Some 1.5 million parts are despatched a year from Worthing-based precision subcontract machinist Roscomac that is achieving record on-time deliveries of 98 per cent that vary from completed assemblies and sub-assemblies to large machined castings and small turned parts. The complete operation of the 85 people company is driven by a philosophy of constant development of lean manufacturing techniques, supported by investment often exceeding £1 million a year and an ‘open-liaison’ people strategy which keeps the workforce up to date on the company and any issues arising.
Said Managing Director Joe Martello: “We invest in automation and the latest production technology which helps to overcome the shortage of skills we would require. However, it so important that we still need to grow our own engineers through constant support and by training, in order to maximise our return-on-investment and so improve how we support and what we deliver to customers.”
In the first six months of 2017, some £750,000 had already been allocated or spent which included the installation of the latest Miyano BNE-51MSY multi-axis turn-mill centre. Two further CNC sliding head turn-mill centre machines have also been ordered and soon to be delivered, again like the Miyano, each is from Citizen Machinery UK. The two machines, a Citizen L20-VIII LFV (LFV featuring low frequency vibration cutting technology) and a top-of-the-range M16-V will bring the total Citizen installations to 14 machines as two earlier Citizen machines are being sold.
Said Cell Leader Sean Keet: “The levels of operational flexibility in the Miyano BNE has enabled us to significantly reduce machining times and most important, improve overall productivity.” He explained how the new machine has replaced existing 3-axis machines and outlines how a family of 10 aluminium parts has seen four previous turning and a separate milling operation reduced to just one turn-milling cycle. A massive bonus is that average total cycle times per part has been cut from 13 mins to just 2.5 mins. A further complex stainless steel component which had three operations taking 11 minutes is now reduced to a single, four minute cycle.
He then outlined how additional advantages add to the firms return-on-investment policy by freeing-up setters to perform other tasks, also the reduction of lost time for each first-off inspection, lowering the risk of setting problems and part relocation errors influencing geometric relationships plus the control of work-in-progress made easier.
The fixed-head 15 kW main spindle and two-axis 7.5 kW secondary spindle, both with maximum speeds of 5,000 revs/min, have the advantage of synchronised / superimposed control for both 12-station, all-driven turrets. Ideal for complex and heavier drilling and milling cycles, each driven tool position has 2.2 kW drive delivering 25 Nm of torque and speeds up to 6,000 revs/min.
Said Cell Supervisor Warren Harris: “The configuration of the 3-axis and 2-axis turrets gives us the flexibility to develop an application and room to add toolholders for instance, to overcome problems such as selective and controlled in-cycle deburring. This saves us additional manual or further operational process deburring tasks.”
Some 50 CNC machine tools are installed including 13 Citizen CNC sliding head turn-mill centres and a large 104 pallet flexible manufacturing system. There are also 17 machining centres in the plant involved in supplying medical (20 per cent of £6.5 million turnover) aerospace (12 per cent) vacuum technology, oil and gas, motion and hydraulics and nuclear sectors involving the processing of a wide range of materials from plastics through to alloy steels such as Inconel. Parts are also exported to France, Germany and Czech Republic.