Subcontractor Buys Two New FANUC Machines24-Jul-2017 FANUC UK LTD
The service, longevity and overall performance of the FANUC machines over the last two decades have undoubtedly proven prominent factors in the company placing repeat business. However, the precision engineering subcontractor emphasised other elements when specifying the latest generation of FANUC machines. As Mr Spargo continues: "Aside from our previous experience with FANUC, there were other factors involved in our decision making process when comparing the FANUC brand against other machines. One factor was the extreme accuracy; as we can achieve tolerances of +/-3 microns. We do a lot of motorsport work and high precision multi-stage tooling where the accuracy is critical. Secondly, the machines are extremely reliable. We can leave the machines unattended for unmanned machining and they will just keep running, they are just so reliable."
Another issue of importance for the Buckinghamshire business is compatibility and continuity of programming between the two older FANUC machines and the two new installations. As Mr Spargo recalls: "We can pull the programs from the older machines and use them straight on the new FANUC machines. We purchased the new FABCUT software with the machines and our guys just got straight into the new software and after 15-20 years on the previous system, it proved a very easy transition. We also like the touch screen control, which is a significant improvement on machines we already had."
"We are also able to monitor the machines from a mobile phone or tablet when we are not here. That has been really useful, certainly for the guys that come in and out over the weekends to keep the machines running. When we are busy we are probably running the machines for 400-500 hours a week, so uptime is critical to us."
With regard to the wire feed on the FANUC machines, Mr Spargo continues: "The wire feed was one of the reasons we bought FANUC machines in the first place. We were extremely happy with the wire feed on the old machines and the new ones are even faster and more efficient than the previous machines. What can I say - its FANUC all the way!"
When asked if a part program previously machined on the older machines and transferred to the new machines can deliver improved part quality and cycle times, Mr Spargo says: "We do get better results. But it's also impressed us how good our old machines are. It's like they were ahead of their time when they were brought to market 20 years ago."
With regard to job types and materials, Mr Spargo concludes: "We are certainly tasked with some difficult jobs, materials and tolerances, especially in the motorsport and aerospace markets. The intelligence of the FANUC machines is terrific, as it understands the materials and compositions and it will often surpass the parameters it says it will do. It will often complete jobs in 8 hours instead of 10 for example. We really like the machines."