ETG Offers The Right Solution

It’s often the impulsive decisions in life that create an impact, and this was certainly the case for Chris Smedley of Malvern Engineering Ltd. When Chris was made redundant over 15 years ago, he walked out of his employment and 45 minutes later, he signed a contract for an industrial unit and started Malvern Engineering. This entrepreneurial spirit and level of determination have served the company well since its inception and are still imbued in the ethos of the small business to this very day. So, when his regular machine tool dealer couldn’t offer the solution the business required, Chris approached the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) and bought his first 4th-axis machining centre – a Quaser MV184 EV.

The journey for Malvern Engineering has seen the company manufacture everything from motorsport parts to military components and much more. The company works with prestigious manufacturers in the automotive, aerospace, food and pharmaceutical sectors to the toolmaking and extrusion die industry – like a typical subcontract manufacturer, Malvern Engineering will take on virtually anything that is thrown its way. This is why the company that is nestled under the shadow of the beautiful Malvern Hills has invested in a 4-axis Quaser machining centre from ETG.

Recalling why the seven-employee manufacturer opted for the Quaser MV184 EV machine from ETG, Managing Director at Malvern Engineering, Mr Chris Smedley says: “We are typically loyal to our suppliers, providing the quality and service is to the levels we require. However, we were on the cusp of winning a large contract that required a 4th axis machine for producing complex components – and our vendor didn’t have the solution we needed. We investigated the market and found a couple of suppliers, but it was ETG and the Quaser that won our business.”

Delivered Autumn 2023, the new Quaser MV184 EV was purchased for several reasons, as Chris continues: “We looked at a couple of machines, but when we visited the ETG technical centre and demonstration facility in Wellesbourne, we were flabbergasted by the quality, service and the set up of the company. The Quaser MV184 EV offers us greater flexibility than our existing machine tools and it enables us to reduce the number of required set-ups on complex parts. This is subsequently improving our quality, our throughput and creating greater efficiencies throughout the business.”

As a subcontract manufacturer with four 3-axis machining centres and two turning centres, the latest Quaser addition opens the door to new types of work that wouldn’t have previously been possible. Alluding to the benefits of the Quaser, Chris continues: “The Quaser has a much more compact footprint than our existing machines, which is invaluable to a small business where space is at a premium. Like our existing machines, the Quaser was supplied with a Heidenhain CNC system which creates familiarity for our team to interchange between machines. With the latest generation of control, we are finding a lot of new features that will help create even greater efficiencies as and when we gain familiarity with the system.”

The MV184EV incorporates a 1200 by 600mm table with X, Y and Z-axis travel of 1020 by 610 by 610mm with a maximum table load of 500kg, which accommodates a wide variety of parts. With 40m/min rapids and a positional accuracy of +/-0.003 and repeatability of +/-0.002mm, the MV184EV is a fast and robust workhorse with impressive precision that meets the high demands of Malvern Engineering. The BT40 spindle taper and 30 position ATC enable Malvern Engineering to undertake robust machining cycles of all the diverse materials it processes.

The Worcestershire manufacturer machines everything from 304 and 316 stainless steel, mild steel, aluminium, titanium and many more challenging materials in quantities that range from a one-off prototype to small production runs. Alluding to how the attributes of the compact Quaser machining centre are enhancing component quality, Chris continues: “As a new machine, the Quaser is certainly more energy efficient whilst the kinematic movements of the machine and the 4th axis are also reducing cycle times and removing non-cutting time from component production. Added to this, the speed, efficiency and robust build quality are extending our tool life, improving our surface finishes and enabling us to essentially manufacture better quality parts with more aesthetically attractive surface finishes. We also do the majority of our programming offline with One CNC and the post-processors were readily available for the Quaser, making the integration of the machine into our business completely seamless.”

Concluding on the level of service the company has received from ETG, Chris concludes: “The machine has been a fantastic addition to our business and we haven’t had to lean on the ETG team that much so far. When we have needed their support, an engineer is available to resolve our queries almost immediately – as a subcontract manufacturer that needs to get parts out of the door, that level of service will prove invaluable.”

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