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FT Gearing Systems has selected six CNC sliding-head turn-mill centres from Citizen Machinery — two 14-axis M32s, two B12s, one L20 and one A20 — to help it enhance its machining capabilities for components bound for the aerospace and defence sectors.

FT needed the ability to machine components up to 32mm bar diameter and batch requirements ranging between 10 and 200 parts.

These include assemblies and critical Class 1 components used in wing surface actuation and engine controls, instrument gearing, miniature gearheads, epicyclic fuel pump gears, drive shafts and thrust reversing gears.

Machined materials include stainless steels, titanium, nimonics and maraging steel.

Key benefits of product application

  • Des Fitzgerald, chairman of FT Gearing Systems, said his company has frequently proven that it can maintain tolerances of a few microns over a batch on the Citizen machines without subjecting the machines to pre-warm-up cycles.
  • He added that the company could not achieve this same level of capability from a fixed-head machine configuration without installing a specialist and expensive turning machine.
  • Combined operations now performed on the Citizen M32 include an aerospace shaft machined from S145 corrosion-resisting alloy steel; this process has been streamlined into a single cycle, which offers obvious lead time advantages.

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.   

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