Tewkesbury company getting measure of production

Gloucestershire company adds more new equipment to its quality department to keep up with demand

Posted on 06 Aug 2018 and read 869 times
Tewkesbury company getting measure of productionTewkesbury-based Bushell & Meadows Ltd is a sub-contract manufacturer of high-quality precision components that has invested heavily in high-speed CNC machine tools and serves a range of markets — including medical, aerospace and defence.

The company produces complex components from a variety of materials, including titanium, plastics, aluminium, stainless steel and other special alloys; it also undertakes the development of prototypes and carries out production runs ranging from small batches to quantities of over 1,000 — and it manufactures high-grade surgical steel blades for oscillating, reciprocating and sagittal bone saw tools.

Having achieved EN ISO 9001:2008 and EN ISO 13485 quality management accreditation, Bushell & Meadows says it is committed to safeguarding its hard-won reputation for quality; and to enable the quality control function to keep pace with ever increasing levels of production, regular investments are made in inspection equipment.

Following the recent installation of several highly productive machine tools, including horizontal machining centres with pallet loading, the company bought a co-ordinate measuring machine (CMM) and an optical profile projector from Andover-based Mitutoyo UK Ltd (www.mitutoyo.co.uk).

Paul Vedmore, production manager at Bushell & Meadows, said: “We have a wide range of CNC milling capabilities provided by our Mazak, Matsuura and Haas machining centres; we also have Star sliding-head machines. Our more recent investments have included three new Mazak Integrex machines.

“Each job that leaves our company has been through numerous quality-control checks; and with recent increased levels of production, we wanted to ensure that we could maintain our high quality standards — hence the installation of a Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex S 574 CNC CMM to complement the Crysta-Apex S776 that we already have.

“We also bought a Mitutoyo PJ-A3000 profile projector for non-contact measuring inspection work. Both new pieces of equipment have significantly expanded our inspection capabilities and allowed us to keep pace with increased levels of production.”

Simple features

Mr Vedmore continues: “The PJ-A3000 profile projector’s accuracy, versatility and simplicity of operation allow it to undertake the checking of the more simple features on many of the parts that would previously have been inspected on our busy CMMs.

“Meanwhile, the Crysta-Apex S 574 can undertake rapid fully automatic CNC measuring routines, allowing it to keep pace with our increased levels of production — and deliver the levels of precision we require.

Tewesbury co pic 2“As we have written many inspection programs, our inspection personnel can load a batch of parts onto the bed of our new CMM, quickly call up the relevant program and then start a fully automatic measuring routine.

“On completion, we can store details of each measured feature of each individual component in a batch — and print a detailed inspection report.”

The Crysta-Apex S 574 variant, as recently installed at Bushell & Meadows, features the use of lightweight materials and an “innovative” machine structure that offers high levels of motion stability and accuracy, while the availability of vision and scanning probe technologies provides a range of measurement capabilities.

In addition to their use in dedicated quality departments, the Crysta-Apex S-series machines can perform accurate measurement routines even when located on the shopfloor, thanks to a temperature compensation function.

Moreover, these CMMs offer a maximum drive speed of 519mm/sec and a maximum acceleration of 2,309mm/sec2.

Mitutoyo says this performance results in an increase of almost 100mm in drive distance in 1sec, when compared with general-purpose CNC co-ordinate measuring machines with a maximum speed of 430mm/sec.

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