Precision engineering firm invests in British-built 5-axis machinery

A leading Leicester-based precision engineering company has reaffirmed its commitment to high-quality, high-accuracy production by becoming one of the first to invest in Yamazaki Mazak’s new, British-built CV5-500 simultaneous 5-axis machining centre.

JWA Tooling (JWA) is a specialist provider of high-precision manufacturing solutions to some of the world’s largest blue-chip companies, with capabilities including precision CNC milling, turning and wire EDM.

The company had previously invested in a Mazak VCN-530C vertical machining centre to meet customer demand for larger batch sizes. Since its installation in November 2019, the machine’s reliability and speed has proved vital to JWA’s day-to-day operations, freeing up its highly skilled workforce to take on more complex tasks.

To build on the success of their previous machine, JWA has now invested in another VCN-530C, and purchased one of Mazak’s first state-of-the-art 5-axis CV5-500 machining centres. Conceived, designed and built in the UK, the CV5-500 is unique in its category due to its high-rigidity bridge construction with a fully supported trunnion table that travels in the Y-axis direction under the bridge, ultimately delivering an extremely accurate and compact machining solution.

The CV5-500’s 12,000 rpm spindle is capable of a peak performance of 18.5 kW and 119.4 Nm, making it suitable for the wide range of materials JWA works with. Its rapid traverse rates of 36 m/min in the X-, Y- and Z-axes also allows for highly agile performance, and it can process work pieces up to Ø500 mm x H320 mm, and up to 200 kg in weight.

This 5-axis capability will enable JWA to increase the manufacture of high-quality parts and reduce the amount of operations required for job set-ups. Additionally, the CV5-500’s compatibility with a wide variety of automation systems will allow the company to implement ‘lights out’ machining, further expanding its overall production capacity.

Peter Wood, Operations Director at JWA, comments: “In order to take that next step as a business and take on larger orders, we needed precise, automation-ready machine tools that could operate with minimal manual production. With these aims in mind, it was clear that Mazak were the first choice.

“We were really impressed with the first VCN-530C we purchased – it was a clear step above everything that we had used so far. Previously, when customers asked for increasingly accurate machining within five microns or less, we achieved those tolerances by constantly tweaking our old machine, but now we don’t have to do that with our new units.

“We’ve been very impressed with Mazak as a company, and liked what we saw when we went to the Open House event at their Worcester HQ in December last year. It was here we saw the new CV5-500, which caught my eye immediately. Frankly, it’s just a great machine – it’s well-built, and the best 5-axis machine I’ve seen at that price point by far, so we thought we would take the plunge. We’ve certainly got high hopes for it going forward.”

Alan Mucklow, Managing Director UK & Ireland Sales & Service Division at Yamazaki Mazak, adds: “JWA Tooling is a fantastic example of a British business using high-precision machining centres to increase output quality and volume. We are very happy to have seen the transformational effect the VCN-530C has had on their day-to-day operations, and are extremely confident our new CV5-500 can deliver a further step-change in productivity.

“As the latest in a long line of Mazak machines to have been fully designed and built in Britain, the CV5-500 breaks the mould for the compact, fully simultaneous 5-axis machining category. Because of its easy integration with ancillary automation systems, we have every confidence it will deliver the ‘lights out’ machining capability JWA require to take their business to the next level.”

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