XYZ Machine Tools of Devon, England, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwestern Industries, has received the MWP 2012 Advanced Manufacturing Award in the “Best Entry Level Machine Installation” category for a TRAK LPM machining center installation in Kent, England.
That category recognizes the supply and effective application of lower-cost, user-friendly CNC equipment. Contestants are judged on the following criteria: type and range of work enabled by the installation; installation support and operator training; productivity enhancement through improved manufacturing methods; contribution to cost reduction; greater reliability or reduced maintenance requirements; sustainability and energy/raw material efficiency; contribution to a safer workplace; value for money; and fitness for purpose.
The TRAK LPM installed in Kent was the first ProtoTRAK CNC-equipped model to be fitted with an automatic tool changer (16-station). According to the company, the ProtoTRAK system does not require the operator to have G code knowledge as programming, either at the machine or off-line. Another significant feature is the integral Jergens Ball Lock fixturing system machined into its 35 3/8” x 19 5/8” table. With this system, the operator always knows the datum of the part or parts relative to one of the three primary “Ball Locks” built into the table. So, once the initial set-up has been completed and the dimensional accuracy of the machined part confirmed, it can be repeated at any time with the LPM ready to go within a few minutes rather than hours. This is because when a program is saved, the ProtoTRAK PMX control not only saves the process information (and any program notes) but also the datum positioning data.
The PMX control can be programmed in background mode (“staged” mode) for a future job while it is already machining a part on the table. It provides flexibility in terms of file types and file storage, and encourages continuous improvement by way of updating stored notes and photographs within the program that encompass set-ups, tooling and other useful information relating to current and repeat orders. According to the company, all of this information is instantly accessible via the PMX control.