3 x VMC Machining Centres from Mills CNC Supplied to Fastec...
Newmarket-based precision subcontract specialist – Fastec Engineering Services Ltd - has recently invested in three new Doosan vertical machining centres supplied by Mills CNC.
The machines – 2 x DNM 400’s and 1 x DNM 500 – were installed at the company’s 15,000sq ft facility in April 2012 and are being used to machine high-precision, complex parts for a diverse range of industries and sectors, most notably – oil/gas exploration, food and drink, medical and scientific, packaging, agriculture and motor sport (specifically motor cycles).
The type of materials being machined on the new DNM machines is equally diverse and includes - 316 stainless steel, duplex, aluminium, brass, mild steels and engineering plastics, to name but a few.
The three DNM machines purchased by Fastec have replaced four older machining centres and the large investment demonstrates and reflects the company’s continuous improvement business approach that has helped the company grow substantially since it was first established in 1974.
Says Fastec Director, Danny Starmer:
‘We regularly invest in the latest and most advanced machine tools. We constantly review our machining capacity and capabilities and, at the beginning of the year and as part of this process, realised that our milling operations needed to be upgraded to make us more competitive and better positioned to meet our customers’ needs and requirements.’
The sectors where Fastec operates are ultra-competitive and success depends on achieving the right balance between delivery, cost and quality.
As a consequence machining flexibility is of critical importance and, because Fastec manufactures everything from prototypes and one-offs right through to high-volume batch work – production bottlenecks caused by slow and inefficient machines cannot be tolerated.
Continues Danny Starmer:
‘The new DNM machines have a proven track record. They are powerful (15kW/12,000rpm BT 40 spindle capability), and versatile (30-position ATC) and can take everything from heavy stock removal through to fine finishing in their stride.
‘Since their installation we have (on particular jobs) significantly reduced part cycle times...which was our intention.’
However, the decision to opt for the DNM 400’s and 500 wasn’t purely based on the exceptional performance of the machines but also involved the after-sales services provided by the machine tool supplier.
Says Fastec Director, John Williams:
‘We have purchased machines from Mills in the past (e.g. Puma and Lynx lathes). We like the way they operate and know that when we need help (service and/or applications intervention), they will be on hand to deliver.
‘Unlike some suppliers they have always taken a keen and proactive interest in our business and understand the challenges we confront and the pressures we are under. This, plus the machining capabilities and capacities of the DNM machines resulted in us investing in the new Doosans’
The investment in the three new Doosan DNM machines is indicative of Fastec’s business ethos founded on continuous improvement.
This business approach has seen the company in recent years invest in state-of-the-art fabrication and welding capabilities, CMM measurement and inspection, assembly and part-assembly services and a whole host of secondary finishing operations – plating, painting, anodising etc.
A similar situation exists with its CAD/CAM services which has seen the company invest in Solidworks, Pro-Engineer, STEP, IGES and STL software, as well as Delcam’s FeatureCam where tool paths are created before being exported, via DNC links, direct to the CNC machines.
Says John Williams:
‘To succeed in the sectors where we operate means we have to invest in all areas of our business.
This strategic approach has also seen Fastec diversify its operations and in 2010 the company created a specialist division to better service the needs of its motor sport customers.
The creation of Fastec Racing reflects the passion of the company’s directors for all things to do with motor cycles and motocross.
Fastec Racing is successful and is growing year-on-year. The division manufactures a range of motor cycle parts and accessories and since its launch, has enabled the company to further strengthen its position in the sector.
The new Doosan DNM machines are key strategic tools in helping Fastec Racing and Fastec Engineering Services achieve its ambitions for the future.
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