Permanent display at new centre of excellence
Floyd demonstrates sliding head expertise at Citizen
After supporting users of Citizen sliding head turning centres for almost 30 years, Floyd Automatic Tooling now has a permanent presence at the new Citizen Machinery UK facility in Brierley Hill. The company recently hosted its first Open House event at its new Midlands turning centre of excellence.
The new facility welcomed over 300 visitors over the three days and Floyd Automatic Tooling is naturally delighted to support this major manufacturer of sliding head turning centres on a more permanent basis beyond events. Like many Open House events, the Citizen Machinery UK was supported by no fewer than 20 equipment suppliers, but Floyd Automatic is one of just four companies to unusually have a permanent display booth presence adjacent to the new showroom.
Floyd Automatic Tooling’s managing director Richard Floyd says: “We have a long-standing relationship that dates back 30 years and down the years, our innovative tooling solutions have extensively supported the Citizen customer base. Moreover, the expansive range of collets, guide bushes, grippers and machine accessories are continually expanding into specialist solutions that can solve issues for sliding head turned part producers that no other UK company can supply.
“Our ability to provide industry leading tooling packages along with ‘problem solving’ solutions have been acknowledged by Citizen with this permanent booth. We probably have the most comprehensive range of tooling and accessories for sliding head machines in the UK and the ever closer partnership will provide opportunities in the future to combine the resources of Floyd Automatic Tooling and Citizen Machinery product presentations, machining trials and project support and assistance with special applications.”
As well as having a ‘partnership booth’ provided by Citizen, Floyd Automatic was also present in the main showroom during the recent Open House event, where Citizen presented four product launches with an additional 11 machines conducting live machining demonstrations. The 300 visitors were deeply engrossed in the machining technology and there was a huge level of interest in the new compact EVOCUT line parting-off program from Applitec. With the work envelope of sliding head centres becoming increasingly compact and machine kinematics seeing tools clamped ever closer to the workpiece, the improved accessibility of the EVOCUT parting-off program offers simplified and faster insert changes for end users. The range also offers part-off up to Ø44 mm and through coolant supply.
With event visitors clearly focused on reducing non-machining times, the HEB Mini-Plug quick change adaptors for High Pressure coolant also proved a point of interest among the show visitors. The extended HEB Mini-Plug quick change adaptors now include the new Type 1 & Type 2 hose designation that supports hose diameters of just 5 mm, making them perfect for small machine tools. In addition to the need to reduce non-cutting times, event visitors placed an increasing focus on precision. Floyd Automatic recognised this with a high level of interest in the MASA Microconic™ sub-spindle ultra-precision collet system. This revolutionary Microconic system improves precision component machining when holding workpieces from 0.15 to 10 mm diameter in most popular sliding head machines using a sub-spindle dead length collet like the F20, F25 and F37.
The system consists of two major components: the Microconic cartridge, which fits into the sub-spindle collet sleeve, and the Microconic collet that fits into the cartridge. No modifications to the machine are required. The Microconic system has unsurpassed concentricity, produced with a manufacturing tolerance of 3 µm with cartridges guaranteed to be within 5 µm. Over-gripping collets that are so often an issue for standard collets, are also available.
Visitors from throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as Europe were welcomed to the event, taking in the opportunity to see the latest Citizen machines working in tandem with tooling, collets and adaptors from Floyd Automatic Tooling. For further details on how Floyd Automatic can boost your productivity, contact:
Citizen success at Open House brings immediate sales of 15 machines worth over £2.7 million
Citizen Machinery UK’s (CMUK) highly successful, recent 3-day Open House immediately added a further 15 machines, worth over £2.7 million, to its existing order book of record sales involving some 100 Cincom sliding head and Miyano fixed-head turn-mill centres stretching into 2019.
Darren Wilkins, deputy managing director, said: “Over 350 people came through our doors over the three days with several bringing important future projects for us to investigate. This influx of interest was from both OEM and the subcontract sectors and in particular involved oil and gas, aerospace and automotive companies.”
He followed on to confirm that following demonstrations and the ability for visitors to talk face-to-face with applications, service support and finance teams, the area sales engineers have a host of follow-ups and customer visits scheduled which will doubtless create future business well into the next year.
Citizen’s patented Low Frequency Vibration (LFV) programmable chip size machining technology was a major focus of attention adding to the ratio of seven out of every eight orders currently featuring its inclusion. This ratio was confirmed with the interest following the launch of the larger 38 mm capacity bar size of the Cincom L32-VIIILFV sliding head and the Miyano BNA-42GTYLFV moving headstock machines at the event.
From the demonstrations, visitors were able to appreciate how Citizen’s patented development of LFV is a fundamental in the design of the machine. Its ability to control chip size cannot reliably be achieved through simply adding a macro to the programming, an area Citizen revealed it had already investigated and rejected over a decade ago.
To maintain machining integrity the machine structure has to be upgraded for its overall rigidity, vibration damping and drive system performance in order to absorb the rapid oscillation of the cutting tool. As part of the cycle, the tool movement creates, in effect, tens of micron sized air gaps, in synchronisation with the rotation of the spindle.
Darren Wilkins added: “Both new and existing customers were also showing considerable interest in the Cincom ‘Superimposition’ operating control software which enables the simultaneous cutting with up to three tools on fixed head, two spindle, twin-turret, turn-mill centres. From the demonstrations, it could be seen how the added flexibility to remove material from both ends of a component at the same time was able to significantly lower cycle times.
CMUK is also responsible for Citizen and Miyano product ranges in Africa, France, Italy, Middle East, Portugal and Spain which contribute to the current order book of over 100 machines. Indeed, Citizen’s overall European deliveries in 2018 will exceed 1,200 units establishing the company as market leader for Swiss-type sliding head machines as well as the leading brand for providing bar turning solutions. As a result, Europe significantly contributed to Citizen’s worldwide production output of 6,500 machines this year.
Geoff Bryant retires from Citizen Machinery after creating business platform for record sales
A pre-Christmas gathering at Citizen Machinery UK of 79 employees, spouses and partners, plus a group of long-serving retired employees and specialist suppliers, celebrated Geoff Bryant’s 43 years of service, of which 25 were given to the company as managing director.
Significant in the last 12 months in his departure planning role, which involved liaison and progressive hand-over to the new management team of Edward James as MD, Darren Wilkins Deputy MD and Jon Hart as Finance Director, was a record breaking year of trading for the Bushey-based business supporting the ranges of Citizen Cincom CNC sliding head and Miyano fixed head turn-mill centres.
Edward James said: “I must compliment Geoff, who has set such a high standard and raised the profile of the business over so many years. He has created an enviable platform that enables us to further develop the company and its people, in particular, involving keen younger employees. This will enable us to provide customers with the level of support that such a high technology-based product deserves.”
He followed on to describe how with Citizen’s recent announcement of a £2 million investment in a regional facility in the West Midlands is destined to become a European conference facility and has been billed by the Japanese as its European Centre of Excellence. He said: “In particular, the interest and rapid take-up by customers following the launch of the Citizen patented and market leading Low Frequency Vibration (LFV) machining technology on the latest Citizen and forthcoming Miyano machines, means that sales forecasts through 2018 show an even greater level of growth.”
Geoff Bryant has committed further time to serve the machine tool industry and in particular the members of the MTA in his role as its president. He accepted this position following dedicated support of the MACH exhibition through his involvement on the MTA’s Exhibition Committee from 2001, rising to become its chairman from 2005 until late in 2016 when he took over the presidency.
He will continue to be available to provide support to the new management team with the knowledge and experience gained from his initiation to production engineering direct from university in 1974 with NC Engineering under MD Ken Jeffreys and the new to the UK, Citizen NC-controlled product range. He took over as MD in 1991 and was later heavily involved with the negotiations with the Japanese when the company became its wholly-owned subsidiary Citizen Machinery UK in 2006.
Adding to the farewell retirement event, Edward James applauded Godfrey Mills, who has worked with the sales team since 1999. He told the Christmas gathering about his 18 years of adventure keeping up with the rapid machine tool developments and ever expanding and challenging needs of his customer base forever demanding and receiving the benefits from the latest Citizen and Miyano technology. Also congratulated by the MD for long term commitment was customer manager Trevor Haase, who is responsible for post-sales support and was celebrating 30 years of man and boy service to the company.
Geoff Bryant (right) receiving a farewell and handshake from Citizen Machinery UK managing director Edward James