https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/30214902/Photo-02-09-2020-12-07-22-640x360.jpg
    Machining

    Empire shoots for the stars

    • By Star Micronics GB Limited
    • January 30, 2021
    • 4 minute read

    When Empire Manufacturing opened its doors in January 2008, it started with three sliding head turning centres from Star GB. Now, with more than 10 Star machines, the company has again added to its plant list with a new Star SR32 JII Type B with HFT. MTD travelled to Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire to find out why the subcontract company has bought more Star machines.

    Delivered before shutdown, Empire bought the new Star SR32 JII Type B to replace two older machines. Discussing this, Stuart Wade from Empire told MTD: “There isn’t a huge difference from previous machines from an operational perspective, it’s like a combination of two machines that we already have. We have eight back working tools and Y-axis, similar to our SW-20 machine. It also has non-guide bush facilities, which is similar to our SB-20. So, its very much between two existing machines.”

    Referring to how it will replace two machines, Stuart says: “The plan is to get the same production level out of the new Star SR32-JII as we would from two machines. We have one more modification to make where we are changing to an Arno tool platen, which will allow us to set the tools and take the blocks out, change the inserts and put the tools back into the same place. So, in terms of changing tools and setting-up, it will be even faster. With regards to changing the guide bush, it seems to be a lot faster and easier that existing machines.”

    “The machine has replaced an SR20-R, which was a very old machine with a guide bush and the other machine was a SR32-J. This new machine is an upgrade from that.” With a heavier construction than previous models, Stuart says: “We do expect to machine harder and faster than ever before with this machine. It has up-rated spindles and up-rated tooling. The power tools are ER20 collets, so we can fit bigger tools on this machine. All of this is going to be a real advantage when machining bigger parts.”

    By replacing two machines with one, Stuart was asked what he felt would be the main benefits, saying: “Firstly, there is the cost of buying two machines and subsequently paying them off, but also the setting. If we can load-up this new machine with the same number of jobs and keep it running efficiently, the benefit should outweigh the cost of running two machines. With the non-guide bush mode, I would expect us to set it in non-guide bush mode and keep it in that mode. We have other capabilities and guide bush facilities for running longer parts, but this machine will give us extra scope.”

    As a company that runs lights out production, Stuart says: “It’s very rare that we come to work in the morning and find any issues, but this can depend on the type of job and the applications, but when you have the experience we have, you generally know what you are going to get from the machine and how hard you can push it. On the Star SR32-JII Type B, we have the swarf conveyor to help overnight running. Sometimes you have to stop due to swarf build-up, which is a horrid reason to stop production. However, on this machine, the HFT system will help us to chip our swarf and we have high-pressure coolant that also helps to clear swarf.” These factors will certainly enhance ‘lights-out’ running.

    With the new Star SR32-JII Type B replacing two machines, Stuart is asked if the situation could arise again with the company reducing inventory in the light of advancing technology. Stuart says: “There is a possibility that when it comes to replacing some of our oldest machines; but we wouldn’t want to be left with too few machines, as there is a level of capacity that we need. Once the machines are maxed out with work, the only option is to go and buy another machine. As a business, we’ve got to the point where the machines that have gone were a lot older and the technology is not as good as it is on the modern machines. The new Star SR32-JII Type B is perfect for us. This situation may arise once more, but I certainly don’t think we could be replacing half of our machines.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/30214902/Photo-02-09-2020-12-07-22-640x360.jpg

    Empire shoots for the stars

    When Empire Manufacturing opened its doors in January 2008, it started with three sliding head turning centres from Star GB. Now, with more than 10 Star machines, the company has again added to its plant list with a new Star SR32 JII Type B with HFT. MTD travelled to Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire to find out why the subcontract company has bought more Star machines.

    Delivered before shutdown, Empire bought the new Star SR32 JII Type B to replace two older machines. Discussing this, Stuart Wade from Empire told MTD: “There isn’t a huge difference from previous machines from an operational perspective, it’s like a combination of two machines that we already have. We have eight back working tools and Y-axis, similar to our SW-20 machine. It also has non-guide bush facilities, which is similar to our SB-20. So, its very much between two existing machines.”

    Referring to how it will replace two machines, Stuart says: “The plan is to get the same production level out of the new Star SR32-JII as we would from two machines. We have one more modification to make where we are changing to an Arno tool platen, which will allow us to set the tools and take the blocks out, change the inserts and put the tools back into the same place. So, in terms of changing tools and setting-up, it will be even faster. With regards to changing the guide bush, it seems to be a lot faster and easier that existing machines.”

    “The machine has replaced an SR20-R, which was a very old machine with a guide bush and the other machine was a SR32-J. This new machine is an upgrade from that.” With a heavier construction than previous models, Stuart says: “We do expect to machine harder and faster than ever before with this machine. It has up-rated spindles and up-rated tooling. The power tools are ER20 collets, so we can fit bigger tools on this machine. All of this is going to be a real advantage when machining bigger parts.”

    By replacing two machines with one, Stuart was asked what he felt would be the main benefits, saying: “Firstly, there is the cost of buying two machines and subsequently paying them off, but also the setting. If we can load-up this new machine with the same number of jobs and keep it running efficiently, the benefit should outweigh the cost of running two machines. With the non-guide bush mode, I would expect us to set it in non-guide bush mode and keep it in that mode. We have other capabilities and guide bush facilities for running longer parts, but this machine will give us extra scope.”

    As a company that runs lights out production, Stuart says: “It’s very rare that we come to work in the morning and find any issues, but this can depend on the type of job and the applications, but when you have the experience we have, you generally know what you are going to get from the machine and how hard you can push it. On the Star SR32-JII Type B, we have the swarf conveyor to help overnight running. Sometimes you have to stop due to swarf build-up, which is a horrid reason to stop production. However, on this machine, the HFT system will help us to chip our swarf and we have high-pressure coolant that also helps to clear swarf.” These factors will certainly enhance ‘lights-out’ running.

    With the new Star SR32-JII Type B replacing two machines, Stuart is asked if the situation could arise again with the company reducing inventory in the light of advancing technology. Stuart says: “There is a possibility that when it comes to replacing some of our oldest machines; but we wouldn’t want to be left with too few machines, as there is a level of capacity that we need. Once the machines are maxed out with work, the only option is to go and buy another machine. As a business, we’ve got to the point where the machines that have gone were a lot older and the technology is not as good as it is on the modern machines. The new Star SR32-JII Type B is perfect for us. This situation may arise once more, but I certainly don’t think we could be replacing half of our machines.”