Amtek invests in new machines
Posted on 11 May 2015 and read 2466 times
Devon-based Amtek Precision Engineers Ltd — one of Europe’s leading mould tool makers — has purchased two high-specification Sodick machines — an SLC600G wire EDM and an AG60L die-sink EDM — from Sodi-Tech EDM Ltd (www.sodi-techedm.co.uk
). This follows its acquisition of three Sodick machines — one wire, one die-sink and one hole driller — in 2012.
Managing director Mike Jones says: “We are extremely busy and simply needed more capacity. Even though we switched to Sodick machines in 2012, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that we would buy more. However, we listened to our guys on the shopfloor, and that made our decision easy. We are particularly fond of the linear-drive technology. The ballscrew drives on other EDM machines are fine when new, but they wear. With Sodick, we get a 10-year guarantee on positioning accuracy.”
Around 80% of Amtek’s work is for the plastics industry, with its mould tools typically producing pharmaceutical and medical-sector components, plus caps and closures. The levels of precision that it achieves (±0.003mm in some instances) are beyond conventional tool-rooms; it is competing with rivals in Switzerland and Germany.
“Aside from tool-making, we are also seeing growth in the number of aerospace manufacturers turning to us for component manufacture. They seem to be coming here because they want a higher level of quality assurance than they can get from the Far East.”
The SLC600G features a digital Smart Pulse generator and a 19in touch-screen control, while the AG60L offers an impressive tank depth (400mm) and a 32-station tool changer.
“To help justify the cost of the new machines, we are looking into running them overnight to make aerospace components — possibly by palletising the jobs — and making mould tools in the daytime.”