Located near major automotive OEMs in Warwickshire, 2G Tooling Ltd
is well known for manufacturing everything from fly press tooling through to large drawn tools. To further increase the scope of its toolmaking capabilities, the Southam-based sub-contractor recently purchased a large bed five-axis Ibarmia ZVH45 L3000 Star machining centre supplied by East Sussex-based Dugard
Offering a complete service from sub-contract machining through to design and manufacture, the specialisation in precision press tooling, jigs and fixtures has carved a niche for 2G Tooling. The Ibarmia ZVH45 L3000 Star features a 3m bed, a travelling column, +/-105-degree B-axis, a rotary table and the capability to machine up to 6-tonne workpieces on the bed.
Chris Peters, 2G Tooling managing director, said: “The main reason we bought this machine was to give us extra flexibility, extra capacity and size. It is a much bigger machine than what we previously had, which we part-exchanged for the Ibarmia.
“What sold this machine to us was a ‘video meeting’ with the factory in Spain where the machines are made. The difference between Ibarmia, and what I have seen before from most mass-produced machine tool manufacturers, is a bespoke set-up and the family ethos the business has. You could actually see each machine going through production with more time and care being spent on each machine which is bespoke to match an individual customer’s exact needs.”
When asked why the company opted for an Ibarmia ZVH45 L3000 Star, Mr Peters said: “This machine will not only give us extra capacity but much greater flexibility. Having the rotary table and the B axis will allow us to machine components for sectors that proved difficult for us to do previously.”
With a BT/CAT 50 spindle taper and 27/39kW of spindle power, the high torque 12,000rev/min spindle also demonstrates an exceptionally stable and powerful platform for heavy material removal rates and extended cutting tool performance.
He continued: “The flexibility and the reach of the machine will enable us to reduce the overhang of tools from 100-150mm to 30-50mm which will improve the stability of our tooling, the surface finishes and subsequently improve tool life. It will also give us faster cycle times and reduce our costs on cutting tools — these are all improvements the machine will provide for us. We can see the potential savings and also an even better quality of product for our customers.” On-machine probing
The machine installed at 2G Tooling incorporates the latest-generation Heidenhain TNC640 HSCI CNC control system, on-machine probing, linear glass scale feedback on all axes with pre-loaded rolling shoes, a 40-position ATC, 40m/min rapid feed rates, through-coolant spindle and swarf conveyors.
Looking to the first parts that 2G Tooling will be putting on the Ibarmia machine, Mr Peters said: “We are currently designing a tooling job for a customer, and we are already designing it in a way that will fully utilise this machine. There will be certain features and things like holes in the sides that we can now undertake in a single set-up, which would previously have involved three or four set ups.”
The ability to machine large parts in full five-axis will significantly reduce secondary set-ups and lead times for 2G Tooling while the on-machine probing system will provide confidence that every part coming off the Ibarmia will be machined to impeccable precision levels.
The new machine features X, Y and Z-axis travels of 3m x 800mm x 800mm with an 800mm diameter integrated rotary table that has a 1.1m swing. This not only enhances flexibility for the company, but the integrated table also demonstrates high levels of rigidity and stability for five-axis machining.
Mr Peters concluded: “From a capacity perspective, we can go up to 6 tonnes on the bed and the rotary table can do 1.5 tonnes, which is a lot more than the small trunnion work that we have been able to machine until now.
“Straightaway, the larger dies and workpieces can go straight on the rotary table and these large pieces can be five-axis machined — this will open us up to new markets as far as general machining goes.”