JC Precision Engineering earns 70 per cent of its turnover from producing a wide range of components for racing go-carts, a business that has grown progressively from the race track participation of the Munday family led by father Vincent who set up the firm 36 years ago and is now run on a day-by-day basis by his two sons Dan and Chris.
Production at the Market Overton factory in Rutland has seen around £1 million invested over the last five years. Said Director Dan Munday: “We used MACH 2016 as the final decider and ordered the Citizen Cincom L32-VIII with removable guide bush which was installed in July. Such has been the success of the machine that we are now planning for a second because we are concerned we could run out of capacity.”
Since July, new contracts have been won that they could never have dreamed of producing before increasing not only profitability, but also throughput, with cycles now being clocked two-thirds faster than before. For example one part taking 50 plus seconds on a fixed head machine is now produced in just 17 secs.
Now lead times are being decimated against previous methods which involved separate fixed head turning and often further milling and drilling set ups as well as manual finishing while total consistency enables ‘through-the-night’ running and the ability to maintain tolerances as tight as 10 micron when needed. With a newly found economic capability for small quantities this has also encouraged design input for certain key customers as well as component development and providing a prototype service.
In ordering the Cincom L32-VIII the Munday’s elected to specify the detachable guide bush feature. Said Dan Munday: “We have considerable demands for special sizes of short length parts such as spacers and even washers where we can save on bar end material and it takes less than 30 minutes to change over to a guide bush when needed.”
He describes how they are running a wide range of parts in materials including EN24, 316 stainless steel, plastics, aluminium and brass. These include special bolts and pins, master cylinder brake pistons, brass fuel fittings and stub axles. Indeed, when now producing a stub axle out of 31 mm diameter EN8, a single cut of 7 mm takes the part down to 17 mm diameter while holding a 0.025 mm tolerance. The part is now threaded each end from the main and sub-spindle and within the cycle, a hexagon milled adjacent to a flange.
The Cincom L32-VIII has five axes with a 40 tool capacity of which 15 can be driven. It has a 7.5 kW main and 3.7 kW sub-spindle each having a maximum speed of 8,000 revs/min. Driven tools are powered by a 1 kW, 6,000 revs/min motor.