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Quick thinking leads to Doosan investment

Posted on 20 Nov 2020 and read 884 times
Quick thinking leads to Doosan investmentHampshire-based Quick Machining Solutions, a leading precision sub-contract specialist, has invested in a new Doosan vertical machining centre (VMC) supplied by Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, to improve production and help meet continued demand for its high-quality machining services.

The machine, a Doosan DNM 4500, is a compact, high-performance and best-selling three-axis VMC that has become a firm favourite with precision component manufacturers in the UK and Ireland. The new machining centre was installed at Quick Machining Solutions’ modern, refurbished 7,000ft2 facility in September.

Wayne Harris, Quick Machining Solutions owner and managing director, said: “A number of component manufacturers either closed down their operations or furloughed a significant number of their staff in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We felt that even in these uncertain times, we had an obligation to our customers to remain open while ensuring we did everything to keep our staff safe. We also used any spare time for training, maintenance and other improvements within the business.

Increase in demand

“As a consequence of ‘keeping our doors open’ we were able to pick up new business from a number of customers who were having difficulty sourcing their machined parts in the necessary timescale. This increase in demand, in addition to continually improving our milling capabilities, was the main catalyst behind the DNM 4500 investment.”

To ensure that the new machining centre would meet it’s immediate and future machining requirements, the company drew up a checklist and investigated the market.

Mr Harris continued: “We needed a high-performance three-axis machine with a compact footprint and a good-sized working envelope to handle a wide range of different-sized parts.

“We also needed a machine with a Heidenhain 640 control (our preferred VMC platform) to be able integrate with our existing machines and program database. We had looked at acquiring a Doosan DNM 4500 at the start of the year but had postponed the decision — temporarily as it transpired.

“However, the increase in demand and the need for a swift delivery (caused in part by the impact and effects of the pandemic), combined with a great purchase price, we were able to negotiate with Mills CNC for a new DNM 4500.”

Since being installed the DNM 4500 has been used to machine a range of components for customers including those operating in the motorsport, film, leisure and industrial sensor sectors.

These components, machined in small to medium batch sizes and from a variety of materials that include aluminium, stainless steels, titanium and engineering plastics, often exhibit tight tolerances (i.e. down to a few microns in some instances) and superior surface finishes (Ra 0.1µm).

QuickThe DNM 4500 machine at Quick Machining Solutions is equipped with a powerful, direct-drive 12,000rev/min spindle, a large 1,000 x 450mm work table, a 30-position ATC and the latest Heidenhain TNC 640 control.

The machine also features roller LM guideways and thermal error compensation to ensure high accuracies and repeatability’s over long machining runs.

Mr Harris added: “The machine is versatile and is a great all-round performer. It was available at an extremely attractive price. We ordered the machine in September and in the same month it was delivered, installed and was cutting metal.”

Significant growth and success

Quick Machining Solutions was established in 2010 and, over the last ten years, has achieved significant growth and success. The company today employs eight members of staff, has substantially increased its turnover and, to win new business and secure and elevate its position within customers’ supply chains, has achieved ISO 9001: 2015 accreditation.

The company’s commitment to continuous improvement is further reflected in its strategic and prudent investment in new and advanced machine tools and ancillary technologies as evidenced by its first Doosan machine tool investment made 18 months ago.

In November 2018 Quick Machining Solutions invested in a new Doosan Lynx 2100LMA multi-axis turning centre. The lathe was also supplied by Mills CNC with an integrated servo-driven bar-feeder.

Mr Harris said: “To maintain our competitive edge we made the strategic decision back in 2018 to invest in a flexible, high-performance multi-tasking turning centre.

“We were looking for a lathe that was fast, powerful and accurate and we were keen on acquiring a machine that was equipped with driven tooling to help us reduce set up and part cycle times. We also wanted the lathe to be supplied with a bar feeder to help us improve productivity and facilitate ‘lights out’ and unattended operations.”

Before any purchase decision was made Quick Machining Solutions did its homework and researched the market. The results of the research revealed that Doosan lathes were extremely popular among component manufacturers and that, for small parts production, the Lynx range came highly recommended.

On the basis of its research findings, that also included visiting an existing Mills customer and Lynx lathe user, Quick Machining Solutions placed its order for a Lynx 2100LMA.

Competitive edge

Mr Harris concluded: “The Lynx lathe is a real workhorse and, since its installation, hasn’t missed a beat. The performance and reliability of the Lynx lathe, and the ease of doing business with Mills CNC were also major factors in us deciding to invest in the DNM 4500.”

QuickInvesting in new technology as well as its people, plant and manufacturing processes and systems is definitely the ‘direction of travel’ for the company in the future.

Other recent and planned investments to improve its performance include: the recent purchase and integration of a MRP system to help improve productivity and operational efficiencies; an investment in a new coordinate measuring machine to improve its inspection capabilities; the roll out of an ambitious and innovative plan to generate its own solar energy to power its plant; and the continuation of its popular and successful in-house apprenticeship programme to meet its skills requirement.

Mr Harris concluded: “We are always looking to improve and innovate and have built a solid reputation in the market based on the quality of our machined components, the speed of response and the fast turnaround times we can achieve for customers and our competitive prices.

“In a relatively short space of time, we have become a ‘go-to’ precision component manufacturer for customers operating in number of industries and sectors and our investments in Doosan machine tool technologies have been more than instrumental in helping us get to where we are today.”