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Miyano has revealed how Pollard Engineering has used the 15-axis ABX-64 TH3 turn-mill centre to slash lead times and increase flexibility.

The decision by the company to install the Miyano ABX has been rewarded on the production of the first four batches of hydraulic system components; lead times were reduced by completing components in a single operation and, as an example, a particular spool component that required 10 separate production set-ups is now produced in just two.

The Miyano ABX has the ability to utilise its two upper three-axis turrets with the main 15kW and secondary 7.5kW spindles with a lower three-axis turret that can service either or both spindles in a cycle.

This has allowed Pollard Engineering to increase its reputation with customers and attract more business.

Mark Cummings, foreman of Pollard Engineering’s machine shop, said: ‘We have so far tooled up four very complex components, but one particular multi-featured hydraulic spool now combines 10 previous separate operations into just two.

‘On two other parts, each having three operations, these have been reduced to two and one, respectively, and a fourth part, which previously had two operations is now produced in a single cycle.

‘This has made my job so much easier in planning our workload and overcomes previous concerns where we had to pay so much attention to prevent loss of accuracy and geometric positional tolerances due to the number of relocations and resetting,’ he added.

Alan Pollard, quality director at Pollard Engineering, said that with the type of components being produced, the combination of features into a single cycle gives so much added security to production.

He added: ‘While the initial first-off inspection takes longer to perform due to the added complexity, it significantly reduces the need for so many first-off approvals for each separate operation, which can build up and cause major delays in setting.

‘Also, we have found the added flexibility of tool setting enables any changes to improve the process so easy to make,’ he said.

Regarding the next time each batch is run, Cummings added: ‘We will then really benefit.

‘Firstly, we will know and fully understand the machine, while the program and tooling will be proven.

‘Also, with 36 driven positions on the three turrets, each with a Y-axis cross-feed available, we will be able to keep a common suite of tooling in place, which is another bonus in reducing resetting times,’ he said.

The Miyano ABX-64 THY3 utilises Stealth Technology, which counters any effects and influence of thermal growth during warm-up, heat generated by its motors, the types of material machined, coolant temperature and heavy/light duty cutting.

Within five months of the installation, the Miyano ABX has produced 2,500 components out of 40mm diameter condition H brass bar and 1,500 from 35mm stainless steel.

To illustrate the complexity of the parts, a batch of 500 spools that required 10 operations is now produced using the simultaneous cutting ability of the Miyano (apart from a requirement for special undercut, which has to be produced in a separate operation).

In addition, the Miyano has produced 1,500 components from 35mm diameter stainless steel where two turning operations and a drilling cycle have been combined into one.

Cummings said: ‘While the brass can require minor attention, we were apprehensive over the performance on stainless steel.

‘With the rigidity of the machine and using the right tooling, we do not even notice a difference between materials.

‘We even hold a 0.01mm tolerance of both materials without any concerns, which says much for our consistency of production,’ he added.

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