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The new Yamazaki Mazak CV5-500 machining centre at Arcot Engineering in Cramlington Picture: DAVID WOOD

Northumberland-based Arcot Engineering has upgraded its capabilities by investing in new cutting-edge machining technology.

The company has invested in a Yamazaki Mazak CV5-500 5-axis machining centre, a machine ideally suited for engineering companies looking to make their first move into 5-axis work.

Kevin Graham, Machine Shop Manager at Arcot Engineering, says that the investment will help the company break into new sectors requiring more complex machining work and also help to make Arcot much more productive.

Machine Shop Manager Kevin Graham from Arcot Engineering in Cramlington works on the new Yamazaki Mazak CV5-500 machining centre Picture: DAVID WOOD

“The company has a long history of working with vertical machining centres, but we’ve had ambitions to move into more complex and lucrative 5-axis work for some time,” says Kevin.

He continues: “The CV5-500 is priced at a very competitive level for subcontract manufacturers like ourselves but still has the usual Mazak build quality. The machine will help take on more complex work and get more jobs through the machine shop.”

Arcot Engineering was established in 1986 by the Graham and Mason families, who continue to be involved in the business that now employs 13 people at its Cramlington site in Northumberland.

Director Johns Mason (center) with Machine Shop Managers Kevin Graham (left) and Steven Mason from Arcot Engineering in Cramlington with the new Yamazaki Mazak CV5-500 machining centre Picture: DAVID WOOD

The company has developed a strong reputation manufacturing parts for a variety of industries, with particular strength in oil and gas, torque tension tools and hydraulics.

“Our new 5-axis capabilities mean we can perform multiple tasks on one machine, which in turn reduces setup times,” says Steve Mason, Machine Shop Floor Manager at Arcot Engineering. “We’re now doing three, four or five phases of a job in one setup and also reducing cycle-times by a minimum of 30 per cent thanks to the 12,000 rpm main spindle. This machine is going to make us much more competitive.”

The move into more complex 5-axis work was aided by Mazak, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machine tools, who provided a full week of off-site training. “The CV5-500 is programmed using Mazak’s own SmoothX control. I’ve never run a Mazak before but I’ve found the programming to be really easy and very user-friendly,” says Steve.

Alan Mucklow, UK Managing Director Sales and Service at Mazak commented: “One of the main reasons for developing the CV5-500 in the UK was the need to help subcontract manufacturers make the move into 5-axis work at an affordable price, whilst retaining the quality of machine that people expect from Mazak. It is a more complex type of machining but Arcot Engineering are showing what is possible when a company has the ambition to try and the will to make it work. I am sure that this investment will help Arcot break into new markets and improve the company’s machine shop productivity.”

Yamazaki Mazak Ltd

Yamazaki Mazak is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer controlled (CNC) metal-cutting machines. With over 260 different models, the Mazak product range includes CNC lathes, machining centres, multi-tasking machines and flexible manufacturing systems as well as laser processing machines.

Machine tools are called “Mother Machine” because they relate to the manufacturing of almost every product around us and are very important in supporting the base of “world manufacturing.” Our mission as a machine tool maker is to enrich people’s lives and contribute to society by developing and providing high performance machine tools that can produce high accuracy work in a short time.

We were among the first to start foreign production as a Japanese machine tool maker. Following the establishment of Mazak Corporation in the USA, we expanded our production base worldwide to include the UK, Singapore and China, as well as further expanding our Japanese manufacturing operations. We are the only machine tool maker to have established a global production system. With these local plants, we have been able to provide high quality service and have built strong relationships based on mutual trust with customers from all over the world.

True to the Yamazaki principle of supporting the customer locally, Mazak’s European Manufacturing plant, in Worcester UK, opened in June 1987 and was immediately recognised as the most advanced machine tool manufacturing plant in Europe. The factory has expanded three times since then and now offers over 29,000m2

This is a complete machine tool manufacturing plant. Mazak machines the components that go to make its spindles, turrets, tool magazines and Mazak even manufactures its own sheet metal covers. As with all Mazak manufacturing plants, the most rigorous practices and Kaizen programmes ensure continuous improvement.

Serving all of Europe’s markets, more than 80% of the machine tools built in Worcester are exported from the UK into Europe. More than 17,000 Mazak machines have been manufactured here so far and this number continues to grow every day.

Mazak European Manufacturing Plant is recognised for its factory automation, technology and overall management practices. Selected as one of the “Top Ten Companies in the World” by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and Technology underscores this worldwide reputation.

As with all Mazak factories, this facility comprises a variety of flexible manufacturing systems, consisting of machining centres, multi-tasking CNC lathes, and a sheet metal FMS – all designed for unmanned operation.

The plant benefits from highly skilled employees who are committed to continuous improvement through the 25 “Kaizen” teams in operation.

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