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Armi Chiappa, a manufacturer of parts for field guns and air rifles, has upgraded its equipment with CNC machine tools from Haas Automation.

‘Compared to a vertical machining centre, the horizontal working area of the Haas EC-300 gives us 25 per cent greater production yield for the type of components we machine, which are often cut from solid billets and usually involve removing large quantities of metal,’ said Rino Chiappa, managing director of the company.

The company installed the first of its Haas EC-300 machines in 2007 and subsequently added two more – the first in 2008 and the second a year later.

Each component in a new Chiappa creation is designed using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) before being assembled on screen using 3D simulation.

Once satisfied the parts and finished assembly are correct, company designers create toolpaths that are sent directly to the Haas machines.

Chiappa continued: ‘We moved to Haas machines because we wanted to create a new production line for lever-action products such as the Winchester [a lever-action rifle].

‘The three Haas EC-300 machines make components that include a complete receiver for a rifle.

‘This particular part begins life as a solid block weighing 2.5kg, yet just 0.6kg remains after final machining,’ he added.

Manufactured from 38NiCrMo4 low-alloy steel, the part is finished with dimensional tolerances of 0.02mm.

Batch sizes are up to 400-off, which means the three four-axis EC-300s work continuously over three shifts to keep up with demand.

Other common materials processed include C40 carbon steel, Ergal aluminium alloy and AVP plastic resin.

The latter is used to create prototypes.

‘As well as reducing cycle times by 25 per cent, we’ve also extended the life of our cutting tools by 20-25 per cent, thanks to the rigidity of the Haas EC-300s,’ said Chiappa.

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