Vertical machining centre inspires confidence at Redman

One of the machining team at Redman Engineering with the Haas VF-2SS
One of the machining team at Redman Engineering with the Haas VF-2SS

Trust is the key component to Redman Engineering’s relationship with its customers. Working closely with clients to achieve a true partnership has built respect over 45 years in business.

“We grow as our customers grow,” explains managing director Bill Redman. “For many of our customers, intellectual property is a critical asset to their business. We machine every component in-house, which gives confidence in two ways: quality of the finished product and confidentiality of the manufacturing process.”

Originally an aerospace manufacturer, when Mr Redman took over from his father in the 90s the Essex-based company moved to making mechanical parts for the biochemistry and optoelectronics industries. Redman Engineering is now highly proficient in these leading-edge market technologies.

“Our involvement begins once the customer has established a concept and parameters for the product. From here we have input concerning the mechanical aspects within their multi-disciplined team,” Mr Redman adds.

“Upon completion of prototypes and testing, production batches typically range from 5 to 40 are manufactured. It’s very intricate and demanding work at times – for example, we recently produced the mechanical components for a high-speed camera capable of capturing images of a projectile fired from a barrel. The incredible detail provided goes as far as showing the surrounding shock waves.

“It’s important for us to have the necessary kit to handle the job as efficiently as possible and we find the Haas machine fits the bill admirably.”

Mr Redman is referring to his recently purchased VF-2SS Super Speed vertical machining centre. The company’s 18-year old Haas VF-2 was part exchanged as part of the deal. The VF-2SS has a 12,000rpm spindle, 30+1 high speed side mount tool changer and was equipped with a 210mm rotary table for full fourth axis operation.

“We’ve found cycle times have improved by 40% already and we’re still experimenting with some jobs so we’re expecting that figure to rise. The machine is noticeably faster and more responsive,” Mr Redman affirms.

“Our manufacturing team has over 150 years’ experience between them, and they really rate the Haas. They are very comfortable with the machine. We use FeatureCam and OneCNC for our CAD designs. We do a lot of off-line programming and because we have the VF-2SS we can jump straight on the machine and start cutting.”

Redman Engineering also made the decision to invest in the Haas wireless probing system. “We’ve found it very useful,” Mr Redman explains. “It allows us to easily set work and tool offsets, it confirms parts are loaded correctly and it inspects parts in-process on the machine which means the level of monitoring has significantly reduced as parts come off.

“You get a lot of well thought out accessories as standard with Haas. We didn’t use things like fixturing and air blast at first, but we’ve found out how useful they are as we’ve continued with the VF-2SS.

“When we began looking for a new machine, we found that the Haas website gave us precisely what we needed to know. This gave them a real edge as we didn’t have to keep calling; the information was all there. Then when we wanted to order, the process was quick and easy, including part exchanging our existing machine. The whole process was well controlled; it inspired our confidence, which is just how we like to work with our own customers.

“We had one day on-site training to cover the new features and that’s all we needed,” Mr Redman concluded. “One of our operators hadn’t programmed a machine before, but he was able to start programming by the end of the day. Our guys really like the Haas Tip of the Day videos on YouTube and any queries we have can often be answered online and if not, then a quick phone call does the job. It’s all very accessible.

“Haas really makes you feel valued as a customer and part of something much bigger.”

Redman Engineering
www.redmanengineering.co.uk

Haas Automation
www.haas.co.uk

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