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Best-ever MACH for Citizen Machinery

Posted on 12 Jun 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 605 times.
Best-ever MACH for Citizen MachineryThe Citizen Machinery UK stand MACH 2024

Bushey-based Citizen Machinery UK’s stand at MACH 2024 was extremely busy throughout the five-day show with a total of 538 manufacturing companies making enquiries — the level of visitor interest especially high as Citizen had decided to defer a 5% price increase on its Cincom sliding-head and Miyano fixed-head lathes until after the show. A total of 29 orders valued at very close to £5,000,000 was placed either during the event, or as a direct result of the company’s participation.

All nine machines exhibited, spanning the bar capacity range 12mm to 80mm, were under power and five of them made separate parts that were assembled by visitors into a giveaway component. Taking centre stage was the Miyano BNE-65MYY, which utilised the versatility of Citizen’s superimposed machining to produce an impressively complex part in approximately 2.5min. Robotic automation on a Miyano BNA-42SY5 was another highlight, while the Cincom L32-XLFV showcasing the company’s low frequency vibration (LFV) chip-breaking technology to cut plastic also caught they eye.

CitizenPictured: From left to right: Rosco Engineering’s Stephen Chambers and James Scott agreeing the purchase of an L20-XIIB5LFV with Citizen Machinery’s sales engineer Simon Fitzpatrick on the company’s stand at MACH 2024

Richhill-based sub-contractor Rosco Engineering in County Armagh was quick off the mark on the Monday morning, placing an order for a Cincom L20-XIIB5LFV sliding-head lathe. Production of hydraulic parts, which accounts for 15% of the company’s turnover, is a price-sensitive undertaking. The company was delighted when in 2006 its first Citizen lathe, a larger capacity L32, reduced a three-operation process taking 7min to a single, 4min cycle. The time to produce this 303 stainless steel part should be reduced by a further 50% by the smaller, more nimble L20, doubling productivity.

General manager James Scott said: “Not only will the new slider be more productive, but it will also save an extra shift, adding to the financial benefit. We machine a lot of stainless steel and plastic in addition to mild steel, so Citizen’s LFV function will help with chip breaking, while high-pressure coolant will ensure uninterrupted production of parts requiring deep hole drilling. Both swarf management techniques should significantly extend tool life.”

It is notable that although the L20 is nominally a 20mm bar capacity machine, it will accept stock up to 25.4mm diameter, a feature that comes into play in this application. The highly specified lathe also has extra toolholders and a swivelling B-axis tool carrier that extends the machine’s versatility when executing angled cross-working or end facing operations.

Superimposed machining

Of the seven Citizen lathes operated by Rosco Engineering, three are from Citizen’s fixed-head Miyano range and include a BNA-42GTYLFV capable of superimposed machining with three tools in cut simultaneously. When installed in 2017, this machine was also able to halve production time for a part requiring a lot of milling from 4min down to 2min.

CitizenPictured: John Barrett, Southfields Engineering’s director; Citizen Machinery UK’s UK & Ireland sales manager Tony Nolloth; Southfields Engineering’s director Russell Sullivan; and Citizen Machinery UK’s sales engineer Neil Vine

Located in Billericay, Southfields Engineering is another sub-contractor that placed an order on the Citizen Machinery UK stand on the first morning of the show. This time for an L20-VIIILFV sliding-head lathe. A user of a 65mm capacity Miyano fixed-head lathe and a Cincom customer since 2011, the company was keen to replace an early A20 sliding-head lathe with a modern model capable of much higher productivity.

Director Russell Sullivan said: “We started out 30 years ago making parts for mobile phone masts, which still accounts for about 20% of turnover. The arrival of the A20 13 years ago was a revelation, as it transformed the production of a capacitor holder for a magnetic resonance imaging machine. It formerly took four minutes to machine in two ops on an Acromatic plugboard lathe plus one on a mill, whereas on the twin-spindle Cincom it was complete after one 48-second turn-milling cycle.”

Co-director John Barrett added: “The new L20 will result in a substantial further increase in productivity, helping to amortise the capital cost quickly. The Cincom L12 we bought in 2016 paid for itself within 18 months. It will be a similar story with our Miyano BNE-65MYY fixed-head turn-mill lathe, which has replaced an older ABX model and is a full 30% more productive.”

Business has grown over the years to the point where the sub-contractor currently receives a lot of work from the medical, lighting and catering sectors. A range of materials is processed, from steels through titanium and nickel alloys to plastics. Many of these benefit from LFV chip breaking in the two latest Cincoms, which is switched on for parts of cycles when stringy swarf would normally be generated. It avoids having to stop the lathes to clear the swarf and is consistent with long periods of unattended production, helping to keep 150,000 parts going out of the door on schedule every month.

Now that MACH is over, thoughts have already turned to the annual Citizen Open House due to take place in October, where the company will showcase its latest innovatioons and continue its 50th anniversary celebrations.