Dynafix stars in ‘Magnificent 7’ pallet-changing performance
When Hemlock Engineering of Nottingham decided to invest over £1 million in new machining centres, software and support systems, they took a long hard look at what was available and what would give them the best ROI – as you would expect. They chose two of the fastest milling machines available – the Mikron XSM 600U – but in order to increase their efficiency fitted them with 7 automatic pallet changers. And that is where the Dynafix pallets from System 3R came into their own for assured ‘lights-out’ production.
“The automatic changer still required the added value of a zero-point clamping and palletisation system to give us the flexibility we needed as a specialist subcontractor,” explained Nick Marks of Hemlock Engineering. “Dynafix allows us to mount a range of highly diverse components, vices, chucks, cubes, workpieces etc. in the pallet changer and then run each job within the cell.”
A job ready to go on its Dynafix pallet within the Mikron XSM 600U milling machine.
As a subcontractor – cutting mainly aluminium components – Hemlock’s work pattern covers a range of standard parts for their customers’ Kanban requirements as well as one-off parts for their own prototyping company or ‘specials’ for other customers. Much of their business comes from the automotive industry, especially working in the superbike sector, and the development work in which they are involved often requires a range of individual parts for testing that may only vary by small amounts.
“The mix and match production facility that Dynafix gives us has helped us penetrate markets that were hitherto unavailable to Hemlock, such as aerospace,” said Nick Marks. “The repeatability and accuracy is so good that we are totally confident in programming the cells and leaving them to run unmanned overnight or over the weekend. Previous required jig changes are also a thing of the past if a customer needs to alter any of the elements on a component – a big sigh of relief all round, especially from the designer!
“Not only that, but if we need to interrupt production for one-off ‘specials’ we can take off a part and be running again in minutes. Then on returning the part to the machine, production continues without a hitch!”
‘Mix & Match’ production is easy with Dynafix pallets in the 7 position automatic pallet changer
As with all major investments, the smallest element may often be the key to its success. That is where Dynafix has played a starring role in what is proving to be a magnificent decision by Hemlock Engineering.
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