Cennox helps keep your money safe

Surrey firm boosts its R&D capability by bringing machining in-house

Posted on 07 Jul 2017 and read 1450 times
Cennox helps keep your money safeAs a global leader in banking and retail support services, Camberley-based Cennox plc is at the forefront of the battle against ‘card skimming’ at cashpoints, by developing components and systems that help banks stay one step ahead of the criminals.

To ensure that it maintains a lead in this market, Cennox has an on-going research and development programme; this requires numerous parts to be machined with relatively short lead times.

The company also needs production parts to back up the service it provides to banks that require repairs to damaged cashpoints.

In the past, all machining work was sub-contracted, but as demand grew, there were delays in supply that adversely affected Cennox’s productivity — and costs.

This situation prompted the company to investigate bringing machining in-house. Iain Ferguson, technical and operations support manager, said: “The main challenge we faced was not having any machining experience at all.

“This meant we would be starting from scratch and would need to find a machine tool supplier that would work with us to bring this project to fruition.”

After investigating the market, Cennox chose Leatherhead-based Matchmaker CNC (www.matchmakermc.co.uk) to supply the machine it required — as a turn-key package that included tooling and CAD/CAM software (Sharp CAM). The choice of a Matchmaker VMC-1020 vertical machining centre with a 1,100 x 560mm table allows multiple set-ups to be in place at any one time.

“This capability is a big advantage to Cennox, as some components require six operations, and to have them all on the table simultaneously improves productivity and manufacturing costs considerably.

“Typical savings over sub-contracting a part are about 75%; with initial batches of about 400 parts and on-going batches of 20-30, the overall saving is significant. Furthermore, the almost complete elimination of lost time waiting for parts to be processed by a sub-contractor has made lead times much shorter.

Essential support

Given Cennox’s lack of machining experience, part of Matchmaker’s role was to provide on-going support through its applications engineering department, which worked with Craig Wilson, an experienced R&D machinist/programmer hired by Cennox for this project.

Mr Ferguson said: “The help we received from Matchmaker was excellent. Craig machined
our first pieces in a cycle time of 80min per part. He then tweaked the program and reduced the time to 45min, which we were happy with. Further work with Matchmaker’s applications team reduced the cycle time even further, and we now produce each of these parts in just 34min.

“With its 8,000rev/min 7kW spindle, 10m/min cutting feed rate and Fanuc 0iMD control system, the Matchmaker VMC-1020 is making short work of the volume parts we require.

Our sub-contractor had been using two machines to produce 12 of a particular part a day; we are producing the same number a day with our single Matchmaker VMC — and achieving even better dimensional accuracy and overall quality.

“Considering that our starting point was having no machining experience whatsoever, we were probably a unique proposition for any machine tool company, given the size of our business. We therefore had to place a lot of trust in Matchmaker to supply us with a machine and the support that would deliver what we needed.

“That trust was well placed, as we now have a machining facility that we are confident can produce anything that our design department comes up with — and deliver it in a very timely manner. Moreover, the whole project ran smoothly from start to finish.”

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