Grantham Engineering goes Robotic
- 03 February 2012
- Company & Industry News
Grantham Engineering Limited, the manufacturers of the Invicta range of rotary electric, rotary hydraulic and pneumatic piston vibrators, is in the course of commissioning its latest machine tool, a Mazak Integrex 400-4 CNC lathe supported by the most up-to-date version of the Fanuc robot cell. Nick Boles, the MP for Grantham and Stamford, visited the company on 28th October to mark the installation of the new equipment which is scheduled to achieve its full production capacity by the end of January 2012. The Fanuc cell is believed to be one of the most sophisticated in the country. It is equipped with a powered roller track, which may be loaded with up to seven pallets each containing billets for various sizes and shape of finished component. Components will be automatically inspected during the machining cycle and the cutting tool parameters adjusted, if necessary. The Sandvik Capto multi-headed Flash tooling will all be contained within the 80-tool magazine, which with its multi-function cutting tools will be able to cope with any demands placed upon it. It will also shorten cycle times by virtue of the reduction in the number of tool changes needed to complete any given component. These features combined with the automatic gripper changing system installed with the roller track will enable the unit to operate without supervision. Fully loaded with billets at the end of the late shift the machine will be able to run unmanned throughout the night and be found still working at the start of the next day's early shift. Once the machine is fully operational it will be able to manufacture rotor shafts and bearing housing for Invicta's entire range of rotary vibrators.
The installation of this unit follows upon the commissioning in June this year of a Mazak Quickturn Smart 350 CNC lathe, which replaced a 2-metre bed Churchill 540L CNC machine, which had given sterling service since August 1989. Taking advantage of its fast speeds and feeds (up to 40 metres per minute compared with 30 for earlier Mazak machines), the new
unit has completely taken over the machining of rotors for the company's vibrators, and frees previously installed Mazak CNC lathes to concentrate on other vibrator components.
This latest investment by Grantham Engineering not only increases total production capacity to help meet expanding market demand but will also considerably improve labour productivity in the machine shop. Privately owned Grantham Engineering is the largest UK manufacturer of rotary electric and hydraulic vibrators, and is one of the largest world-wide. Its Invicta Vibrator Division exports some 75% of its output and is represented by 16 official distributors covering the world's industrialised nations.