Third machining cell purchased to fulfil contract

Posted on 10 Feb 2019 and read 729 times
Third machining cell purchased to fulfil contractAt the end of 2017, when Tamworth-based Alcon Components was awarded a contract to supply the lightweight monobloc brake calipers for a new hybrid electric hyper-car, the sub-contractor asked Gosport-based Kingsbury ( to supply a second automated turn-key machining cell to produce the aluminium components.

Comprising a German-built Hermle C 32 U five-axis machining centre fed with pallets from an Erowa Robot Easy 250 automated storage and handling system, the cell was delivered in mid-2018 and started pro-ducing the calipers immediately (the job had already been proved out on an almost identical cell installed in 2016).

The hyper-car has one brake caliper per wheel, and a set of four requires more than 24hr of machining from solid aluminium billets. The production route comprises four stages: two on the Hermle C 32 U and two on another vertical machining centre.

Fully interpolative five-axis machining of free-form surfaces accounts for less than 10% of the cycles on the Hermle machine, with 4+1 and 3+2 strategies used wherever possible to maximise production efficiency.

A limited number of these road-going hyper-cars will be produced, and a few ‘track only’ versions are also planned.

Alcon ( is responsible for the brake system, pedal box and actuation, as well as a number of high-precision chassis components.

When the contract has been completed, Alcon will split its on-going production of calipers for high-performance road cars, racing cars and defence vehicles between its two Hermle-Erowa C 32 U cells.

A smaller C 20 Umachine on the shopfloor will then be reserved for producing prototypes.

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