https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/30221122/Photo-28-09-2020-10-50-23-640x360.jpg
    Machining

    Toolmaker steps-up 5-axis investment

    • By XYZ Machine Tools
    • January 30, 2021
    • 5 minute read

    Three years ago Rivercircle Ltd invested in a UMC-5X The Challenger 5-axis machining centre from XYZ. The company was so happy with the acquisition, they have now gone and bought a second machine. MTDCNC went to Peterborough to find out why…


    A
    s a business, Rivercircle manufactures special-purpose test and inspection machinery principally for the automotive industry, using robotics, conveyors and press-fit systems as well as multi-cavity rubber, plastic and foam mould tooling. The internally designed and manufactured machines include dunk-test, transfer leak, dry leak and semi-automatic leak-test machines, multi-component assembly machines and more. The company has invested in machines from Doosan, Agie Charmilles, Cincinnati, Bridgeport, Sodick, Jones & Shipman and others to undertake the manufacture of its special-purpose machinery, subcontract machining and mould tools. It is in the mould tooling department where the two XYZ UMC-5X 5-axis machines are deployed.

    Commenting upon this, Rivercircle’s Managing Director, Mr Jonathan Theobalds says: “We have always admired 5-axis machining centres from afar, but never really thought they were for our business. We were introduced to the UMC-5X by XYZ and we were persuaded to invest. Making the change up to 5-axis has really taught us how versatile a 5-axis machine can be, you don’t have to have full 5-axis work on it all of the time. Even with 3-axis work, the machine reduces the setup time considerably. They really are versatile and suit nearly everything we do – generally, if the job fits on the table, the UMC-5X will machine it.”

    Referring to the two UMC-5X machines, Jonathan says: “The construction is very strong with its concrete base that makes it as strong as any of the dedicated 3-axis machines we have here. We can go from machining relatively soft aluminium tools to pre-hardened tool steels, and this is where the high-speed spindle really comes into its own. We are doing a lot of high surface finish machining and engraving in very fine detail, and we can use cutting tools down to 0.2mm diameter, but I have to have a high-speed spindle to achieve this. The XYZ machine provides this and it drastically reduces any final polishing operations.”

    Mentioning that the UMC-5X 5-axis machining centre from XYZ has an attractive price point for a machine with so many built-in extras that come as standard, Jonathan says: “All of this is very important. If you’re going to buy a machine, you need to know exactly what you are spending. You can have a headline figure of £X thousands, and by the time you add all the nice bits on that you actually need, the price goes up quite a lot. The XYZ machine comes as a package, everything essentially came with it. We are a Heidenhain based shop, so we needed to have the Heidenhain control with it – and this influenced the decision when we made our first purchase.”

    When asked why the company opted for the same XYZ UMC-5X 5-axis machine when it needed another 5-axis, Jonathan says: “I think if you would have asked me if I thought we would have had a second machine just a year after the first one arrived, I would have probably said no. I thought the machine was a real showpiece and we wouldn’t have been able to afford another one. But when it came to replacing an older machine that was at its end of life, we looked around again at 3-axis, but when we looked at what we weren’t going to have by not having another 5-axis, it really decided it for us. So, we spent the additional money to get the additional capability – and I’m really pleased we did.”

    Commenting on whether the machine has been pushed to its limits, Jonathan says: “We’ve had jobs that are as big as the table and slightly beyond and using the high-speed spindle for extended periods is a real bonus for us. Additionally, we bought the first XYZ UMC-5X machine three years ago and there has been no deviation in precision at all. We would certainly recommend this machine to anybody. It has an accessible price point for a company of our size and we have certainly won more work with the 5-axis machines. The machines have enabled us to produce tools that we either wouldn’t have been able to do previously or tools that would have required multiple setups and considerably more machining time, which would have essentially been uneconomical.”

    Regarding the service and support for the two XYZ UMC-5X The Challenger 5-axis machining centres, Jonathan continues: “Support is always a concern when you buy a new machine, particularly as an early adopter like we were with the new XYZ UMC-5X. There is always a concern whether there will be teething problems, but it’s the way that XYZ has responded to any early issues that we had. They have a dedicated service team for these particular types of machine and we know the engineer that will come to us. He doesn’t have to get out the manual, he knows the machine – that service, backup and response has been excellent. I would also like to point out the integrity in which they have serviced the machines. Even when the machine is out of the warranty period, if there is an issue that is down to XYZ, they will resolve it. There is real honesty and integrity with XYZ and the way they have dealt with us, and this was important for us in deciding to buy the second machine.”

    https://cdn.mtdcnc.global/cnc/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/30221122/Photo-28-09-2020-10-50-23-640x360.jpg

    Toolmaker steps-up 5-axis investment

    Three years ago Rivercircle Ltd invested in a UMC-5X The Challenger 5-axis machining centre from XYZ. The company was so happy with the acquisition, they have now gone and bought a second machine. MTDCNC went to Peterborough to find out why…


    A
    s a business, Rivercircle manufactures special-purpose test and inspection machinery principally for the automotive industry, using robotics, conveyors and press-fit systems as well as multi-cavity rubber, plastic and foam mould tooling. The internally designed and manufactured machines include dunk-test, transfer leak, dry leak and semi-automatic leak-test machines, multi-component assembly machines and more. The company has invested in machines from Doosan, Agie Charmilles, Cincinnati, Bridgeport, Sodick, Jones & Shipman and others to undertake the manufacture of its special-purpose machinery, subcontract machining and mould tools. It is in the mould tooling department where the two XYZ UMC-5X 5-axis machines are deployed.

    Commenting upon this, Rivercircle’s Managing Director, Mr Jonathan Theobalds says: “We have always admired 5-axis machining centres from afar, but never really thought they were for our business. We were introduced to the UMC-5X by XYZ and we were persuaded to invest. Making the change up to 5-axis has really taught us how versatile a 5-axis machine can be, you don’t have to have full 5-axis work on it all of the time. Even with 3-axis work, the machine reduces the setup time considerably. They really are versatile and suit nearly everything we do – generally, if the job fits on the table, the UMC-5X will machine it.”

    Referring to the two UMC-5X machines, Jonathan says: “The construction is very strong with its concrete base that makes it as strong as any of the dedicated 3-axis machines we have here. We can go from machining relatively soft aluminium tools to pre-hardened tool steels, and this is where the high-speed spindle really comes into its own. We are doing a lot of high surface finish machining and engraving in very fine detail, and we can use cutting tools down to 0.2mm diameter, but I have to have a high-speed spindle to achieve this. The XYZ machine provides this and it drastically reduces any final polishing operations.”

    Mentioning that the UMC-5X 5-axis machining centre from XYZ has an attractive price point for a machine with so many built-in extras that come as standard, Jonathan says: “All of this is very important. If you’re going to buy a machine, you need to know exactly what you are spending. You can have a headline figure of £X thousands, and by the time you add all the nice bits on that you actually need, the price goes up quite a lot. The XYZ machine comes as a package, everything essentially came with it. We are a Heidenhain based shop, so we needed to have the Heidenhain control with it – and this influenced the decision when we made our first purchase.”

    When asked why the company opted for the same XYZ UMC-5X 5-axis machine when it needed another 5-axis, Jonathan says: “I think if you would have asked me if I thought we would have had a second machine just a year after the first one arrived, I would have probably said no. I thought the machine was a real showpiece and we wouldn’t have been able to afford another one. But when it came to replacing an older machine that was at its end of life, we looked around again at 3-axis, but when we looked at what we weren’t going to have by not having another 5-axis, it really decided it for us. So, we spent the additional money to get the additional capability – and I’m really pleased we did.”

    Commenting on whether the machine has been pushed to its limits, Jonathan says: “We’ve had jobs that are as big as the table and slightly beyond and using the high-speed spindle for extended periods is a real bonus for us. Additionally, we bought the first XYZ UMC-5X machine three years ago and there has been no deviation in precision at all. We would certainly recommend this machine to anybody. It has an accessible price point for a company of our size and we have certainly won more work with the 5-axis machines. The machines have enabled us to produce tools that we either wouldn’t have been able to do previously or tools that would have required multiple setups and considerably more machining time, which would have essentially been uneconomical.”

    Regarding the service and support for the two XYZ UMC-5X The Challenger 5-axis machining centres, Jonathan continues: “Support is always a concern when you buy a new machine, particularly as an early adopter like we were with the new XYZ UMC-5X. There is always a concern whether there will be teething problems, but it’s the way that XYZ has responded to any early issues that we had. They have a dedicated service team for these particular types of machine and we know the engineer that will come to us. He doesn’t have to get out the manual, he knows the machine – that service, backup and response has been excellent. I would also like to point out the integrity in which they have serviced the machines. Even when the machine is out of the warranty period, if there is an issue that is down to XYZ, they will resolve it. There is real honesty and integrity with XYZ and the way they have dealt with us, and this was important for us in deciding to buy the second machine.”