Lock and load: Twin pallet machines from Dugard double productivity

As a company that was founded in 1780, there are very few manufacturing businesses with a heritage that dates beyond Henry Squire & Sons, a company that started out making padlocks and cabinet locks.

Almost 250 years later, the company based in Wolverhampton is in a state-of-the-art 32,185ft² facility, manufacturing security devices and locks for the modern era.

Eight generations later, the West Midlands company is still family-run. It supplied the British Army during the Napoleonic wars; it is responsible for the world’s first heavy-duty combination locks and it is probably the world's most experienced lock maker – a truly globally recognised brand. As the company has grown and expanded, so have its production requirements and it is here that Dugard has stepped up to support this great British brand.

While Dugard may not have been conceived in the 1700s, the south coast machine tool expert also has a rich pedigree – and it supplied its first machine to Henry Squire & Sons, a Dugard Eagle 1000, more than 20 years ago.

“We have a long relationship with Dugard and have complete access to their support and service team,” explains Glyn Green, a company director at Squire & Sons. “As a business we major on padlock design and manufacture and we’re definitely not machine tool or CNC experts. So, when we need that additional help we turn to the experts at Dugard.”

Commenting on the latest investment, Mr Green says: “Previously our lock manufacturing was undertaken on a machining centre, but this was giving us issues with capacity and costs. Now, we have invested in a range of new Dugard RMV700 APC twin pallet machines.

“Often, when you come across twin pallet machines in the industry, they often tend to be horizontal machines that are far more expensive than a vertical. For the price of a horizontal twin pallet, we can get two verticals on the shopfloor and making padlocks for us.”

From a specification perspective, the Dugard RMV700 APC twin pallet VMC has X-, Y- and Z-axis travels of 700 by 400 by 400mm with two 700 by 400mm revolving twin pallets. The pallets can accommodate loads up to 160kg and they rotate a full 180° in two seconds.

With a choice of HSK63A or BT40 spindle taper, the machines have a spindle speed up to 12,000rpm with a powerful 15kW spindle motor that generates high levels of torque for heavy-duty machining.

The investment in two Dugard RMV700 APC twin pallet VMCs has doubled productivity for Squire & Sons. Looking at the investment decision, Mr Green recalls: “We looked at cycle times for our products on various machines and what excited us about the Dugard was the unique Z-axis that rises up at the same time and speed that the head descends. That effectively doubles the Z-axis rapid rate and improves cycle times resulting in more padlocks per day being produced.”

“The Dugard APC has a whopping 40 station tool turret and that’s a great asset as we can cut down the number of tool changes and the time the guys spend stripping the machine down for changeovers. We may be in the new facility, but that doesn’t mean we have acres of space to play with. The relatively small footprint of the RMV700 APC means that we can move them around then facility to suit the needs of the business.

“By the end of 2022, we’ll have six twin pallet machines that will help us manufacture padlocks and bicycle locks. We have to keep the spindles running, and Dugard twin pallet machines tick all the right boxes,” he concludes.


Henry Squires & Sons



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