Machining auto castings


NuMachine has installed two five-axis turnkey systems to machine cast aluminium automotive components for sister company Sarginsons.

Two Doosan five-axis machining centres, a VCF 850LSR and a DVF 6500, with customised workholding systems were supplied by Mills CNC in collaboration with a number of its technical partners and installed in NuMachine’s Hereford factory.

They are being used to machine small batches of high precision components for Coventry-based Sarginsons Industries to fulfil a long-term contract with one of its automotive customers.

NuMachine managing director Brandon Davies said: “Although we are an independent precision subcontract engineering company in our own right – some 30-40% of our business, year-on-year, does derive from Sarginsons.

“As such the strong and mutually beneficial relationships between both companies has enabled us to build up significant in-house knowledge and expertise in machining lightweight components for those sectors and industries served by Sarginsons…the automotive sector being particularly prevalent.

“As a company with a reputation for taking on, and succeeding with, difficult machining jobs we were approached by Sarginsons in 2020 to see if we could help them with a specific machining contract – one where their existing supplier was finding it difficult to meet the customer’s stringent quality and lead time requirements.

“Having looked at the parts in detail it was clear that we would need new 5-axis machining capacity to be able to machine the parts in question…in the quantities required.”

The machines were acquired to machine two specific components: the VCF 850LSR is used to machine long, thin and asymmetrically-shaped (left and right) B  Pillars, and the DVF 6500 to machine (left and right) performance-critical front suspension mountings.

The B Pillars and suspension mountings parts have complex profiles. They are machined to tight geometric tolerances and exacting surface finishes, and feature a number of intricate details including thin walls, multiple cavities, blind holes etc.

To ensure that the parts’ structural integrities are maintained during machining, and to make job set-up and cycle times as productive and efficient as possible, both machines were supplied to NuMachine with innovative and highly-customised workholding solutions that, prior to the machines’ delivery, had been designed, developed and proven out by Mills CNC at its campus facility in Leamington.

Brandon Davies added: “Although the machines were installed at our facility in May 2021 – the project, in reality, began some months’ earlier and involved us working closely with Mills and a number of the company’s technical partners to design and integrate ‘best-in-class’ turnkey fixturing to both machines.

“To ensure we were able to meet our customer’s lead times and to help keep costs down we needed one workholding solution for machining both (left and right) parts, and to machine the parts in one hit.”