CNC focus on aerospace

25 Feb 2019

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Thomas Brown Engineering is targeting the aerospace sector with its latest CNC machining investment.

Meeting the precision needs of its customers has seen a Huddersfield manufacturer make a number of large investments, including the acquisition of the latest CNC machine technology.

The Huddersfield-based subcontractor, which celebrated its 35th birthday in 2018, has worked with the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) to install a new Hardinge Bridgeport XR1000 to help it capitalise on three recent contract wins for the aerospace sector.

The machine is equipped with a Nikken 4th axis rotary table and a powerful GTW spindle that will allow it to machine the toughest materials.

Tom Brown, who founded the business in 1983 after serving an apprenticeship and working at a local firm, said:

“Aerospace is a growing market for us following our AS9100 accreditation and this helped us secure three important contracts, which required more capacity and shorter lead times.”

He continued: “We spoke to ETG about our requirements and came up with the XR1000, specifying it with a Nikken 4th axis rotary table to give us the opportunity to produce more complex components.

“It is a decision that is already paying off, with some cycle times reduced by as much as 20%. This makes a major difference to our productivity.”

The Engineering Technology Group’s extensive stockholding helped with a quick turnaround, equipping it with Heidenhain TNC 640 controls and an eco-cooling heat exchanger system to prolong the life of the spindle.

It also worked with Blum-Novotest to fit the metrology specialist’s TC50 spindle probe and ZX-Speed IR tool setting probe to achieve ‘on-machine’ workpiece inspection/evaluation and in process tool management.