At full speed into the future

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At full speed  into the future

At full speed into the future

Newport Toolmakers Ltd has taken delivery of a Mitsubishi MV2400S CNC wire EDM featuring revolutionary cylindrical drive technology. Supplied by exclusive UK distributor, HK Technologies, the machine has been set to work producing press tool punch and die sets, largely for the automotive industry.

At full speed  into the future

At full speed into the future

Owned by two directors with more than 40 years’ experience in the toolmaking industry, Kevin Brewer and John Nicol, Newport Toolmakers began life in 1995 in a small unit at Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire. Acquiring basic ­machinery the company grew rapidly in its first two years until, to keep pace with new technology and techniques, Newport Toolmakers decided that additional machinery was required. This resulted in the need for more space and a move to the company’s current 3000 sq ft premises in Bletchley near Milton Keynes. That was in 1997 and today the philosophy of ongoing investment ­continues at this progressive toolmaking enterprise, where core business centres on high quality press tools, die cast tools, assembly jigs, fixings and checking fixtures. The company can also provide a comprehensive tool refurbishment service.

Wire erosion is one of the core manufacturing processes at Newport Toolmakers as this facilitates the generation of extremely detailed and precise tools. Until recently, the company was running a pair of Mitsubishi wire EDM machines that, although reliable, were reaching the end of their working life.

Impressive performance

“We have no complaints with the performance of our Mitsubishi machines over the years, and while they were still producing accurate parts, we realised there was an opportunity to take advantage of next generation technology,” says Mr Nicol. “I admit to having a look at one or two alternatives to Mitsubishi, but when I saw the new MV Series I was really impressed.”

The MV2400S Tubular in operation.

The MV2400S Tubular in operation.

The MV Series of wire cut machines feature a host of game-changing engineering improvements, many of which are industry firsts. Arguably the most significant is the revolutionary cylindrical drive technology, which Mitsubishi EDM says removes many of the pitfalls associated with linear drive motors.

We really like the wire saving functionality

At the core of this breakthrough are innovative tubular shaft motors that move a number of axes. These motors prevent ‘cogging’ and ensure smooth and highly controllable movements.

Quality pays off

“We have an excellent reputation for supplying the highest quality press tools to manufacturers ranging from small businesses in the electrical and plastics industry, through to large international automotive companies,” says Mr Nicol. “Quality is paramount because predominately our work is bespoke toolmaking, whether die cast tools, pierce and blank tools, form tools, progression tools or compound tools. This investment in new machinery means we are now one of the most comprehensive toolrooms in the area in terms of capability and quality.”

John Nicol benefits from the new and easy-to-operate Advance Plus CNC.

John Nicol benefits from the new and easy-to-operate Advance Plus CNC.

Endless possibilities and ­precision to perfection

Quality is further enhanced using the new MV Series via integrated functions such as ODS (Optical Drive System), which deploys fibre optic communications between the control unit, servo amplifier and linear motor to improve machining accuracy (±2µm) and provide reaction times up to four times faster than electrical cable. Productivity is also boosted by the PFC (Precise Finish Circuit), which is able to generate finishes up to 30% finer than previous generation models with less skim cuts.

Higher speed with with fewer skim

“As well as offering enhanced quality I would say our new Mitsubishi MV2400S is at least 50% faster than the models we replaced,” says Mr Nicol.

I admit to having a look at one or two alternatives to Mitsubishi, but when I saw the new MV Series I was really impressed.

For quicker and more continuous operation, Mitsubishi EDM has also enhanced its Intelligent AT automatic wire threading system, which operates reliably and quickly, not only when re-threading a submerged hole but also when threading the cutting gap or discontinued initial holes. What’s more, the Digital Matrix Sensor and V350 generator digitally shape the pulse to decrease wire vibration and minimise electrode wear, reducing wire consumption by 46%. “We really like the wire saving functionality,” he adds. “Low operating costs are vital to small businesses like ours, particularly considering the price of brass wire these days.” The Mitsubishi MV2400S at Newport Toolmakers is configured with a two-axis (XY) linear shaft motor and a three-piece, U-shaped hardened table. It can accommodate parts up to 1050 x 820 x 305mm.

“Despite being of far higher specification than the machines it replaced, ­installing the Mitsubishi MV2400S hasn’t required any sort of learning curve,” says Mr Nicol. “Overall the whole acquisition, commissioning and training process was very straightforward. HK delivered everything we needed and the machine is already providing differentiation against our competitors.”

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