Subcontractor ups the ante with new Ibarmia machine

Located near a number of major automotive OEMs in Warwickshire, 2G Tooling has rapidly built a prestigious reputation for manufacturing everything from fly press tooling through to large drawn tools. To expand the scope of its toolmaking capabilities, the Southam-based subcontractor has recently purchased a large bed 5-axis Ibarmia machining centre from Dugard.

Offering a complete service from subcontract machining through design and manufacture, the specialisation in precision press tooling, jigs and fixtures has carved a niche for 2G Tooling. To expand the flexibility and capacity of the business, the company has just acquired an Ibarmia ZVH45 L3000 Star 5-axis machining centre that has a 3m bed, a travelling column, ±105° B-axis, a rotary table and a capacity for up to six tonne workpieces on the bed.

Commenting upon why the company invested in the machine, managing director Chris Peters comments: “The main reason for the purchase was to provide extra flexibility, extra capacity and size. It is a much bigger machine than what we previously had, which we part exchanged for the Ibarmia.

“But what sold this machine to us was a Zoom meeting with the factory in Spain where the machines are manufactured. The difference between Ibarmia and what I have seen before from most mass-produced machine manufacturers is a bespoke set-up and family ethos of the business. You could actually see each machine going through production with more time and care being spent on each, bespoke to the individual customers.”

When asked why the company specified the Ibarmia ZVH45 L3000 Star model, Mr Peters says: “This machine will not only give us extra capacity but much greater flexibility. Having the rotary table and the B-axis will allow us to machine components for sectors that were very difficult us to compete in previously.”

With a BT/CAT 50 spindle taper and 27/39kW of spindle power, the high torque 12,000rpm spindle also demonstrates an exceptionally stable and powerful platform for heavy material removal rates and extended cutting tool performance.

“The flexibility and the reach of the machine will enable us to reduce the overhang of tools from 100-150mm to 30 to 50mm,” Mr Peters enthuses. “This will improve the stability of our tooling, the surface finishes and subsequently tool life. It will also give us faster cycle times and reduce our costs on cutting tools. We can see the potential savings and also an even better quality of product for our customers.”

The machine installed at 2G Tooling incorporates the latest generation Heidenhain TNC640 HSCI CNC control system, on-machine probing, linear glass scale feedback on all axes with pre-loaded rolling shoes and a 40 position ATC. The new installation also provides 40m/minute rapid feed rates, through coolant spindle, swarf conveyors and more.

Looking to the first parts that 2G Tooling will be putting on the new Ibarmia machine, Chris Peters affirms: “We are currently investigating a tooling job for a customer and we are already designing the job in a way that will accommodate this machine. There will be certain features and specific hole position that we can now undertake in a single set up, which would previously have been three or four. The ability to machine large parts in full 5-axis will significantly reduce secondary set-ups and lead-times for us, while the on-machine probing system will provide confidence that every part coming off the Ibarmia will be machined to the required precision levels without the need for secondary set-ups.”

The Ibarmia provides a spacious 3,000mm x 800mm x 800mm in the X-, Y- and Z-axes with an 800mm diameter integrated rotary table with 1.1m swing that not only enhances flexibility for 2G Tooling but also demonstrates excellent rigidity and stability for 5-axis machining.

Alluding to this, Mr Peters says: “From a capacity perspective, we can go up to six tonnes on the bed and 1.5 tonnes on the rotary table, which is a lot more than the small trunnion-based work that we have been able to do up until now.

“Straightaway, the larger dies and workpieces can go straight on the rotary table – and these large pieces can be 5-axis machined. This will open up new markets for us as far as general machining goes, especially having up to 3m in the X-axis and a larger capacity in Y, more height in the Z-axis and also the greater weight on the table.”


2G Tooling



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