Product Details Supplier Info More products

BGB Innovation is using two CNC sliding-head turn-mill centres — an M32-VIII and an A20 VIIPL — from Citizen to machine parts measuring up to 32mm in diameter. By making the switch from fixed-head turn milling to sliding-head turn milling, the company has saved more than £50,000 per year in production costs.

BGB designs, develops and manufactures slip rings and fibre-optic rotary joints for wind turbines, underwater lighting systems and sewage treatment plants.

Using the Citizen machines, the company is able to maintain micron tolerances under ‘one-hit’ production turning strategies for its ultra-precision high-performance rotary joints.

The most recently installed machine — the seven-axis A20 — is powered by a 3.7kW 8,000rev/min main spindle motor with a 1.5kW, 8,000rev/min drive to the sub-spindle.

It will accommodate seven turning tools with four tools for front-end machining and eight tools for back-end machining and three driven tool positions.

Key benefits of product application

  • David Gilbert, works director at BGB, said the ability to cost-effectively machine to micron tolerances within a single cycle has enabled the company to achieve critical line-up of the fibre-optic elements in its connectors used for the transmission of up to 1GB of data.
  • This production capability has paved the way for the Optilinc fibre-optic rotary joint (FORJ) to be manufactured.
  • The M32 has maintained a utilisation factor in excess of 75 per cent; in addition to service schedules, it has a record of only one single fault requiring a service call.
  • In addition to normal production demands, the M32’s high levels of flexibility and precision meant it was ideal for prototyping and small-component development.
  • The A20 specified by BGB incorporates the optional long workpiece unit, enabling parts measuring up to 400mm in length to be machined — this is ideal for producing the company’s longer threaded shaft riser components.
  • Mark Scoffins, CNC team leader at BGB, said the benefits of the A20 include rigidity of build, faster processing times, lack of idle time in a cycle, faster acceleration to 32m/min rapid traverse and the ability to overlap tool applications.
  • BGB Technology, based in Richmond, Virginia, has selected Citizen as its machine choice for production of high-tolerance products for the US market.

Citizen Machinery

Citizen is the world leader in CNC sliding head ‘one-hit’ turn-milling technology. It has a range of machines having a maximum bar capacity between 4 mm on the compact micro-machining capable Citizen R04 to 32 mm on the top of the range Citizen M32-VII which has the added capability of two Y-axis cross-feeds.   

The M32 can carry up to 80 tools, of which 20 can be driven, and can cut with three tools simultaneously giving low cycle times and high levels of productivity.  Also, fully automated unmanned cycles can be utilised through an integrated gantry option and conveyor system that helps ensure damage free parts during uninterrupted batch production.  A high pressure 2,000 psi CoolBlaster coolant system is a further option to optimise swarf control, tool life and machining difficult materials.

Following the acquisition in Japan in 2008 of 65 per cent shares in Miyano, the fixed head turning centre specialist, the two companies are maintaining their separate high profile brand names utilising a single sales operation.  However, turn-milling solutions from bar up to 64 mm diameter can now be provided.  In addition, with the Miyano range of turning and turn-milling machines for chucking operations, cell-type applications can now be accommodated with a wide range of automation options.   

View full profile