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Mori Seiki is helping Hi-Force, a manufacturer of high-pressure hydraulic bolting and lifting products, live up to its ‘Made in the UK’ slogan.

Its tools, used in the oil-and-gas, power-generation, railway, construction and shipbuilding industries, are designed to apply controlled loads and torques for leak-free flange connections and heavy jacking applications.

At its Daventry factory, Hi-Force has invested GBP850,000 with Mori Seiki, which has supplied a turnkey solution for the company, consisting of two NL3000 lathes with Y axis, a Duraturn lathe and a NMV5000 DCG five-axis machining centre.

Kevin Brown, managing director, said: ‘We made the decision to move the majority of our machining in house as we needed to achieve much better control of our manufacturing and offer our customers the benefits of increased flexibility and shorter delivery times.’ Hi-Force has 11 overseas offices and 100 distributors worldwide and exports 85 per cent of its output.

Previously, the company had to rely on its UK and global subcontractors, so that, if one essential component was delayed, it would hold up the delivery of the finished tool.

Similarly, if a rapid delivery was required, it would frequently have to pay a premium for out-of-hours working.

The two NL3000 machines are used to manufacture a range of cylinders and, with the Y axis, they are able to combine several operations so that a finished part comes off the machine.

Metal removal rates are said to be important as around 70 per cent of the billet is machined away during cylinder manufacture.

The NMV5000 DCG was purchased to manufacture Hi-Force’s range of 10 torque wrenches, which vary in size and capacity from 1,700Nm up to 48,000Nm of torque output.

The five-axis capability of the machine enables the component parts to be completed in one hit.

Mori Seiki has been providing a continuing programme of training and optimisation to enable the company to produce the complete range of wrenches and to rapidly swap between them as requirements change.

Brown said: ‘Training is on the job, so it is extremely effective, building on the skills of our engineers as they get to grips with the new machines.’ Hi-Force has also invested in Mori Seiki’s maintenance programme, which provides a planned maintenance schedule and includes the cost of repairs.

Brown added: ‘The maintenance plan ensures that we have accurate and predictable knowledge of machine running costs.

‘We recently had a machine tool collision caused by human error and Mori Seiki engineers were here within four hours to start fixing the machine,’ he said.

The majority of Hi-Force’s products are delivered within seven days.

However, the Mori Seiki machines have cut typical turnaround times from eight to four weeks.

Brown said: ‘We are achieving savings of around 25 per cent on our manufacturing, cementing our commitment to Mori Seiki.

‘We are moving into a new purpose-built 50,000ft2 [4,645m2] facility in 2010 to meet our plans for growth and to continue our policy of “Made in the UK”.

‘We are anticipating that, as part of this expansion, we will be investing a further GBP400,000 in Mori Seiki equipment and services,’ he added.

MORI SEIKI with its head offices in Nagoya, Japan, is a pioneer in machine tool building. Founded in 1948 the company has launched more than one hundred different lathe and machining centre series over the years, all NC / CNC models. In total more than 180.000 machines have been produced.

Products from MORI SEIKI are manufactured on the basis of a solid development policy. As manufacturer of machine tools the company has developed a wide range of CNC lathes, machining centres, and multi-axis lathes. Complete solution is the key phrase, as support throughout the full lifecycle of machines is paramount to MORI SEIKI.

MORI SEIKI machines are produced in Japanese production factories Iga, Nara and Chiba, as well as in its production location at Dixi machines in Le Locle, Switzerland. The French company TOBLER SAS – specialists in precise clamping mandrels and clamping tools – also belongs to the Mori Seiki group.

MORI SEIKI has over 90 sales and service technical centres worldwide.

Recent years have seen the company’s dedication in Europe get off to a good start. Various sites have been set up and further expanded. The European training centre is located in the Stuttgart Technical Centre. Here customers, employees and business partners from all over Europe can be trained in extremely well equipped conditions.

We also have a centralised spare parts department in Europe, which has over 23.290 parts in stock, ensuring quicker and more efficient spare parts delivery.

Precision, performance and productivity: that is PURE TECHNOLOGY from MORI SEIKI.

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