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Valued at £140,000, the machining centre – a MECAL MC 305 Gianos 5-axis twin table model – will boost Crittall’s production capabilities and efficiency. Installed in January 2015, it will also bring new levels of flexibility to machining operations across the entire range of windows produced at Crittall’s manufacturing centre in Witham, Essex.
Capable of machining steel components
“We had been looking into the benefits of investing in a CNC machining centre for quite some time,” comments Crittall’s Head of Manufacturing, Steve Gaylor. “However, as many CNC machines are designed specifically for the production of lightweight aluminium profiles, our challenge was to find a model capable of working with steel components of up to 5mm in thickness.”
To remove any need for machined components to be turned manually during the manufacturing process, Crittall required a multi-axis machining solution. While due to the specialised nature of its products – and to both accelerate and simplify new product development – the machining centre also had to be highly versatile, with multi-tooling capability.
Addison Saws Ltd, Attwood Street, Lye, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY9 8RU
01384 264950 – firstname.lastname@example.org – co registration 4109103
“Although we spoke to a number of potential suppliers, it was Addison who seemed genuinely interested in meeting our requirements,” adds Steve Gaylor. “They provided detailed machine information, arranged manufacturing trials and assisted with cutting tool development.”
Dual machining zones
Crittall selected the MECAL MC 305 Gianos from Addison Saws for its capability to machine a full range of hot rolled steel sections. Its 5-axis operation will allow the windows specialist to machine multiple section faces without the need to manually turn components during the manufacturing cycle. Additionally, as the MECAL machine is equipped with two separate machining zones, it can be loaded and unloaded without halting the manufacturing process – a vital advantage in terms of maximising productivity.
Highly robust and user-friendly
“We’re delighted with our choice,” continues Steve Gaylor. “The MECAL machine is highly robust and benefits from an exceptionally user-friendly control system that inspires operator confidence. We now have a solution that will bring greater flexibility to our production capabilities, reduce manufacturing lead times and assist with new product development. Perhaps most importantly, the MECAL delivers the accuracy and repeatability that are synonymous with the Crittall name.”
Supporting major order from USA
“Both Addison Saws and MECAL have been incredibly helpful throughout the process – from arranging the machine trials before we made the decision to purchase, to providing first-class operator training once the machine had been installed. We have recently secured a major order to fabricate new windows for one of the most well known universities in the United States and are confident the MECAL MC 305 Gianos will play a major part in helping us to fulfil that order.”
the MECAL MC 305 Gianos 5-axis twin table CNC machining centre
The MECAL MC 305 Gianos machining centre chosen by Crittall Windows is equipped to automatically machine, drill, mill, slot and prep both aluminium and steel extrusion bars.
Providing immense flexibility, it is also well suited to new product development, while its high levels of accuracy and repeatability ensure minimal waste.