Managing director John Cable comments: “The advances in Citizen's machining technology really came home to us so we ordered the Citizen A32 which will enable us to switch simple work from our four Citizen top of the range M32s and Citizen M16. This will free up spindle capacity for new contracts we have recently won for some complex, high value components.”
Maldon, Essex-based C&M Precision was set up in 1992 and supplies the connector, hydraulic, marine, medical, defence and lighting industries while also producing a range of electro-mechanical fittings for the mining sector and components for prestige seats found in aerospace.
Materials processed include mild and high carbon steels, brass, aluminium and a range of stainless steels to produce parts in batches varying from 250 single orders to regular contracts involving supply of 10,000 parts a month. This is where the existing Citizen sliding head machines have scored, with Mr Cable's subcontract operation achieving consistency, high precision and total reliability.
“While the A32 is fast, with its 45m/minute rapid movements and quick processing, our M-Series machines cannot be beaten for very complex parts where orders are won and savings made by combining a multitude of different part features into a single cost-effective cycle. However, when it comes to more simple components that still benefit from single operational cycles and where we face highly competitive pricing and short leadtime demands, we see the A32 as being our workhorse.”
Mr Cable explains how his company will be increasing output of certain hydraulic components from current 72 parts an hour on existing M32s, to 95 per hour on the new A32. He also forecasts that some parts will be processed at rates of well over 100 per hour.
“We know this will be achieved as in the trials we ran cycles using the same tools and maintained proven cutting data from the M-Series,” he says. However, we still have the added advantage of the enhanced rigidity from the heavier duty A32 cast frame and overall speed of operation, which gives us even more potential gains to look forward to under full production conditions.”
The Citizen A32 is able to carry up to 24 tools, six for turning, four rotary to cover cross machining, nine for back end machining and five for front end operations on a part. The main spindle is 7.5kW complemented by a 3.7kW sub-spindle drive and 1kW, 5,000rpm rotary tool drive.