Uni-Mill Engineering Ltd have a milling department that began life as support for our highly successful turning section. They took features that were complex and time consuming to turn and made them quick and easy to mill. Over the years with the help of a few highly skilled individuals and increasingly complex customer requirements, the department has quickly grown into a self sufficient and highly successful section of the business. With success comes increased investment allowing the department to grow to a total of 6 machines and purchase the latest state-of-the-art fixturing, tooling and programming software. This maximises the capacity available and greatly reduces customer cost and lead time.
Our milling department has five 4-Axis Hurco milling machines. These machines can be programmed at the console for sample parts or offline programmed on our latest CAM software for more complex parts or larger batch production.
Our latest investment is a 5 axis Hurco milling machine which, coupled with our fixturing purchases, allows us to minimise material loading time and greatly improves our machine efficiency on complex and long running jobs.
All machines are equipped with Renishaw tool probes and the 4 newest machines are also equipped with Renishaw spindle probes as optional extras.
Like the turning section, our milling department has gradually steered in the direction of offline programming. With this software we are able to plan, program and simulate production prior to machining which allows us to fault find, optimise the program and avoid any expensive collisions. It also allows for quicker turnaround and more accurate cost evaluations for our customers. Some of the software tools used in this department can be seen below:
Common Fixturing Systems Used
Uni-Mill Engineering Ltd see fixturing and tooling as key components in the bid to maximise the efficiency and capability of our machines. Over the years we have invested in, and produced, a range of fixtures allowing multiple different components to be manufactured in the most efficient manor and in some cases preventing common defects caused by incorrect holding of the workpiece. Please see some examples of commonly used fixtures and quick change tooling below:
'In House' Fixturing
‘In House’ fixtures are produced for difficult to hold jobs where a ‘Bought-In’ fixture won’t do. These ensure that we can hold jobs securely and accurately while, in some cases, allowing for multiple workpieces at once. These minimise loading error and allow the machine to run uninterrupted for as long as possible but tend to be bespoke to the job.
We also purchase off the shelf fixturing from some of the most well known and quality suppliers. This investment guarantees accuracy and quicker material change over times with the benefit of flexibility. These improvements are in addition to the benefits seen using our ‘in house’ fixturing meaning the customer sees further cost savings.
Pre-Set Tooling + Carts and holders
Uni-Mill Engineering Ltd have invested heavily over the years in the latest tooling and tool holders and this forward thinking approach has paid off.
With an initial investment in additional tooling and holders, we are now able to pre-set tooling ahead of time for jobs in the production queue. This allows us to implement quick change overs and efficient small batch runs as we are able to greatly reduce tool change times throughout the department.
These improvements in tool change efficiency combined with the benefits seen from investment in machinery and fixturing make our milling department a highly competitive and quality supplier option.