Verotec, the leading European metal enclosure and subrack manufacturer for the electronics industry, has invested in excess of £120k to create an automated aluminium CAM machining centre in its Southampton, UK production facility. The investment enables complex 3D high precision machining, volume batch processing and multi-shift operation to be undertaken. The centrepiece is a Datron M8Cube machining centre, one of only a handful in the UK. It is complemented by a new precision saw, accurate to 0.1mm, which also enables tapped holes and counter bores to be quickly added to the ends of, for example, subrack tiebar extrusions. The M8Cube features a 1020 x 830 x 245mm XYZ traverse path, which enables large individual panels or multiple nested small panels to be machined, a 10 tool changing station, vacuum workpiece clamping, and automatic XYZ measurements. The CAM facility is optimised to produce small modified front panels in high volumes and also large panels, such as one-piece mixing audio/video mixing desk panels, which require many different sizes and shapes of aperture in a single monolithic piece of aluminium sheet.
Apart from the obvious product-related benefits of reduced lead times, enhanced capability and improved quality and repeatability, there are also additional intangible advantages for customers. ArtCAM Express middleware allows customers to send Pro Eng, Solid Works, AutoCAD or PDF files of their modified panels; these drawings are automatically translated into the standard MCR file format required to control the M8Cube, avoiding any potential inaccuracies. A further benefit is that as the data path from customer to machining centre is homogeneous, ensuring that ISO9001 traceability is preserved to allow batch traceability if required.
Commercial Director Tim Armstrong said, “We have always offered a modification service for our standard aluminium panels, and many customers appreciate the convenience and cost-saving of having a single source of supply for the finished item. Our substantial capital investment in the large bed M8Cube gives us fast manufacturing, and the nesting capability for high volume work betters our service and enables us to offer very competitive pricing against traditional punching/ laser manufacturing where the quality is not as good as machining.”
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