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Engineering firm invests in new machining centre

Posted on 30 Jul 2020 and read 384 times
Engineering firm invests in new machining centreRotherham-based ENS Precision Engineering Ltd, a sub-contract machining, fabricating, plating, NDT and assembly specialist, expanded into a new 39,000ft2 factory in 2018 and to boost its machining capabilities the firm has recently invested in a Dugard HD1886B machining centre supplied by East Sussex-based Dugard (www.dugard.com).

Tim Atwell, ENS Precision Engineering director, said: “We bought the Dugard because it was a very competitive package with box guideways and a BT50 taper, which makes it a very rigid machine. Before buying it, we visited one of Dugard’s other customers and saw how they were very pleased with the machine and this gave us the confidence to buy.”

“While many companies go for very high rev/min with a low depth of cut, at ENS we believe in using as much of the carbide as possible, going for bigger depths of cut. This is why we choose BT50 taper machines because they always have the ‘grunt’ to push the carbide — the results so far have been very good and we have no issues.”

He continued: “We had no reservations about buying our first Dugard machining centre. We had bought a different brand lathe from them in the past. So, we just needed to know that the HD1886B could do the job and the back-up was there.”

Josh Hipwell, machine shop operator and past apprentice, said: “The main reason for the purchase was that our old machining centre was getting a little tired. We wanted one that could do all the work that our previous machine could do and more.”

“As a company, we had a set budget that we wanted to stay within. The Dugard machine not only came within that budget, but it was the most robust and rigid machine in that price bracket.”

The Dugard HD1886B has a BT50 spindle taper and the desire for a solid platform was based on productivity goals.

He added: “The majority of jobs we are processing on this machine are from mild steel, not harder materials. However, our aim with this machine is to reduce machining times and increase productivity. So, we are taking very heavy cuts at relatively high speed to reduce our cycle times.”

Looking specifically at the footprint of the machine that has a bed capacity of 1800 by 860 by 700mm in X, Y and Z-axes, Josh says: “The Dugard machine has one of the biggest ranges in Y and X-axis of any of our machines, but the overall footprint is very compact. Furthermore, the axes are flipped on this machine where the Y-axis is on top of the X-axis, this makes the machine construction a lot more rigid for harder and heavier-duty cutting.”

Adding to this, Tim says: “The working envelope is very useful. Space is always at a premium and the other machines that we have that take a lot of space are our sliding head lathes, comparatively, this Dugard machine is very compact. I have to say we are delighted with this machine.”

Referring to some of the jobs the company has cut on the Dugard HD1886B, Josh continues: “The machine is very versatile. At the moment, we are cutting some light fabrication work, but we have also cut some very heavy workpieces. The machine is already familiar with taking 10 to 12mm depths of cut for sustained periods, the machine stands up to the task.”

Configured with the FANUC 0i-MF Plus Series CNC control, Josh says: “We already have several machines with FANUC control systems that work back to back from a programme perspective, but we also have jobs where we’ve had to put new programs on the Dugard machine with this control and it’s as easy to programme as any machine on our shopfloor.”