machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
     
sliding head machining
 


"Lights Out" Machining is Secret to Acro's Engineering Success

Acro, have announced that 2008 is already proving to good year and that they have won several new contracts and have also further invested in modern 3D machining technology. Key to their recent success has been the use of 24 hour unmanned 'Sliding Head' machines. Known in the industry as 'lights out' production, these machines can work un-manned all night and even all weekend.

 

 
 

sliding head machining

 

"This has been our key to competing with the likes of China," said Fred Pain, General Manager. "Unmanned machines enable us to remove the labour content from the component cost and leaves us pretty much on par with Far East manufacturing prices. To some extent, the rise in the price of oil and the price of metals has also helped us close the gap and I think this is what's probably driving much of the current success at Acro and the wider UK engineering sector."

One of Acro's unmanned machines is a Tornos 10 axis Sliding-Head machine that is capable of rapidly machining complex parts in a minute or less. Known for their accuracy, the Tornos sliding head enables a number of machining processes to be undertaken on the component at the same time. The material is automatically fed into the machine using a 'bar feeder'. The finished components are then ejected out of the other end.

"Learning to program these machines is a very steep learning curve," said Fred. "We've found them much tougher to program than many of our other machine tools but once the programming is done, they are very reliable, very fast and very accurate. These machines are ideal for orders from 500 pieces up to 10,000 and they can handle square and hex bar, as well as round – up to a diameter of 26mm."

Acro machines a number of different metals including stainless steel, mild steel, brass, and titanium. Its customers are in industries such as medical, oil and energy, automotive, construction, electronics and defence. The company also works in specialist hard materials such as stainless steel 316, monel and more recently a very hard material called E26-W condition.


“Some of the non-standard materials such as titanium and monel require a high level of expertise to machine,” said Fred. “An important consideration with Titanium is that the swarf can catch fire and it burns very hot and very bright, so machines have to have automatic fire extinguishers fitted.”

Acro sees this kind of ‘lights out’ engineering as the only way the UK can compete on volume production and expects further investment in this kind of machinery in coming years. In addition to this, Acro is also investing in computerized 3D machining equipment, enabling it to undertake very complex high value machining projects.

About Acro Precision Technology
With over 30 years' experience in the machining of precision engineering components, Acro represents one of Europe's leading suppliers to the engineering and technology sector. Acro offers specialist low volume prototype development as well as high volume manufacturing and is equipped with a broad range of modern CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled] machinery: -

· CNC lathes with live tooling and 24 hour unmanned production
· Swiss type sliding head automatics
· CNC milling
· Conventional turning/milling/finishing

Customer projects have included components for sports cars suspensions, bomb disposal robots, hospital beds, forecourt petrol pumps, the London Underground, equipment for off-shore oil exploration and production and components for the construction industry.

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machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
machining monel, titanium and stainless 316

machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
machining monel, titanium and stainless 316
machining monel, titanium and stainless 316

machining monel, titanium and stainless 316

machining monel, titanium and stainless 316

machining monel, titanium and stainless 316

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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