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Tooling solution helps UHV Design maximise 5-axis CNC investment
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An East Sussex manufacturer of precision components that help universities and government laboratories complete groundbreaking experiments has enjoyed a major production boost.


UHV Design, which employs 50 people at its state-of-the-art facility in Laughton, has tapped into the workholding expertise of Hyfore to equip its new 5-axis Quaser MF500UH with a dedicated tooling system.


Working closely together, the two companies identified a £30,000 Acrow package that provides the control, flexibility and speed required to cope with increasing volumes in the machining shop.


The solution focused on interchangeable NR collets that would be used exclusively on this machine and tend to be smaller in diameter, offering greater contact with the components, improved tool life and the ability to move freely around tight clearance spaces.


“A lot of what we do is bespoke to the application and has to work in an Ultra High Vacuum environment whilst still providing motion and manipulation…typically these components will end up in scientific experiments like CERN’s Large Hadron Collider,” explained David Heward, Machine Shop Manager at UHV Design, part of AIM-listed Judges Scientific.


“We have grown 15% over the last twelve months and the future pipeline was rich with opportunities that necessitated investment in new technology and the purchase of our first 5-axis machine, which we sourced from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG).”


He continued: “The Quaser MF500UH was equipped with a 15k ‘face and taper’ spindle and a 48-strong carousel that allows us to store 80% of all our tools in the one machine – ideal for reducing changeover times and reducing secondary operations.

“However, to make the most of it we needed to find the right tooling system and that is where Hyfore came into its own.


“Its engineers spent a lot of time at our East Sussex base looking at the components we were planning to machine, before identifying the package that best suited what we were trying to achieve.”


Hyfore, which offers a large selection of bespoke jigs, fixtures, gauges and workholding systems, used its exclusive UK distribution agreement with Acrow to devise a 30-strong tooling system.


This solution was trialled on an existing machine and the results – combined with competitive pricing and excellent lead times – were enough to secure the business from UHV Design.


Oli Riley, Workholding Product Specialist at Hyfore, continued: “This is the largest single order placed for an Acrow package to date and reinforces its popularity with machinists in the UK.


“We have seen a 20% increase in this type of tooling technology and it’s not difficult to see why when you consider the control, quality, durability and aesthetic finish it delivers time and time again. It’s a perfect fit for the 5-axis Quaser.”


He concluded: “Importantly, it also shows how we can work with specialist manufacturers like UHV to understand its production challenges and come up with flexible solutions. This is just the start of a relationship that will hopefully grow in line with the client’s own expansion plans.”


The core Acrow range comprises specialist NR, HC and CH (milling) tool holders, which have all been designed for high-speed precision manufacturing.


They can be seamlessly fitted to any CNC machine currently available in the UK and have been proven to provide more balanced tooling solutions that offer higher volumes, greater complexity and improved tool life, meaning less time and expenditure associated with changing cutting tools.


Hyfore is currently working with the global manufacturer to start stocking new product innovations, including anchor heads and boring systems.



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