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Sub-CNC makes an investment ‘with options’

Precision turned-part specialist invests in a DN Solutions’ Lynx 2100LSY supplied by Mills CNC

Posted on 14 May 2024. Read 544 times.
Sub-CNC makes an investment ‘with options’The shopfloor at Sub-CNC Precision

Bedfordshire-based Sub-CNC Precision Ltd, primarily a precision turned-part specialist with extensive in-house sliding- and fixed-head turning capacity and capabilities, recently took delivery of its first DN Solutions’ multi-tasking lathe supplied by Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of DN Solutions’ and Zayer machine tools in the UK and Ireland.

A compact Fanuc-controlled Lynx 2100LSY with sub-spindle, Y-axis and driven tooling, which has provided Sub-CNC with a fast, accurate and flexible turning solution,was installed at the company’s 15,000ft2 facility in April last year. The Lynx 2100LSY is the first DN Solutions’ machine acquired by the company in its 16-year history and, since installation, has been put through its paces machining a range of small, high-precision components for customers within the automotive, aerospace, defence and medical sectors.

Parts are machined from solid in a wide range of materials that include aluminium, mild steel, stainless steels, titanium, brass and bronze. Batch sizes are typically small — up to 200-off — with components being machined to tolerances of 50µm and exacting surface finishes.

Sub CNCNew Lynx 2100LSYS in-situ at Sub-CNC Precision

Since its arrival around 12 months ago, the machine has been used as a chucking lathe although the imminent arrival, and integration, of a 51mm capacity bar feeder in the next few weeks will increase the machine’s versatility allowing Sub-CNC to take advantage of its true capabilities and realise its productivity potential. It is also envisaged that the bar feeder will allow the Lynx 2100LSY to be used to machine lower volume batch work currently being processed on the company’s sliding head lathes.

Sub-CNC’s managing director Yian Stavrou said: “The Lynx 2100LSY has been a great addition, and has improved our in-house machining capabilities. With its ‘one-hit’ capabilities, the new lathe has been instrumental in helping us strengthen our supply chain position with, and secure new business from, existing and new UK and European customers.”

The Lynx 2100LSY is a popular and proven DN Solutions’ multi-tasking turning centre designed for fast and accurate small parts processing. The synchronisation of the lathe’s main and sub-spindle allows, via quick and seamless part transfer, the front and back-end of components to be machined in a single set up resulting in reduced part cycle times, improved accuracies and increased work throughput.

High accuracies

Meanwhile, its driven tooling capabilities which, in conjunction with its Y-axis, enables milled and drilled axial and radial features to be machined quickly and efficiently on parts negating the need to transfer them to other machining centres for finishing.

Furthermore, the machine has the ability to deliver high accuracies and repeatabilities consistently, whatever the time of day, and without the need for warm-up cycles to be undertaken or completed. Mr Stavrou continued: “Technology features that include roller-type LM guideways, a sub-spindle, Y-axis and driven tools help deliver high accuracies, fast part-processing times and improved process efficiencies.”

Although the multi-axis Lynx 2100LSY has strengthened Sub-CNC’s machining capacity and capabilities, back in early 2023, the company was looking to acquire a more straightforward fixed head lathe. Mr Stavrou reflected: “Initially, we were in the market for a two-axis lathe, essentially to undertake secondary re-working operations required on selected parts that had already been machined overnight on our existing, production-oriented fixed-head lathes but which, for various reasons, such as broken or worn tools, failed to meet the required part quality standards.

Mills“Rather than scrapping this often high-value work, or attempting to re-work these parts on our existing fixed head lathes, which would interrupt and compromise production schedules and workflow, the intention was to acquire a new two-axis lathe to handle this work.”

Although Sub-CNC had not invested in a Doosan or DN Solutions’ machine before, the company was well aware of Mills CNC and had a positive impression of the company, the machines it supplies and the first-class after-sales services it provides.

Mr Stavrou added: “We were in effect looking for a reliable, back-up lathe and, as such, approached Mills CNC to see if they could identify a suitable machine. We also visited Mills CNC’s Technology Campus in Leamington to discuss our requirements further. It was there where we were first introduced to the Lynx 2100LSY.”

Discussions with Mills CNC’s technical and sales staff helped Sub-CNC clarify its new investment requirements and resulted in the company opting for a multi-axis, multi-tasking lathe instead of going down the two-axis route. The decision to opt for a more sophisticated and higher specification lathe, it was determined, would still enable Sub-CNC to use it for re-working operations, but also provide the company with a high-productivity and flexible turning solution that could be used to machine new and/or existing low-volume high precision parts in just ‘one hit’.

Mr Stavrou said: “We decided this was the better option, and was one that would not only address the re-working issue but also provide us with an accurate, high-productivity lathe to handle new work.” The fact that the Lynx 2100LSY was already in stock and could be delivered in just a few days was a persuasive factor.

Best-selling turning solution

The Lynx 2100LSY is a best-selling 6in chuck/51mm bar diameter lathe with a 300mm maximum turning diameter and a 510mm maximum turning length. Ite comes equipped with a 15kW 6,000rev/min main spindle (127N-m), a servo-driven 12-position turret with fast indexing capabilities, 6,000rev/min driven tooling, a +/-52.5mm Y-axis, a 5.5kW 6,000rev/min 5in chuck sub-spindle and an advanced Fanuc 0iTP control that features a 15in touchscreen iHMI. The Lynx 2100LSY supplied to Sub-CNC also features a parts catcher, an automatic tool setter and a FllterMist extraction unit.

MillsParts machined on Sub-CNC’s new Lynx 2100LSY lathe

Mr Stavrou said: “The Lynx 2100LSY has been a good investment. The machine is fast, accurate and reliable and has enabled us to secure new machining contracts from existing and new customers. The decision to invest in a multi-tasking lathe has certainly been vindicated, and the Lynx 2100LSY is now making a positive contribution to our growth.”

Established in 2008, ISO 9001:2015 certified Sub-CNC was originally set up by current co-directors Yian Stavrou and George Dingley and today employs 23 people. The company over the last 16 years has grown rapidly and regularly makes strategic investments in its people, in its plant and equipment and in its processes and systems as part of a well-developed and successful continuous improvement programme.

In addition to investing in new, advanced machine tools and integrated automation systems the company in November 2020 relocated to its current facility in Luton, and has spent considerable time and resources in modernising and kitting out the machine shop and its administration and office areas. The facility features a discrete inspection facility within the machine shop and separate assembly/sub-assembly, packaging and distribution, and raw material stock areas. The company has also recently invested in a new, sophisticated ERP system to automate, manage and streamline core business operations and processes, in real time, to improve efficiencies and productivity.

To address current and future skills shortages, the company also operates a successful in-house apprenticeship programme, in conjunction with a local college, and a trainee foundation programme for new employees. Although primarily a precision turned-part specialist using a range of sliding-head and fixed head lathes, the company is always looking to grow and has recently invested in two machining centres and a grinding machine to fulfil a machining contract for a newly-acquired customer.