Lofting Services North West (LSNW) went to MACH 2016 looking to expand its comprehensive machining capability with a large-capacity VMC featuring a high Z axis and integrated fourth axis; and as most of the company's 10 CNC milling machines have been retrofitted with Renishaw probing, the new one would also have to feature this - along with a service contract to cover the machine in the event of a breakdown and guarantee that it will be up and running again within 48hr (all LSNW's machines have this cover).
Brothers Richard and David Fielding, who started the company in Manchester in 1996, found what they were looking for in the Target QV209 on the stand of Milton Keynes-based Axe & Status Machinery Ltd (www.axestatus.com). This machine has a work envelope of 2,000 x 900 x 1,150, a 2,200 x 850mm table, Fanuc 0i-MF control with 200-block look-ahead, and that all-important extra height on the Z axis (to 1,150mm).
The BT50 spindle is rated at 22kW 6,000rev/min and features a through-spindle coolant facility, while the fourth axis is fitted with a manual three-jaw chuck and can work in conjunction with a manual tailstock.
The Target machine will be installed in LSNW's purpose-built 30,000ft2 'state of the art' temperature-controlled facility, which is located on a new three-acre site in Devon.
The company employs 50 people and uses Delcam software (PowerMill, PowerShape and PowerInspect) to program its CNC machines, which run 24hr a day and feature software and camera technology for remote monitoring and unmanned running.
It also uses Catia V5 for design; in fact, the design side of the business, which includes reverse engineering, is continually being expanded.
LSNW was founded to service the needs of aerospace industry, supplying printed aluminum templates known as 'lofts'. The company has grown rapidly and now provides a comprehensive tooling service to most industry sectors, but mainly the aerospace, automotive and OEM industries. Its many high profile customers include Airbus, BAE systems, GKN Aerospace and Rolls Royce.