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TandR Precision Engineering has invested GBP1.5m in six CNC machine tools from Yamazaki Mazak including CNC turning centres.

Ray Maddison, managing director of TandR Precision, said: ‘A major contract from one of our longstanding customers drove home the fact that we needed to invest in CNC.

‘Aircraft manufacturers reviewed manufacturing processes in an attempt to reduce costs and improve productivity.

‘The result was components that are an amalgamation of two or three previous parts; to manufacture them efficiently, a five-axis capability became an essential requirement.’ The first Yamazaki Mazak machine TandR bought was a Mazak Variaxis 630-5X II multi-tasking machine tool, closely followed by a Mazak Integrex 300-IV ST multi-tasking machine tool.

Maddison said: ‘In the early days, much of the work we did was in light alloys.

‘But as this started to change to a requirement to machine components in hard materials, such as titanium and Inconel, we needed a machine capable of handling the higher cutting forces and stresses.’ The Integrex’s versatility and its capability to finish machine components in a single set-up has meant the difference on certain tasks between breaking even and making a profit.

The rigidity of the Integrex’s construction allows higher cutting data on difficult-to-machine materials.

The simplicity of its Mazatrol Matrix control system helps speed up the programming of the most complex components.

Four jobs are about to be transferred to the Integrex 300-IV ST, which is expected to reduce their cycle-times by 40 per cent.

A third multi-axis Mazak machine, a Variaxis 500-5X II, has a multi-surface simultaneous five-axis machining capability that is producing a variety of aerospace components.

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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