At Hy-Pro we use lathes extensively in production, particularly for producing spools of various sizes which are used in our hydraulic control valves. There are multitudes of other parts which we also make on our lathes, from simple washers to complex gears.
The lathes we use can machine intricate shapes to minute tolerances, and we can control the process to within a couple of microns. This is vital to hydraulic engineering which relies on very precise fits between components. Previously, gears would have to have been produced by grinding which is a highly skilled and expensive process. Using this new generation of sophisticated lathes we can produce perfect results with low costs; something we could not have imagined ten years ago.
We have 3 lathe machines in our factory now: 2 from Citizen (above), and our newest addition from Star (below). All our machines have sliding headstocks, sub-spindles and similar capabilities and they will all run on unattended throughout the night (until they run out of bar). These state of the art lathes will also telephone the machine shop manager to tell him if they have a problem.
We chose the Star SR-38 Type B for our latest purchase because our Foreman has had experience with them and we know Star have an excellent reputation for customer service. Some features and benefits of the Star lathe machine are below:
- Ability to go up to 42mm bar capacity – which is a much larger capacity compared to rival machines
- CNC controller B-axis unit so it is able to produce angular features. There is also the added benefit of being able to do multiple angles and multi-axis machining without having to stop the machine to set up each time
- Low power consumption – ideal for keeping running costs down
- Powerful spindles to assist in improved metal removal rate
- Balanced turning function to help with long slender parts as well as higher material removal on certain components
- Long parts ejection enabling the customer to do much longer components
- High pressure coolant to assist with swarf management and deep hole drilling. The machine comes high-pressure coolant ready allowing customers to use through coolant tools to help with machining more efficiently.
Find out more information about the Star Lathe here.
Without these lathes and our milling machines, we would have to subcontract. Being able to make our own components allows us to keep our costs to a minimum, control the quality, be flexible with delivery and helps us to develop our products. This has enabled us to compete in a very competitive marketplace where price, delivery and quality are king.