Accessible productivity

Date 5.10.2020 Advertorial

The tide, it seems, is turning. The days of manufacturers offshoring work abroad in search of better margins appear to be at an end, with more and more European engineering companies bringing work back in‑house – and reaping the rewards. While there is not one single driver, the increasing accessibility of state‑of‑the‑art production technology which can offer greater precision, efficiency and control is undoubtedly a major factor. Here Yamazaki Mazak technical experts explain more.

Machine tool technology has long been evolving at a rapid pace, however the last few years have witnessed a real step-change in what can be achieved by manufacturers. Combined with greater accessibility, companies across the continent are taking the opportunity to invest in their own production capabilities. There are many reasons for doing so, but perhaps the overarching one is control.
Take the aerospace industry for example. Given the intense operating environment of flying 30,000 feet up in the air, and the potentially catastrophic fallout if a critical engineered part fails, there is a wealth of accreditation and certification required to supply parts. These accreditations and certifications require lengthy and often costly processes to achieve, which can sometimes be off-putting for subcontractors. As such, for those that have achieved the accreditations, it is more lucrative – and now, attainable – to instead increase in-house capacity rather than rely on third parties.
A perfect example of the evolution of machine tool technology which can facilitate taking ultra-precise machining in-house is the Mazak INTEGEREX Multi-Tasking series. The complete fusion between CNC turning centre and machining centre, it enables operators to complete every one of their machining operations – from raw material to finished component – in one hit, from one setup: true DONE-IN-ONE manufacturing.
One company which took such an approach is Gilbert Gilkes & Gordon Ltd (Gilkes), a UK-based manufacturer of hydro-electric turbines and cooling pumps for high horsepower diesel engines, which has customers in 85 countries.
Gilkes approached Mazak Europe in 2018, after the company felt it had reached the limits of its existing 3- and 4-axis machine tools. The issue was compounded by a need to outsource the machining of turbine runners to a third party in order to keep up with demand. Ultimately, this approach was neither a particularly profitable enterprise, nor did it provide the company the desired level of control over the complete production process.
As part of a long-term strategy to increase the company’s productivity and enable it to continue to thrive in international markets, the team at Gilkes decided to make the change from 3- and 4-axis machining technology to state-of-the-art 5-axis capability, which is where Mazak Europe came in. Following detailed discussions around their existing machinery, what they wanted to achieve and how to put a plan in place to do that, Gilkes committed to the purchase of an INTEGREX e-1250V/8.
The INTEGREX e-1250V/8 is one of the largest machines in the Mazak INTEGREX range, and is designed for the 5-axis machining of complex large workpieces, across a wide range of metals and alloys. The Multi-Tasking machine is capable of performing a variety of tasks that would normally be completed by multiple machines, including milling, turning, boring and drilling operations.
Its high-rigidity design, coupled with gate column construction and rapid traverse rates of 42m/min in the X-,Y- and Z-axes, facilitate the fast yet extremely accurate machining of workpieces up to 1,600mm in height, and 1,450mm in diameter. The machine’s high-rigidity turning spindle with DDM also enables excellent material removal rates and increased milling accuracy.
Since its launch, it has become one of our most popular machines for customers across a broad range of incredibly demanding sectors, such as Gilkes, who were looking to improve their profitability by increasing their in-house machining resource.
Following the installation of the INTEGREX in 2019, the company has gone from strength to strength. Not only has it resulted in step-change in both productivity and quality of its finished parts, but the company has been able to bring back in-house around 40% of the work it had previously subcontracted out to other manufacturers, which in turn has created more jobs in the local area.
Gilkes’ journey is one that we at Mazak Europe are very proud to have played a part in. While the company is one of many Mazak customers throughout the continent, its story is one that I hope will resonate with other companies who are looking to take greater control of the production facilities.
Ultimately, there has long been a perception that state-of-the-art machine tools lie beyond the reach of many manufactures. However, this is simply not true. Technological advancements have dramatically improved accessibility, and now more than ever is the right time for anyone hesitating about taking the plunge into 5-axis to do so. The rewards of increased capability, capacity, productivity and profitability are all there for the taking. Now is the time to go further.
For more information on Yamazaki Mazak’s range of machining solutions, please visit: www.mazakeu.com.

Stay up to date

with the latest news from Aerospace!

Your email address will only ever be used for Newsletters campaings with the legal agreement of your Privacy Policy. You can change your email preferences or unsubscribe in every email if you no longer wish to receive emails from us.


TOP Interviews

We are missing a lead nation

We are missing a lead nation

Date 19.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

“Training pilots to fly combat jets is an expensive proposition. A proposal by European Air Chiefs to cut costs by combining forces has made very little progress so far. However, two well established multinational training programs are readily available in North America. Meanwhile, “downloading” and “contractorization” are the prevailing buzzwords, as all Air Forces try […]

From zero to hero: Strategic pilot training of the highest possible standard in Central Europe

From zero to hero: Strategic pilot training of the highest possible standard in Central Europe

Date 5.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

If you are looking for an organization that is able to offer both civilian and military state-of-the art pilot training for students, ranging from those with zero experience to the deployment-ready pilot, you won’t find many. And if you are looking for one that commercially operates Sikorsky UH‑60 Black Hawks, there is only one in […]

Always one step ahead of the growing competition

Always one step ahead of the growing competition

Date 4.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

A producer of aerospace devices, Prvni brnenska strojirna Velka Bites (PBS), celebrates 70 years of its manufacturing plant in the Vysocina Region, southeast of the Czech Republic. We interviewed the CEO of PBS, Mr. Milan Macholan and spoke with him about the PBS products, their target markets, the ongoing research and development in the company. […]

COST EFFECTIVE AND PERSISTENT ISR SOLUTIONS

COST EFFECTIVE AND PERSISTENT ISR SOLUTIONS

Date 1.10.2020

fl_en|fl_cs

The Germany based H3 MISSION SYSTEMS is a subsidiary of the internationally renowned H3 AEROSPACE – also owning H3 GROB AIRCRAFT SE. H3 MISSION SYSTEMS specialises in developing and integrating turnkey ready ISR solutions for a variety of platforms. The most successful addition to the product line is the H3 ISR ICARUS, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan EX […]

Show more

Stay up to date

with the latest news from Aerospace!

Your email address will only ever be used for Newsletters campaings with the legal agreement of your Privacy Policy. You can change your email preferences or unsubscribe in every email if you no longer wish to receive emails from us.

More news

From zero to hero: Strategic pilot training of the highest possible standard in Central Europe

From zero to hero: Strategic pilot training of the highest possible standard in Central Europe

Date 5.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

If you are looking for an organization that is able to offer both civilian and military state-of-the art pilot training for students, ranging from those with zero experience to the deployment-ready pilot, you won’t find many. And if you are looking for one that commercially operates Sikorsky UH‑60 Black Hawks, there is only one in […]

The future of aircraft propulsion

The future of aircraft propulsion

Date 4.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

Every time I fly, I keep thinking to myself: what has changed in commercial flying over the last 50 years? Right, let me rephrase that: why do I have the feeling that nothing has changed in half a century of flying? Because nothing has changed, is the answer to that question. I mean, to your […]

Always one step ahead of the growing competition

Always one step ahead of the growing competition

Date 4.1.2021

fl_en|fl_cs

A producer of aerospace devices, Prvni brnenska strojirna Velka Bites (PBS), celebrates 70 years of its manufacturing plant in the Vysocina Region, southeast of the Czech Republic. We interviewed the CEO of PBS, Mr. Milan Macholan and spoke with him about the PBS products, their target markets, the ongoing research and development in the company. […]

U.S. Army selects BAE Systems to deliver autonomy capabilities for Future Vertical Lift initiative

U.S. Army selects BAE Systems to deliver autonomy capabilities for Future Vertical Lift initiative

Date 5.11.2020

fl_en|fl_cs

BAE Systems awarded multiple contracts from the U.S. Army for the Advanced Teaming Demonstration (A-Team) program. BAE Systems has been awarded multiple contracts from the U.S. Army to develop key technologies for the Advanced Teaming Demonstration Program (A-Team). BAE Systems was the only company awarded contracts for three of the program’s four focus areas, designed […]

The L-39NG passed the aerodynamic tests for the Light Attack version

The L-39NG passed the aerodynamic tests for the Light Attack version

Date 4.11.2020

fl_en|fl_cs

Shortly after the L-39NG training version certification, an important initial step in the preparation of its armed version has been completed. A series of L-39NG tests took place in the low-speed wind tunnel of the Czech Aerospace Research Centre in Prague (VZLU), this time the tests were focused on the ability of the aircraft to […]

20 years of the L-159 aircraft in the Czech Air Force

20 years of the L-159 aircraft in the Czech Air Force

Date 18.10.2020

fl_en|fl_cs

In December 2020, it will be twenty years of operation of the L-159 ALCA light combat aircraft the Czech Air Force. The L-159 aircraft had played significant role in adapting the Czech tactical pilots to the new operational standards, and today, it is preparing new pilots before the transition to supersonic JAS-39 Gripen. On July […]

Show more
Subscribe to our magazineRegister now