Subcontractor Turns to Dugard

With the turned components at DGF Engineering Ltd increasingly needing secondary milling operations on machining centres, the Royston-based subcontractor recently acquired a SMEC SL 2000M turning centre from Dugard. Founded in 2005, the Hertfordshire manufacturer produces a diverse range of components for a variety of industry sectors – it is here the Dugard SMEC has made a difference.

Commenting upon why the company purchased the SMEC SL 2000M turning centre from Dugard, Liam Fernard from DGF Engineering says: “We picked this machine, as we needed an upgrade. The machine that we had was only a two-axis machine and we were getting more and more work that was needing additional milling work. This was tying up our CNC milling department for too long, we were looking around for a solution with live tooling. As we were happy with the service that we had received from Dugard on our previous acquisition, a Dugard 1000 3-axis VMC, we naturally looked at their lathes and this one ticked all the boxes.”

The impressive SMEC SL 2000M slant bed CNC turning centre has a 570mm swing over the bed and a 460mm swing over the cross slide with a maximum machining diameter of 360mm and a machining length up to 540mm. The 8inch chuck machine has a bore diameter of 76mm that accommodates a maximum bar capacity of 68mm. As with all machines in the SMEC range from Dugard, the SMEC SL 2000M is a powerhouse with a 15/18kW spindle motor that drives the spindle at a speed up to 4500rpm and a 3.7/5.5kW motor that drives the driven tooling stations in the 12 position tooling carousel – all this is packed into a machine that has a compact footprint with a total weight of 4000kg, demonstrating unrivalled rigidity and performance when undertaking heavy-duty machining operations.

Looking closer at the specification of the new turning centre, Liam says: “We have a Hainbuch collet chuck on the main spindle with multiple collet sizes that allow us to hold up to 65mm bar diameter. We have a bar puller on the machine instead of a barfeed, so that will pull the bar through individually. We have three radial and three axial live tooling positions, and this allows us to do side milling and face milling to any capability. We also have the Siemens CNC control system and I love the Siemens control. Going from the previous machine, which was a FANUC to the Siemens, it’s just so easy to use – you can’t really go wrong. It has a nice big touchscreen, and soft key buttons – it’s just all there. We also have a part catcher on the machine, and this is a massive benefit to us. It helps on a production run; you can put a bar of material in and tell the machine to do 50 parts and then you are not scrambling around in the bottom of the machine to retrieve components or losing them in the swarf conveyor.”

Discussing the components machined on the new Dugard SMEC turning centre, Liam adds: “We are a typical subcontract company, so batches are varied and volumes of up to 200 parts is a big batch for us. We will machine a bit of everything on this machine, there is no one product that we bought the machine for. It will help our production move much faster.”

Concluding on the service from Dugard, Liam adds: “The lorry was here one day to drop the new machine off and take the old machine away at the same time. The next day an engineer turned up to commission the new machine and we were up and running by the end of that day. Dugard has been excellent, and the investment is 100% worth it!”