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Leader CNC has revealed that an Unamuno Optima 36 turning centre with Samsys Multi-3000 barfeed is helping Aqua-Mist Fire Protection bring work back in-house.

Aqua-Mist Fire Protection produces the LP2000 water mist system, which dissipates small water droplets to absorb heat and expand by more than 1,600 times as it is converted to steam – this displaces oxygen and therefore extinguishes fires with significantly reduced water damage.

Each water mist head produced at the company’s manufacturing site incorporates a brass spinner and nozzle.

The company was subcontracting out the production of its two nozzle types and two spinner types, as the quantity of anything up to 3,000 of each component was beyond the capacity of Aqua-Mist’s six existing CNC turning centres.

A growth in demand caused the company concern over the lack of control over the subcontracted parts.

Geoff Nash, production director at Aqua-Mist, said: ‘We had concerns over the capacity capability of our subcontractor, so we decided to look at bringing the parts in-house.

‘This would enable us to control production, costs and overall quality of the parts,’ he added.

The company acquired its Unamuno Optima 36 turning centre with a Samsys Multi-3000 barfeed in November 2009.

The Optima 36 offers simultaneous multi-tool and multi-axis machining by using its sub-spindle, gang slide and upper slide system.

With up to 22 tool positions with six linear axis and two rotary axis, the three-axis upper slide has eight fixed tools or a combination of three driven and four fixed while the two-axis gang slide offers 14 tool positions.

This combination enables the end user to conduct three overlapped simultaneous operations on the main and sub-spindle.

For Aqua-Mist, this means that its nozzles can now be produced in 45sec.

The spinners that require milling with three different tools are manufactured in 1min 30sec.

Aqua-Mist can now manufacture the parts internally at speed, and the subcontract cost of almost GBP1 per part (GBP5,000-plus per month) has been reduced to less than GBP0.50 per part.

This cost reduction is possible due to Optima’s ability to manufacture lights-out.

Andy Taylor, CNC line manager at Aqua-Mist, said: ‘The barfeed for the Optima can be loaded with more than 40 13mm diameter bars that are 1.5m long.

‘This can feed the machine overnight while the 36mm capacity Optima has a part-catching arm that places the parts into a bin without any damage.

‘Despite running around the clock, the rigidity of the Optima ensures that our tolerances will not deviate beyond 0.01mm through the course of a shift.

‘With a barfeed, part catcher, swarf conveyor and an air-blast and spring-loaded collet for ejecting parts, we can machine lights-out with confidence,’ he added.

Leader CNC Technologies is a well established company with over 100 years of combined experience on virtually every make of machine produced within the last 30 years and full ISO 9001 accreditation.

What we do is only half the story however – it’s not just what we do but how we do it that sets us apart as THE industry leading specialists. We offer a full range of CNC Machine solutions, from small turning centre installations by DMC, very large machining centres by Toshiba to ultra high precision machines by Kitamura. Our capacity to tailor a solution to your needs is unrivalled.

The relationships we enjoy with our customers are an immense source of pride for us and we value our sole trader clients as much as we value our world market leader multi-national clients – we understand the needs of both intimately.

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