Product Details Supplier Info More products

RT Quaife Engineering has converted the entire turning section of its manufacturing facility using machines and control systems from Yamazaki Mazak.

For over 40 years, Sevenoaks-based RT Quaife Engineering has been developing specialist transmission systems for motor sport teams.

Investment in machine tool technology is helping to maintain that position.

Quaife’s client base ranges from the enthusiast, through professional teams right up to the OEMs including Ford, General Motors and Daimler Chrysler.

Quaife’s latest OEM success has been the development of the differential that will be used in the latest Ford to take the RS name, the RS Focus.

Quaife has always adopted the latest NC and CNC at the earliest opportunity.

‘Our early decisions to buy on price did not necessarily deliver the value/performance that was required, so some 3-4 years ago, Quaife began the process of converting its entire turning section at its Otford, Sevenoaks manufacturing facility over to Mazak,’ said Mick Quaife, technical director, RT Quaife Engineering.

‘This change was driven by the quality of the machines available from Mazak and a desire to move to a more user-friendly control system.

‘The quality of the Mazak machines was defined with the first five machines that we bought, which came with a good warranty.

‘We only had to call out Mazak’s service department once, and the problem was solved quickly and efficiently,’ added Quaife.

Even though the switch to the Mazatrol Matrix control system was a step change in progress from existing systems, it was found to be extremely easy to use and operators quickly came to terms with the conversational programming.

‘We have had a number of different control systems over the years,’ said Glen Molineux, general manager, RT Quaife Engineering.

‘The Mazatrol system has proved to be very easy to adapt to and we have seen improvements in set-up times as a result.’ Quaife’s latest purchase, which was delivered just three months ago, is a Mazak Quick Turn Nexus 250-II MY, equipped with optional bar feed unit.

As standard the machine features a 4,000rev/min 26kW turning spindle, with a 12-position turret with live tooling capability at each position.

When combined with the 100mm Y-axis, maximum turning diameter is 380mm while the maximum length that can be machined is 580mm.

This latest machine, along with the other five Mazak Quick Turn Nexus machines installed at Quaife, will be used to produce a wide variety of transmission components, including gear blanks and shafts for use in its range of gearboxes and differentials.

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.

View full profile