Shaw said: 'In considering the purchase of new equipment, the company decided to combine the two main machining areas and to look for a type of machine tool that would suit both the short-run requirements to finish off highly accurate castings and the long-run requirements of the latest sophisticated microwave devices, which were requiring cycle times of up to 20 hours on the older equipment.' He added that Micro Metalsmiths started with the view that a 2ft-thick concrete foundation would be needed in the new machine shop to stabilise any ultra-high-speed machines and to prevent them from walking.

Shaw said: 'It came as a very positive surprise to find that this new generation of Fanuc machines needs no such foundations and only the minimum of holding to the floor. 'This comes about due to the sophistication and speed of the latest controllers, which control rates of acceleration and thereby allow for bumpless stops at the end of rapid traverse movements,' he added.

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