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Dugard ’putts the hours in’ with golf club manufacturer

Posted on 19 Jan 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 908 times.
Dugard ’putts the hours in’ with golf club manufacturerThe Dugard 760 at Sink Golf

Based in Littlehampton (West Sussex) and a manufacturer of golf putters, Sink Golf recently bought a Dugard 760 machining centre from Hove-based Dugard Machine Tools, to machine its bespoke golf clubs.

The company was founded by Olly Longlands who said: “Four years ago I was living in New Zealand and got into CNC manufacturing, which I enjoyed so much that when I returned home to the UK I bought a 2008 Dugard machine at auction. I didn’t even know how to turn it on, but with help from Dugard and YouTube videos I managed to get my business up and running, initially working in the family sheet metal business and spending evenings and weekends on my business.”

Now, Sink Golf receives enquiries from online channels like Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. Mr Longlands liaises with customers regarding their bespoke requirements then designs the putters using Fusion 360. When a final design is confirmed, he programmes the putter in Fusion 360 and sends the programme to the Dugard machines on the shopfloor.

Discussing the arrival of the latest Dugard 760 machining centre, he said: “Last January, I decided to run the business full-time, and it simply went from strength to strength. In fact, demand grew so much that I couldn’t keep up with orders using just the one machine, so I went out and bought a new one — another Dugard.

“Two types of material are machined, 303 stainless steel and mild steel; and with two machines I can now do the first operation on the new machine and then the facing on the older one; and because each club is bespoke to the individual golfer, production times differ from club to club. Some will have 4hr of machining time, while another we have just produced — a Damascus club that features a process where multiple metals are joined in layers under extreme heat — took more than 32hr.

However, the rigidity of the new machine enables us to run our tools faster and harder, while also improving surface finishes and tool life. As a result, we are 40% more productive — and secondary hand finishing times are reduced.

“The new Dugard 760 has a 20-tool ATC, which compared with the 16 tools in the older machine, reduces set-up times, tool changeovers, and downtime; and whereas rough-machining time on the previous machine would be 1hr 15min, this is cut to less than 40 min on the new Dugard 760. Furthermore, tool changeovers take just 2.4sec compared with 11.2sec on the old model.”