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Rodmatic is utilising its Hytek high-technology subcontract machining division with a smaller batch capability in addition to its more traditional volume-production operation, Rodmatic Multico.

Rodmatic has provided a high-production solution using the traditional mechanically driven multi-spindle automatic lathe, as well as a fast-turnaround, small-batch supply using CNC.

As a result, existing customers have been ordering smaller quantities and new customers have been drawn in due to the flexibility of supply for larger volumes of parts and the ability to react with shorter lead times when needed, using CNC.

This has helped managing director Brian Steatham to progressively draw in business that was previously being ferried to low-cost production areas overseas.

Rodmatic Multico still runs its 38 mechanically driven multi-spindle autos, which have capacity up to 80mm diameter, to provide around-the-clock production of one million parts a month.

Over the past three years Rodmatic Hytek has progressively installed a five-axis Daewoo Puma MX 2000ST turn-mill centre, two Daewoo Lynx fixed-head, turn-mill centres and two Star nine- and seven-axis sliding-head lathes.

These are all supported by a programmable-via-PLC component-cleaning centre, a CNC coordinate measuring machine and a programmable non-contact, video-based measuring centre.

The most recent additions to the small-batch-production area are an Akira Seiki high-speed vertical machining centre with indexing table, which is currently being tooled for robotised load and unloading, and a Fanuc wire EDM.

This machine was originally installed for a form-tool production run by the OPG operator and is now engaged in production of small batches of complex or high-accuracy components.

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