Established in 1977 as a family run business, Beechwood Engineering Ltd
began trading in a small industrial unit close to Blackpool town centre. The company’s early success and rapidly increasing customer base soon prompted an expansion into additional, neighbouring units.
Subsequently, in order to accommodate the company’s increasing collection of machine tools and its expanding workforce, Beechwood Engineering moved to its current, purpose-built advanced manufacturing facility in Poulton-le-Fylde.
In addition to providing a wide-ranging CNC milling, turning and EDM capability, the ISO 9001:2008 registered business also offers a comprehensive grinding service. To keep pace with customer demand and to further upgrade the company’s surface grinding provision, a search was recently made for a precise surface grinding machine.
Having considered several alternative options, Stewart Churchill, Beechwood’s engineering director, made the decision to purchase an advanced Okamoto ACC 64 GX surface grinding machine supplied by Leicestershire-based DF Precision Machinery Ltd
Mr Churchill said: “By the use of the latest machine tool technology, our highly-skilled staff are committed to ensuring that every component is manufactured to the highest possible standards. Moreover, our plant list is continuously updated to ensure we remain at the forefront of the sector.
“In addition to serving customers operating in general engineering sectors, we also have clients working in demanding areas such as the aerospace, automotive, medical, Formula One and the nuclear industry. Surface grinding is often the last process our workpieces undergo and many of the components we manufacture have very exacting specifications relating to parameters such, dimensional accuracy, profile precision and surface finish.
“As part of our quest to continually upgrade our capabilities, we recently looked at the available advanced surface grinders with a view to replace an older machine with a model that would improve our surface grinding precision and efficiency standards. After narrowing our search down to two machines we chose to purchase the Okamoto ACC 64 GX.
“In addition to being aware of Okamoto’s reputation for the quality of its machines, we considered that the ACC 64 GX was capable delivering the speed, ease of use, and precision we required.
“Also, it helped that the knowledgeable staff at DF Precision Machinery were extremely helpful, right through from our initial enquiry, to the machine’s efficient installation and operator training. Our new Okamoto ACC 64 GX is now delivering on all of our expectations.”
With a history of innovation and quality that stretches back nearly 100 years, Okamoto is a recognised leader in the design and manufacture of precision surface and profile grinding machines. Today, the company produces over 1,000 machines each year from three ISO:9002 and ISO:14001 certified factories.
To ensure total control of Okamoto’s manufacturing processes and to help maintain Okamoto’s reputation for the premium quality of its products, in addition to operating first-class machine shops and assembly halls, the company also boasts its own ‘state of the art’ foundry.
The comprehensive Okamoto ACC GX range of precision surface grinding machines offers users grinding lengths from 500-1,000mm and cross travel from 200-500mm. Ideal for use in the toolroom, the high-quality, cost-effective machines incorporate a wide range of standard equipment to ensure ease-of-use and the efficient and precise production of small parts.
In addition to being ideal for use by experienced grinding professionals, the Okamoto ACC GX range’s intuitive operating system makes the machines suitable for less experienced operators.
The Okamoto ACC GX range benefits from a robust cast iron construction and features double-V slideways in both the machines’ tables and cross-feeds to ensure long-lasting precision. The moving saddle design, surface grinding machines’ Meehanite castings exhibit high static and dynamic stiffness as well as excellent damping qualities. The hydraulic surface grinders have an automatic feed, whilst easy to control coarse and fine vertical feed is provided.
The popular Okamoto ACC 64 GX variant, as purchased by Beechwood Engineering, has a machine table length of 650mm and a width of 400mm and a longitudinal feed maximum traverse path of 750mm.
The entire Okamoto range of surface and profile grinders, internal, cylindrical, vertical and rotary grinding machines, in addition to polishing products, are exclusively available in the UK and Ireland through DF Precision Machinery Ltd.
Along with as Okamoto products, the Leicestershire based business is also the exclusive UK distributor of Hardinge grinding products, including Kellenberger, Voumard, Hauser, Tschudin and USACH machines.
Mike Duignan, DF Precision Machinery director, concluded: “Having made certain that we fully understood Beechwood Engineering’s surface grinding requirements, we were confident that an Okamoto ACC-GX machine would represent the company’s ideal grinding solution. Okamoto ACC-GX Series surface grinders are regarded as classics of their type and are one of the most widely used surface grinding machine ranges in the world.
“These high-quality, cost-effective machines are easy to operate and deliver excellent consistent performance and high levels of accuracy and reliability. ACC-GX Series grinders also boast a wide range of standard features that make them a value leader in the area of automatic surface grinding.”