Tuesday, May 5, 2015

News: Nikken helps boost productivity by almost 800%

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Rotherham-based Nikken Kosakusho Europe, leading suppliers of world class precision engineering products, has helped manufacturer TWM Technology increase productivity by almost 800%

With European headquarters on the Barbot Hall Industrial Estate and a technical office and demonstration / testing facility already at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, Nikken enjoys a global dominance of the rotary table technology market and supply manufacturers operating in the aerospace, defence, motorsport, automotive and medical sectors.

Based in Devon, TWM Technology is a leader in the design and manufacture of high-end hermetic metal packages and components. It is part of the Eurotech Group plc, a group specialising in electronic products.

Jez Pring, engineering manager at TWM, approached Nikken to investigate a way of improving production processes to fulfil increasing volume requirements of one of its customers. The process in question involved the loading and machining of a complex component, requiring 12 tool changes, one part at a time. This particular operation required an operator to be present to load and unload each part, using valuable machine tool capacity.

Looking at the different options open to TWM the decision was made to adopt a multi-load approach to try and reduce the operations needed to complete production. Knowing Nikken's reputation for quality and accuracy TWM invited Andrew Bould, Nikken's Advanced Manufacturing Engineer, to come and discuss the options available to aid TMW improve all aspects of the machining process.

Andrew visited TMW and collaborated with them to develop the optimum solution, this being a CNC202 Rotary Table complete with one off fixture set up. Described as a real team effort, with Andrew supplying the initial principle and Jez designing the work holding - when put together this enabled multi loading of the parts, reducing the number of operations, with the required process advancements required being met and exceeded.

The solution led to average machining time per part dropping to 2.5 minutes from 16, with the daily production rate increasing from 28 to 216 parts. In addition to the increased production throughput the new approach has resulted in 14 hours unmanned machine tool utilisation, freeing up a skilled machinist to attend to additional operations within the workshop.

Jez Pring, engineering manager at TWM, said: "Working with Andrew Bould and Nikken to design the optimum solution for our needs has had a huge impact on productivity for this application. Relying on NIKKEN's established expertise and unmatched product quality, together with TWM's application knowledge has resulted in an unbeatable partnership that is sure to work together on future projects."

Construction is underway on a new research & development, training and showroom facility in Rotherham, showcasing the tools, machinery and products manufactured by Nikken. The £3.6m investment on the AMP is set to create ten jobs and be completed in July 2015.

Nikken Kosakusho Europe website

Images: Nikken

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