Manchester-based Renthal, a world leading producer of accessories for motorcycles and mountain bikes, is changing its rear chainwheel (sprocket) manufacturing process from CNC drilling followed by a sequence of manual operations to virtually one-hit production on a pair of Brother machining centres. The Japanese-built, high-speed, twin-pallet machines were installed in January 2012 by UK agent, Whitehouse Machine Tools.
Plymouth subcontractor, Morris Engineering, was faced with either losing an aerospace contract, quite possibly to an overseas supplier, or finding a way of manufacturing the components much less expensively. The resulting value engineering exercise, which involved investing in an additional Brother vertical machining centre, was so successful that cycle time and labour overhead were both cut by a factor of five, reducing the cost of manufacturing the components by 50 per cent.
Workpieces up to half a tonne can be machined to very high precision in a nominal half-metre cube.
Tried and tested designs and components used by leading global machine tool manufacturers have been selected by Averex Automation, Taichung, to produce the Akari HS-450i horizontal-spindle machining centre (HMC). By selecting only the best constituents and coupling them with a lower cost manufacturing base in Taiwan, the company is able to build a very high precision machine at a competitive price.
German machine tool manufacturer, Spinner Werkzeugmaschinenfabrik Gmbh, has appointed Whitehouse Machine Tools, Kenilworth, as sole sales and service agent in the UK and Ireland. The agreement was signed at the recent Metav 2012 show in Düsseldorf.
The versatility of Brother high-speed machining centres has helped Suffolk die casting specialist, RD Castings, to diversify from over-reliance on supplying the yellow goods sector, which proved volatile during the recent downturn.
Whereas the company used only to machine its own zinc and aluminium high-pressure die castings, during the second half of 2009 it started a subcontract milling and turning service, producing components in a variety of materials for a much wider spread of industry sectors.