Brown & Holmes are meeting increased demand

Working-holding systems supplier boosts productivity with a large-capacity VMC

Posted on 23 Dec 2018 and read 1044 times
Brown & Holmes are meeting increased demandBrown & Holmes Ltd — a supplier of bespoke work-holding system solutions, and a precision machining specialist — has recently bought a large-capacity Doosan three-axis vertical machining centre.

The Fanuc-controlled Mynx 9500, which was installed at one of Brown & Holmes’s two facilities in Tamworth (Staffordshire) in May this year, is the third new Doosan machine the company has acquired in the last four years.

The decision to buy the Mynx 9500 from Leamington Spa-based Mills CNC Ltd ( was made as a result of a growing order book and in anticipation of a new contract to machine high-precision titanium components for a customer in the defence sector.

To machine the parts — made from titanium plate — to the specified accuracies and surface finishes, while also achieving the lead times required by the customer, Brown & Holmes knew that it needed additional in-house milling capacity.

Joint managing director Kevin Ward said: “We make regular investment in new high-performance CNC machine tools — including machining centres and turning centres — and have a good range installed at both our facilities.

“However, owing to a sustained and significant upturn in business over the last few years, we realised we just didn’t have the right type of milling capacity available to fulfil the new order.

“As a consequence, we investigated the market and discussed our requirements with several machine tool suppliers.”

The checklist drawn up by Brown & Holmes contained a number of ‘must haves’ that focused not just on the technical specifications and cost of the new machine but also on the quality of the after-sales services and support provided.

Mr Ward said: “We have a good relationship with Mills CNC; in recent years, we have purchased a large Doosan Puma 600 lathe and a Doosan DNM 750L Mk II vertical machining centre.

“We are also one of Mills CNC’s Technical Partners, having collaborated with the company on customised turn-key and process improvement projects for a number of UK and Irish component manufacturers.

“The emphasis the company places on customer service and after-sales support matches our own business ethos, and having discussed our requirements with Mills CNC representatives, they suggested the Mynx 9500 machine.”

Rugged performance

The Mynx 9500 has a powerful 50-taper high-torque gear-driven spindle designed for heavy-duty machining operations and high metal removal rates.

The machine’s rigid build and design, including box guideways on all axes, minimises deformation and maximises accuracy. It has a work envelope of 2,500 x 950 x 850mm and can accommodate workpieces weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.

Mr Ward said: “While the Mynx 9500 is a brute of a machine, it is also inherently versatile.

“The large working envelope means we can machine large components as well as multiple small parts, while its powerful spindle ensures improved cycle times and the trouble-free machining of difficult-to-machine materials like titanium.

“The Mynx 9500 has been in continuous use since being installed and hasn’t missed a beat.

“As an existing customer, we already had first-hand experience of the more than satisfactory after-sales services provided by Mills CNC, while the proactive approach taken by the company’s Projects Team — responsible for machine tool delivery, installation and commissioning — ensures that nothing is left to chance and that last-minute hitches do not occur.

“This was the case with the Mynx installation.”

A particular bug-bear with manufacturers looking to purchase new machine tools is the length of time they are sometimes expected to wait until machine delivery.

Mr Ward said: “Some machine tool manufacturers are quoting lead times of six months and over for new machine deliveries.

“However, Mills CNC holds a large number of Doosan machines in stock at any one time, allowing deliveries to often be made in a matter of days — rather than weeks or months.”

Even with a non-stock machine, as was the case with the Mynx 9500, the time taken from customer order to delivery was just eight weeks.

“The quick availability of the machine, combined with its impressive technical specification and the support services provided by Mills CNC, all contributed to us deciding to invest in the Mynx 9500.”

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