Landmark investment for blow mould specialist
A cornerstone investment in a Quaser MF 630U 5 axis VMC by North Bucks Machining Limited is a key factor in the Newport Pagnell based firm’s objective of becoming one of the UK’s leading exponents in the design and manufacture of advanced blow moulding tools.
Established 4.1/2 years ago by Dave and Rose Palmer, the firm has predominantly concentrated on repairing and refurbishing blow mould tools for many of the leading European plastics container manufacturers.
But an opportunity to win a long term contract to manufacture a range of new tools focus on the organisations’ productivity and its abilities to compete against established home and overseas O/E mould manufacturers.
“We had the skills but not the machining capability,” explains director Stewart Palmer. “I had extensive experience with 5 axis machining from my days in F1 and when I joined the family business 2 years ago my first objective was to move towards five axis work. And when the contract opportunity arose, it was the tipping point for investment.”
The North Bucks team did extensive research but Stewart’s previous experience with Bridgeport CNC’s brought them to Southam based Engineering Technology Group (ETG) who identified the Quaser VMC as the most suitable machine.
“ETG took onboard our toolroom like environment while being aware of our long term aims so we opted for a machine that gives us ample scope,” adds Stewart. “The five axis aside – and the contouring capability in particular – it has a really good table size of ø500 and we opted for a 48 BT40 tool capacity ATC mindful of the complexity of many of the moulds requiring multiple tooling set up’s.
“We also specified Blum touch probing and a Heidenhain control as this was the one I was most familiar with. On the day it was commissioned ETG signed it off late morning and we were cutting our first metal by early afternoon.”
The MF630 is a fully simultaneous 5 axis VMC with rapid movement across its X, Y, Z axes of 32/32/16 m/min respectively. As standard it is equipped with a coolant chiller and through coolant capability and features positional accuracy of 0.008/0.004 and a 12,000rpm NC40 coupling spindle.
Blow mould tools are usually machined from 7075 aluminium with 304 stainless steel working edges. “We opt for high spindle speeds with light cuts,” explains Stewart Palmer.
Since securing the first major order which was for screen wash and oil containers, the North Bucks team has won further O/E orders for a range of containers used for liquid fertilizers in various sizes. These have a distinctive shape and Stewart and his father Dave have worked closely with the customer, bringing their extensive experience to the project by designing the mould tools’ cooling holes, splits and bolt positions.
These products also offer a range of bottle neck details – screw in, trigger spray and pouring spouts – which require interchangeable inserts on the main body mould.
North Bucks Machining Ltd made use of the services offered by ETG Finance Ltd when acquiring their Quaser MF 630 U.
ETG Finance offers a standalone facility or services as part of a more structured arrangement with other finance products. They can help would be purchasers find the right product to suit their businesses funding requirements – be it an ETG machine or another asset purchase.