An operator at Adams Engineering with the new Dugard 1000XP machining centre
Ilkeston-based Adams Engineering Ltd
, a predominantly sliding-head turning machine shop, recently purchased a Dugard 1000XP three-axis machining centre. Initially founded in the 1950s and run as a single-cam auto machine shop for decades, the business has in more recent times been taken over by Scott Burrow who three years ago moved the company to a new and larger premises and has continued to acquire new machinery and attract more work.
Discussing why the company has invested in three-axis machining, Scott Burrow said: “Our first venture into milling was down to one of our customers. They kept pressing us to undertake milling work for them, so eventually we took the plunge. With the first machine we bought, we were initially just drilling and tapping prismatic parts and putting steps in plates. It was all very basic stuff at the beginning.”
As word got around that the company was undertaking milling work, more enquiries followed, so the company bought a larger machine — a Dugard 1000XP three-axis vertical machining centre (VMC).”
Mr Burrow added: “We were looking to buy a bigger machining centre than what we already had, and we were initially going to go with an alternative supplier. However, Mark from Dugard turned up and we knew him from the past. He said he was working with Dugard — and that was that. We really like Mark and we have worked well with him before.”
Of course, the purchasing decision was not solely based on a long-standing and trusting relationship. The ISO:9001 company wanted a machine with a sizeable capacity and a robust platform, which is exactly what the Dugard 1000XP delivers. As standard, the machine has an X, Y and Z-axis travels of 1,050 x 540 x 560mm and can accommodate larger parts. With a powerful 27kW BT40 spindle motor, a cartridge belt drive spindle, pre-tensioned twin-nut ballscrews and an FEA-designed meehanite casting, the machine has been optimised for heavy-duty cutting.
Mr Burrow continued: “We just thought — why not go big! This move has paid off as well. We are now doing work that is taking up almost all of the bed. The machine has certainly brought in new work and more work from existing customers, meaning we have more work than ever before. When we first bought the Dugard machine, we did not have a lot of work for it. Over the last year, we have gradually filled that capacity.”
The Dugard 1000XP has X, Y and Z-axis rapid feed rates of 44, 44 and 25m/min with a cutting feed rate of 20m/min, a credit to the powerful Mitsubishi CNC control system. Furthermore, the positional accuracy of 0.01mm and repeatability of +/-0.003mm enable the machine to provide fast machining rates with impeccable precision. This makes the Dugard 1000XP a perfect all-rounder for any sub-contract manufacturer.
Mr Burrow said: “We are machining a lot of valves and we do a lot of second operation work for laser cutting companies. These will be large parts that are laser cut and they cannot be finish machined in-house; we strap the jobs down to our machine bed and away we go. We will cut any material from aluminium, brass and typically steel and stainless steel. We bought this machine, we took a CAD/CAM package with the machine and it has transformed the way we work.”
He concluded: “We did have a small issue with the machine a few weeks back and Dugard came out the next day and had it up and running straight away. We also have the Filtermist extraction system on the machine, which we have on all our other machines and this keeps our machine shop impeccably clean. The Dugard machine has ticked all of the boxes, it has been brilliant for us. It has boosted our capacity and it has increased the size and complexity of the parts we can manufacture.”