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FANUC Delivers Reliability for Cutting Tool Manufacturer
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As far as cutting tool manufacturers are considered, Lanarkshire based Gilmour Tools has certainly carved a niche in the local and export industry, manufacturing and supplying specialised carbide cutting tools for the oil & gas, automotive and aerospace sectors. Producing indexable inserts & rotary tools from materials such as carbide, ceramic, PCD, PCBN and CBN, the Larkhall Company also manufactures tool-holders in-house.


Producing bespoke solutions as opposed to ‘off-the-shelf’ product lines is how this Scottish manufacturer can comfortably compete with the larger ‘economy-of-scale’ cutting tool OEMs. With all products designed in-house to customer specifications, Gilmour Tools has an output in the region of 250,000 tools per annum with upwards of 70% of production being exported. To keep pace with demand, the company has invested heavily in the latest technology from FANUC.


Commenting upon this relationship, Mr Gary Gilmour of Gilmour Tools says: “We started buying FANUC machine tools over 20 years ago to replace creep-feed grinders and we currently have a total of 11 FANUC machines. The latest arrival is the next generation ROBOCUT C400-iB wire EDM machine. All of these machines are running around the clock for seven days a week. The FANUC service is second to none and the CNC Control unit is an easy-to-use universal system. This means that our staff can easily transition from one machine to the next, regardless of machine model or age.”


Referring to why the company has recently acquired the new ROBOCUT C400-iB wire EDM machine, Mr Gilmour continues: “The oil & gas market has grown dramatically, which is mostly overseas, so we knew we had to buy more machines and employ more people. Since our journey started with FANUC they have always been very helpful with regards to support, financing and payment plans.”


Turnaround times for a bespoke manufacturer are a critical factor and Gilmour Tools is no different. “Our customers supply a drawing or sample and we have to design a tool on these parameters, once our designs are signed-off by the customer we will order the raw materials, manufacture the tools and get the tools coated where necessary. This process has a turnaround time of up to 3-weeks and this is why we probably only have one other competitor in the UK. Processing times are critical and this is why we buy from FANUC.”


“We will always buy from FANUC. We have looked at other brands in the past but the FANUC machines are so reliable and the service is so impressive that we genuinely have no reason to change to another supplier,” concludes Mr Gilmour.

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