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(L-R) Nicky McGuire (Machine Operator) and Callum Marshall (Manufacturing Supervisor) at KMS, alongside the company’s new Mazak SLANT TURN 550M CNC turning centre

A Scottish precision engineering firm has invested in a state-of-the-art heavy-duty CNC turning centre as it looks to proactively respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Stonehaven-based Kincardine Manufacturing Services (KMS), which specialises in the manufacture of complex components used across the oil and gas sector, has taken delivery of a Yamazaki Mazak SLANT TURN 550M CNC turning centre as part of its long-term, post-COVID business resilience strategy.

The SLANT TURN 550M is ideally suited to the cutting of large, long shaft workpieces up to 5,690mm in length and Ø910mm. Linear roller guides on the X- and Z-axes provide a high level of rigidity during the cutting process, while the machine tool is able to process a broad range of difficult-to-machine materials thanks to its high-power 45kW 1000 rpm main spindle.

The SLANT TURN 550M will add a new dimension to KMS’ precision machining capabilities, particularly when undertaking heavy-duty cutting of difficult-to-machine materials, at high feed rates.

The investment is the latest in a series of machine tools KMS has purchased from Yamazaki Mazak, including models from its QUICK TURN and INTEGREX series.

Graham Truscott, Financial Director & Founder at KMS, commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic has hit manufacturing hard, with the energy sector in particular having faced a wealth of cancelled or postponed projects. However, at KMS Engineering we are well aware of the importance of investing in our resilience in order to adapt to the manufacturing challenges of a post-COVID world. In short, we must prepare for economic recovery by being proactive.

“While many took the decision to cut costs or reduce capacity during the COVID-enforced lockdowns, we decided to increase our manufacturing capacity by investing in premium CNC machine tools. We have worked with Yamazaki Mazak for a number of years, and have enjoyed great success with our QUICK TURN and INTEGREX models. The SLANT TURN 550M will add a new dimension to our precision machining capabilities, particularly when undertaking heavy-duty cutting of difficult-to-machine materials, at high feed rates.”

Mr Truscott concludes: “The priority for us has always been our commitment to our customers, and the investment in new machinery will help us improve our machining capability. We also look forward to the SLANT TURN 550M’s positive effect on our overall capacity and response times, ensuring we are ready for the anticipated increase in production demand throughout 2021 and beyond.”

Yamazaki Mazak Ltd

Yamazaki Mazak is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer controlled (CNC) metal-cutting machines. With over 260 different models, the Mazak product range includes CNC lathes, machining centres, multi-tasking machines and flexible manufacturing systems as well as laser processing machines.

Machine tools are called “Mother Machine” because they relate to the manufacturing of almost every product around us and are very important in supporting the base of “world manufacturing.” Our mission as a machine tool maker is to enrich people’s lives and contribute to society by developing and providing high performance machine tools that can produce high accuracy work in a short time.

We were among the first to start foreign production as a Japanese machine tool maker. Following the establishment of Mazak Corporation in the USA, we expanded our production base worldwide to include the UK, Singapore and China, as well as further expanding our Japanese manufacturing operations. We are the only machine tool maker to have established a global production system. With these local plants, we have been able to provide high quality service and have built strong relationships based on mutual trust with customers from all over the world.

True to the Yamazaki principle of supporting the customer locally, Mazak’s European Manufacturing plant, in Worcester UK, opened in June 1987 and was immediately recognised as the most advanced machine tool manufacturing plant in Europe. The factory has expanded three times since then and now offers over 29,000m2

This is a complete machine tool manufacturing plant. Mazak machines the components that go to make its spindles, turrets, tool magazines and Mazak even manufactures its own sheet metal covers. As with all Mazak manufacturing plants, the most rigorous practices and Kaizen programmes ensure continuous improvement.

Serving all of Europe’s markets, more than 80% of the machine tools built in Worcester are exported from the UK into Europe. More than 17,000 Mazak machines have been manufactured here so far and this number continues to grow every day.

Mazak European Manufacturing Plant is recognised for its factory automation, technology and overall management practices. Selected as one of the “Top Ten Companies in the World” by the Swedish Royal Academy of Science and Technology underscores this worldwide reputation.

As with all Mazak factories, this facility comprises a variety of flexible manufacturing systems, consisting of machining centres, multi-tasking CNC lathes, and a sheet metal FMS – all designed for unmanned operation.

The plant benefits from highly skilled employees who are committed to continuous improvement through the 25 “Kaizen” teams in operation.

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