Quick benefits from new sub-spindle turning centre

Rob Smith (left) discussing the merits of the XYZ SS 65 with CNC engineer Jordan Smith
Rob Smith (left) discussing the merits of the XYZ SS 65 with CNC engineer Jordan Smith

Sutton in Ashfield-based precision engineering company Quickits has developed a leading position in the manufacture and supply of valve mounting kits and fabricated brackets for customers across the valve and actuator industry.

Its capabilities cover all aspects of manufacturing from laser profiling, press brakes, fabrication, welding, paint and powder coating from an extensive machine shop equipped almost entirely with machines from XYZ Machine Tools.

The machining capacity was recently added to when Quickits became the first customer to take delivery of an XYZ SS 65 sub-spindle turning centre. The machine was introduced to the XYZ Machine Tools range following input from customers, who were looking for increased productivity and reduced spindle downtime.

Quickits’ group managing director Rob Smith explains: “The decision to purchase the XYZ SS 65 was driven by the need to eliminate some of the double handling of our components – mainly the couplings that we produce.

The XYZ SS 65 provides a cost-effective route into sub-spindle machining
The XYZ SS 65 provides a cost-effective route into sub-spindle machining

“With the XYZ SS 65 we can now produce components complete without the need to finish off the process on another machine. With the bar feed we can run this machine continuously day and night with components fully machined once they drop into the parts catcher. In the short space of time that we have had the machine we are already seeing an increase in productivity.”

The ability to maximise spindle run time and eliminate expensive and time-consuming set-ups will be a major focus for the business as it looks to maximise productivity in the face of increased competition and rising energy costs. The XYZ SS 65 is ideally placed to meet these objectives for companies such as Quickits that are looking to make the move to sub-spindle turning thanks to its high specification and competitive price.

The XYZ SS 65 comes as standard with a 16.5kW, 4,000rpm main spindle with a 200mm chuck and 65mm bar capacity. This is complemented by the 150mm chuck on the 11kW, 5,000rpm, sub-spindle which has a 52mm bore. Both spindles feature a braked C-axis that allows substantial milling cuts for contouring, with each of the 12 positions on the German-built Sauter turret unit having live tooling at every station with 100mm (±50mm) Y-axis travel.

The working area of the XYZ SS 65 sub-spindle turning centre
The working area of the XYZ SS 65 sub-spindle turning centre

Maximum turned diameter is 380mm and the Z-axis travel is 520mm, providing a significant working envelope. Control is provided by the Siemens 828D ShopTurn 15-inch touchscreen control, which can be enhanced with the optional Siemens offline programming and CAD reader software if required. All of this is built around a 30° slant-bed design with linear ways for faster positioning speeds. It is a solid cast construction meaning the XYZ SS 65 weighs in at 5,000kg –a solid base from which to maximise performance.

As Mr Smith and his team at Quickits are finding out, utilisation of the sub-spindle streamlines production by eliminating delays through removing the need to transfer work from machine to machine for second operations. This means work in progress is reduced and costs eliminated.

He says: “We have been using XYZ machines since we started the business 17 years ago and have always found them to be the best choice with regard to price and functionality. They suit our business and the aftersales service demonstrated by XYZ is excellent compared to other machine tool providers.

“The addition of the new machine has seen that continue and with the productivity benefits that we have enjoyed, we are certainly planning to invest in another XYZ SS 65 soon to further improve our efficiency.”

XYZ Machine Tools

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