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As the years have gone by, the relationship between the two businesses has become more interlinked, with PP C&A increasingly being asked to be involved in the design stage of new machine builds to support ‘Design for Manufacturing (DFM)’ and understand how more specification can be added easily to new models.
The latest collaboration started towards the end of 2018 and has focused on the development of the company’s CV5-500, a new fully simultaneous 5-axis machining centre that is the only machine in its class to have been completely conceived, designed and built in the UK.
Fundamental to its success was the design and build of a modular/standard control system and interconnectivity solution that would allow both the efficient build within PP C&A and the simple and effective integration when building the CV5-500 at Mazak’s own facility.
This needed to be achieved against a highly competitive price point that allows Mazak to launch a world class machine that can be sold successfully within the target markets across Europe.
Despite the duration of the existing partnership, the CV5-500 still required a completely new approach for both Mazak and PP C&A.
It was agreed that a ‘design’ for cost’ would be present from the very start, in order to ensure commercial viability of the project.
This involved significant collaboration with engineers from PP and Mazak to work through initial designs, identify savings and explore ways in which models could offer different configurations – all from a standardised platform.
“This is all the more impressive when you consider the complexity of the production model and the significant variation and configuration needs of the build,” continued Tony Hague.
“Our ‘Design for Manufacturing (DFM)’ engineers worked closely with Mazak from the outset of the concept, looking at ways in which we can add value, eliminate unnecessary costs and standardise the build process, whilst still being able to deliver greater scope for the customer to configure machines.
“We also take full responsibility for total supply chain management, including working with multiple Japanese manufactured parts to ensure that we reduce the hidden costs that can arise if the customer is having to manage this. Vendor reduction and rationalisation is a big driver.”
PP C&A set-up a dedicated CV5-500 team at its world class manufacturing facility in the West Midlands, with representation from electrical design, production engineering and supply chain specialists overseeing the project.
This involved initial designs being firmed up through 2019 and pre-production prototypes built by the end of last year, with small batch manufacturing at the start of 2020 to look at option configurations.
Thanks to the close partnership approach Mazak UK were able to successfully launch the CV5-500 5-axis machine in March 2020, one month before its expected global debut at MACH 2020.
Despite the UK’s largest industrial show being cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the latest technology has been universally acclaimed by industry and is expected to be one of the Worcester-based firm’s most popular machines with significant sales demand already secured.
PP C&A’s dedicated manufacturing and assembly cell has played a key role in the successful introduction of this model, on-time and at a cost point that works for both the customer and the end-user.
The modular/standard control system and interconnectivity solution is one of the most advanced to date and offers outstanding repeatable accuracy and the flexibility to be configured easily to take into account specific manufacturing requirements.
Dave Fisher (Engineering Director) and Stuart Astley ( Production Director) at Mazak UK, were both delighted at the support their teams received:
“The relationship works so well because we both bring our own areas of expertise to the table, challenging and working through ideas that then provide mutual benefits and unrivalled machining performance for our customers.
“PP C&A is one of our critical partners, supporting our ever-changing needs in both engineering and production.”
This project was always going to be extremely challenging and we are delighted by the success and the ability of PP C&A to support us on this critically important opportunity on a UK designed and built machine.”
Alan Mucklow (Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales & Service Division) at Mazak, concluded:
“The CV5-500 is the latest in a long line of Mazak machines to have been fully designed and built in the UK. Not only does it set a new benchmark in British machine tool building, but it breaks the mould for the compact, fully simultaneous 5-axis machining category as a whole.”
As the years have gone by, the relationship between the two businesses has become more interlinked, with PP C&A increasingly being asked to be involved in the design stage of new machine builds.
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PP Control & Automation has had the opportunity to publish a variety of articles in the UK’s leading journals for the manufacturing industries.
During the design engineering discussions, it quickly became apparent that a more value-added design would be beneficial, allowing for a modular, configurable and pre-wired (Plug & play) style solution with significant benefit.
Inventor-e was established in 2001 as a technology business to provide point-of-use solutions to industrial manufacturers and the facilities management markets.