GB Precision, specialitsts in precision engineering
GB Precision
Thursday, 17th September 2009
One Hit Machining give GB Precision Competitive Advantage

Every cloud has a silver lining, and the weakness of Sterling has given some well-positioned engineering firms a great advantage in the export market. One such company is Birmingham-based GB Precision, currently exporting in excess of 85% of its production.

However, even with today’s advantageous exchange rates, director Paul Turner, knows that the company must maximise manufacturing efficiency if it is to stay ahead of the competition, both at home and abroad. Which is why he has invested in the latest Mori Seiki NL1500 CNC lathe with automatic bar feeder, sub spindle, live tooling and Y-axis, providing the company with a one-hit machining capability.

“Everything we do, and more particularly every purchasing decision we make, is geared to increasing our overall efficiency and so improving the quality of products and services that we provide to our customers,” explains Paul, adding; “We firmly believe that lean manufacturing is the key to our future success and the new Mori Seiki machine therefore fits the bill perfectly.” The major advantage of the new CNC lathe to GB Precision is its ability to offer single set-up machining of complex parts that would previously have required multiple set-ups on several machines. This eliminates the possibility of human error, which is always present when components undergo repeated set-up procedures. In addition, because these are complex components, the further through the production cycle they progress, the more valuable they become, so the increased security of a single set up becomes increasingly desirable. Furthermore, the operator-involvement in the manufacture of each part is much reduced, saving skilled resource which can be applied elsewhere. Where previously each component would have to be man-handled several times, causing the operator to interrupt other tasks, now, once the initial set up has been completed, the machine, with its automatic bar feed, can be left to complete the job, while the operator gets on with other work. The on-machine inspection capability means that operators are not required to check every part coming off the machine, providing another step towards automating the process. There is even the opportunity to move to unmanned overnight operation if required.

In order to offer these advantages, of course, the machine itself has to be very advanced and the Mori Seiki NL1500 offers many technical benefits, including a 20-tool turret with a built-in milling motor, to minimise heat generation and vibration, while eliminating transmission losses, as well as improved tool tip rigidity to ensure high quality cutting surface generation and a longer tool life.

Paul concludes; “Lean manufacturing is central to GB Precision’s future. Our acquisition of the new CNC lathe is just the latest step in our strategy of developing the most efficient manufacturing processes to deliver the best possible components to our clients, reliably, on-time, every time.
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