The ability to save a third on cycle times on repeat orders of precision connector components led subcontractor BCMZ of Sudbury to order the newly launched 8-axis Citizen Cincom ‘icon’ L32-X CNC sliding head turn-mill centre at MACH 2016. With the machine installed, these and other parts are being transferred from a fixed head turn-mill centre to improve lead time and cost-per-part capability.
Said Managing Director Glenn Boydell: “We checked out the latest sliding head machines and important in our final decision to order the Citizen was our experience over the years of on-going support, backup and service from Citizen Machinery on our three existing machines, the last installed in 2011.”
Mr Boydell is far from being shy to investment. Since the last Citizen installation he has also installed eight new machining centres and fixed head lathes and during that time has more than doubled sales. Having taken on two new setters in the last year, one a highly skilled sliding head engineer, he felt it was time to increase his small turned part capacity and as a result the two connector components used as test pieces will benefit from reduced cycle times of 250 to 168 secs and 90 to just 60 secs.
He said: “The faster processing and overlapping capability of the Citizen L32-X plus greater levels of flexibility it offers, especially with its B-axis, two Y-axes, and 44 tool capacity, makes it ideal for my production.”
In his mind, consistency of production has proven to be a bonus with Citizen sliding head machines and maintains the holding of sub 0.01 mm sizes on the complex nickel silver parts has become the order of the day for BCMZ. Indeed from his experience since 2011, following the last sliding head machine installation, a Citizen A20-VII CL non-guide bush version, it still maintains a 3 micron outside diameter and bore tolerance and 0.005 mm TIR concentricity. The 3 mm diameter by 4 mm long fibre optic connector has a 1.25 mm diameter through hole with a 0.4 Ra surface finish on the outside diameter.