The decision to upgrade a manual Union horizontal borer and an Adcock & Shipley bed mill by fitting Newall digital readouts has paid dividends for Chertsey-based subcontract machining experts A&P Tools and Products Ltd. The machines have gained a new lease of life leading to cycle time improvements typically in the realm of 25%.
For 60 years ISO9001:2000 accredited A&P Tools has served many manufacturing industries from aerospace and defence through to oil and many more besides. The company has just made a large investment in additional CNC machinery bringing it to the forefront of small batch production manufacturing. However, the decision to upgrade rather than replace certain machines made more economic sense, as exemplified by the company’s Union BTF80 horizontal borer and Adcock & Shipley universal bed mill.
“Large machines such as these do not come cheap,” states works director Michael Gregory. “Fundamentally there was nothing wrong with these machines, except that they were operated manually. We decided that a good compromise was to fit digital readouts.”
Although A&P Tools already has what Mr Gregory describes as “a machine shop full of Newall DRO products”, each decision to buy is carefully matched against the application and the Union machine was no exception.
“These are large components that we put through these machines,” he says. “Housings, instrumentation ports and down-hole monitoring equipment for the oil industry – some of these parts can measure up to 10ft long. When we are positioning series of holes on pitch circle diameters or in sequential lines to tolerances in the realm of ±0.025mm we cannot afford mistakes – there are expensive billets of material at stake, not to mention the wasted machining time.”
Selecting the Newall DP8 DRO for use on the Union boring machine made perfect sense. The DP8, now a forerunner of the recently introduced E series, features programmable sub datums, line of hole and pitch circle diameter calculation capabilities. Additionally it incorporates multilingual message screens and a single keystroke entry system, making it flexible and easy to use.
Such was the success of the DP8 that A&P more recently fitted a C80 DRO its Adcock & Shipley bed type universal milling machine. The C80 from Newall is a powerful yet affordable DRO. The innovative design allows the operator to easily configure the unit for either mill or lathe specific features. In addition, the C80 includes a feed rate display that allows for longer tool life and increased cutting tool performance.
The C80 at A&P is joined on the Adcock & Shipley milling machine by Newall’s Spherosyn linear encoders. Based on the principle of electromagnetics, Newall's analogue encoders seal and protect all electronic and measuring components to IP67 (NEMA 6) environmental rating. In short, these encoders will continue to provide accurate and reliable readings even when submerged in water, oil or coolant.
“Our Newall DROs have transformed the throughput of our Union borer and Adcock & Shipley mill. I would estimate that cycle times have been reduced by approximately 25% on average. Repeatability has also improved as we are no longer dependent on human input alone. This is a good example of where investment in new technology has really paid off – genuine savings have been made and efficiency has been improved.”
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