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    It took just eight weeks following installation of a Miyano BNE-51MSY turn-mill centre for Blackburn-based scuba-diving specialist Apeks Marine Equipment to record savings of almost £4,000 on production costs, halve setting times, and now include the finishing of an important sealing feature on two safety-critical regulator valve components.

    Said Machine Shop Supervisor Stuart Davis: “We have seven Citizen CNC sliding head machines installed but were still dedicated to install the best performing and accurate machine to produce our safety critical parts.”

    Apeks employs 150 people and is part of Aqua Lung International with some 30,000 scuba-diving regulator units plus bladders, instruments and a wide range of accessories sold to 50 countries.

    The new Miyano’s capability includes the finishing of the critical valve seating to 0.2 micro-metres CLA and maintaining 0.05 mm tolerance on key porting depths. It also maintains 0.02 mm tolerance on a special internal radii with a 0.04 mm positional tolerance from a 45 deg angle intersection point and holds concentricity within 0.08 mm TIR.

    Said Mr Davis: “The machine is highly flexible with the benefit of an overlapping capability and up to three tools cutting simultaneously which is a major advantage in cycle time reduction.”

    A 4 port CZ121 brass regulator body, has been reduced from 4.93 mins to just 2.9 mins and uses 28 tools mounted on both the 12 station turrets with the aid of special holders.

    A second brass port body is now produced in 2.9 mins saving 51 secs per part whilst a handwheel has now been tooled up, for which over 24,000 are required a year. This part will now be produced 20 per cent faster than before in 1.9 mins.

    Said Mr Davis: “Without doubt, the Miyano specification and build ticked all our boxes and was mid-range on price against the other machine suppliers. What it has done is to contribute to our drive to achieve cost-down but at the same time, assured us of machining a quality product that meets our strict safety demands.”


    Production savings of almost £4,000 in just 8 weeks on both types of port bodies produced in single cycles on the Miyano BNE-51MSY at Apeks Marine Equipment.


    Miyano BNE-51MSY tooled to produce safety-critical regulator components at Apeks Marine Equipment.


    Stuart Davis (left) Machine Shop Supervisor and Mick Thomas-Fisher CNC setter with the Miyano BNE-51MSY turn-mill centre at Apeks Marine Equipment.


    Apex Marine Equipment has a worldwide reputation with diving enthusiasts, professional divers, the military and emergency services.

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