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Engineering firm opts for UK-built 5-axis machine

Posted on 26 Nov 2020 and read 509 times
Engineering firm opts for UK-built 5-axis machineA leading Leicester-based precision engineering company has re-affirmed its commitment to high-quality, high-accuracy production by becoming one of the first to invest in Worcestershire-based Yamazaki Mazak’s new, British-built CV5-500 simultaneous five-axis machining centres.

JWA Tooling (JWA) is a specialist provider of high-precision manufacturing solutions to some of the world’s largest blue-chip companies, with capabilities including precision CNC milling, turning and wire EDM.

The company had previously invested in a Mazak VCN-530C vertical machining centre to meet customer demand for larger batch sizes. Since its installation in November 2019, the machine’s reliability and speed has proved vital to JWA’s day-to-day operations, freeing up its skilled workforce to take on more complex tasks.

Mazak 1To build on the success of the previous machine, JWA has now invested in a second VCN-530C, and also purchased one of Mazak’s first ‘state of the art’ five-axis CV5-500 machining centres.

Conceived, designed and built in the UK, the CV5-500 is unique in its category due to its high-rigidity bridge construction with a fully supported trunnion table that travels in the Y-axis direction under the bridge, ultimately delivering an extremely accurate and compact machining solution.

The CV5-500’s 12,000rev/min spindle is capable of a peak performance of 18.5kW and 119.4Nm, making it suitable for the wide range of materials JWA works with. Its rapid traverse rates of 36m/min in the X , Y and Z axes also allows for highly agile performance, and it can process work pieces up to 500 x 320mm, and up to 200kg in weight.

‘Lights out’ machining

This five-axis capability will enable JWA to increase the manufacture of high-quality parts and reduce the amount of operations required for job set-ups. Additionally, the CV5-500’s compatibility with a wide variety of automation systems will allow the company to implement ‘lights out’ machining, further expanding its overall production capacity.

Peter Wood, JWA operations director, said: “In order to take that next step as a business and take on larger orders, we needed precise, automation-ready machine tools that could operate with minimal manual production. With these aims in mind, it was clear that Mazak were the first choice.

“We were really impressed with the first VCN-530C we purchased – it was a clear step above everything that we had used so far. Previously, when customers asked for increasingly accurate machining within 5µm or less, we achieved those tolerances by constantly tweaking our old machine, but now we don’t have to do that with our new units.

“We have been very impressed with Mazak as a company, and liked what we saw when we went to the Open House event at their Worcester headquarters in December last year. It was here we saw the new CV5-500, which caught my eye immediately.

“Frankly, it is just a great machine – it is well-built, and the best five-axis machine I have seen at that price point by far, so we thought we would take the plunge. We have certainly got high hopes for it going forward.”

Mazak 1Alan Mucklow, Yamazaki Mazak UK & Ireland sales and service division managing director, said: “JWA Tooling is a fantastic example of a British business using high-precision machining centres to increase output quality and volume.

“We are very happy to have seen the transformational effect the VCN-530C has had on the company’s day-to-day operations, and are extremely confident our new CV5-500 can deliver a further step-change in productivity.

“As the latest in a long line of Mazak machines to have been fully designed and built in Britain, the CV5-500 breaks the mould for the compact, fully simultaneous five-axis machining category. Because of its easy integration with ancillary automation systems, we have every confidence it will deliver the ‘lights out’ machining capability JWA requires to take its business to the next level.”