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Friday 16 March 2018

Stephen Cuthbert, Operations Director at hydraulics expert Webtec, explains how the company’s latest investment in manufacturing technology will benefit customers requiring custom-engineered solutions

In the hydraulic products industry, investment in the latest manufacturing technologies is vital for a number of reasons. Not only does it boost competitiveness, it benefits customers by introducing even higher levels of quality and delivery performance.

This ethos applies to all levels of our output, not just full production, but small quantity prototype and pre-production work. With a notable rise in demand for low-volume prototypes in particular, we decided that investment in this key area would provide both our business and that of our customers, with a major boost.

Here at Webtec, custom product design is one of our major market differentiators. We recognise that the needs of our customers are unique, which is why we work hard to understand the exact requirements of the application and then design and supply low-volume customised solutions on short lead times. We achieve this through technical innovation, investment in the latest manufacturing technologies and by using cutting edge IT solutions designed to maximise productivity.

The benefits for the customer of a bespoke solution are multiple. For instance, not only will the product perform better and deliver greater efficiency, but it will be tailored to meet the exact technical and space requirements of the application.

To better facilitate this service to our customers, a specification for a new CNC machining centre was put together by our in-house team based on anticipated future requirements. Factors such as ease-of-programming and through-spindle coolant were high on the list. After a thorough evaluation of the market, we opted for a new Haas VF2.

Component machining is a key part of our business. Before we enter final production, we work hard to ensure parts are suitable for the highly demanding applications in which they are expected to perform. By having a resource such as the new CNC machining centre, customers can rest assured that they are buying a rigorously engineered product.

The acquisition of the Haas VF2 has been complemented by investment in precision machine vices with quick-change jaws and a modular clamping system to ensure accurate and repeatable set-ups. The vices, along with tooling, are housed in a new storage facility featuring a backboard for ease of access. This strategy fits well with our focus on lean manufacturing, which in turn ensures optimum value for our customers.

 

Posted by Webtec

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