The UK’s leading machine tool supplier celebrated its 25th birthday in style last week, when it showcased its latest manufacturing technologies.

Engineering Technology Group (ETG), which recently acquired HK Technologies, threw open the doors of its Wellesbourne Headquarters to give over 450 industry delegates the latest insight into the world of turnkey solutions, with two new product launches, a UK debut for the Nakamura MX100 and an in-depth look at the latest additive manufacturing and wire EDM machines.

Orders for four new CNC machines were taken during the two-day event, which was used to celebrate the firm’s milestone birthday and to reinforce the growing demand for ‘lights-out’ manufacturing, automation and machine tools that offer world class precision and increased flexibility.

Sub-contract manufacturers involved in automotive, aerospace, medical and renewables were interested in the new Quaser UX500 twin pallet machine (with 15k to 24k rpm spindle), the dynamic 5-axis simultaneous machining power of the bavius TR80 Machining Centre and the compact footprint and powerful performance of the Chiron DZ15 machining cell.

Reinforcing the turnkey excellence focus, there was also Hyfore workholding, Filtermist oil filters, Blum-Novotest laser measuring systems, a Robojob Turnassist and the latest robot from ABB present.

Martin Doyle, Managing Director of the Engineering Technology Group, commented: “We wanted to make a big statement for our 25th and I believe we’ve achieved this, bringing the latest machine tools, automation and additive manufacturing technology to the UK.

“Our customers are telling us they want more ‘lights-out manufacturing’, machines that take up a smaller footprint and twin pallet capability so they can work quicker and smarter.”

He continued: “Yes, there’s a bit of uncertainty out there, but firms recognise the need to stay ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to technology. By investing in new solutions that we can bespoke to their requirements, they can reduce cycle times, improve lead times and look at taking on increasingly complex components.”

“We have to aim to be an extension to their production team and this is our focus going forward.

“It was also great to see so many of our technical partners exhibiting their own unique products and services, including Hydrafeed, Ceratizit, Bott and Jemtech.” 

Industrial Revolution

The ETG Open House gave the company the ideal opportunity to introduce its new business HK Technologies to the market, with technical experts on hand to talk through Balance Systems, the Mitsubishi Wire EDM MV12000, Markforged’s MetalX metal printer and X7 Desktop Series for composite printing and 3D Systems’ ProJet MJP 2500 plus that provides bespoke parts and industry-leading attention to detail.

Gareth Jones, the new Managing Director at HK, used the event to promote the importance of educating industry to the true benefits of additive manufacturing and why more companies – both large and small – need to see it as a way of delivering prototypes and low/medium volume production.

He also highlighted how additive technology fits into the ETG and Hyfore portfolio, offering manufacturers quick turnarounds for bespoke workholding, jigs, fixtures, soft jaws and robot grippers.

“When 3D printing first burst onto the scene, the sector got caught in the trap of making it too mainstream for domestic users, encouraging a scenario where we’d all own a printer at home and we’d start making our own mugs for example,” explained Gareth.

“That’s not the reality. Instead, it needs to be seen as a next generation production technology, capable of producing repeatable quality, quickly and cost effectively. We’ve got a major task on our hands to get this message across and, one of our main aims for the future, is getting the technology out there and firms using it.”

He concluded: “There are a lot of new materials being developed and released to support changing industrial applications, not to mention the implementation of easy-to-use software. These factors – combined with the new technology and our internal technical experts – are helping us deliver tangible, bottom line results to our customers. It’s an opportunity the sector needs to make more of.”

For further information, please visit www.engtechgroup.com or follow @engtechgroup/@hk_technologies on twitter.

Technology Specification at a glance:

Markforged Onyx Desktop Series allows users to input bespoke designs and receive high-precision, lightweight components that can be repeat manufactured with ease. The desktop nature of the unit means it occupies a tiny footprint.

  • Parts can be designed to exact specifications
  • Parts are printed from strong, lightweight materials
  • Parts can be produced automatically overnight
  • Unbeatable precision

3D Systems’ ProJet MJP 2500 IC is capable of producing wax castings for the production of bespoke parts, while at the same time providing unbeatable surface finish and return on investment. This additive manufacturing solution provides toolless production of 100% wax casting patterns.

  • Allows for extremely high-precision parts to be created quickly, easily and affordably
  • Perfect for bespoke high-precision casting
  • Small footprint
  • Excellent return on investment

Mitsubishi Wire EDM MV1200 provides industry-beating production benefits with the promise of a rapid return on investment. The lack of friction, courtesy of the magnetic motion innovations, result in great machine durability.

  • Tubular direct drive converts energy directly into movement without friction
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Automated wire threading around the clock

Nakamura-Tome AS200LMSY with Robojob Turnassist allows for greater process automation for manufacturers looking to streamline production.

  • Robojob Turnassist provides automatic loading and unloading
  • Linear guideways on all axes
  • Ultra-compact footprint
  • All Fanuc, CNC control and servo drives

Nakamura-Tome MX100 is a multi-tasking machine with ATC, lower turret and 5-axis capabilities.

It utilises 96 tools and occupies a minimal footprint in spite of its 17 tonne weight for superior rigidity.

  • 21% less power consumption
  • No lube oil necessary
  • 30-day autonomy
  • Compact design

Quaser Bridgeport MV214 vertical machining centre with Lehmann 4th axis and Hyfore workholding trunnion, showcasing battery box manufacturing.

This machining cell is designed to facilitate high power, flexible machining, capable of handling a load capacity of 2000kg.

  • Compact footprint
  • High power machining

Bridgeport Hardinge XR1000 with ABB SC3000 automation, producing automotive parts. This cell also featured a BIG-PLUS dual contact spindle system for advanced machining.

  • Reliable production
  • Vision-guided robotic loading
  • Advanced digital control systems
  • Spindle drives powerful enough to machine the toughest materials

Chiron DZ15 compact double-spindle 5-axis machining centre, ideal for precise and dynamic machining capabilities with a compact footprint.

It also boasts easy-to-access service areas and maintenance is made easy.

  • Mineral case machine bed
  • Compact footprint
  • Fully enclosed work area
  • Low-maintenance and high durability

Nakamura-Tome WT150II with Hydrafeed Barfeed and Rotarack finished part collector.

This complete machining cell has been composed with automation in mind, allowing for adaptable and variable machining combinations.

  • Barfeed allows for maximum automation
  • Rotarack part collector safely and automatically collects finished parts
  • 48 tools can be permanently available
  • Up to 26KW cutting power available for turning shaft-work with synchronised spindles

Quaser Bridgeport UX500, equipped with Erowa compact 80 pallet system, provides simple loading and high production standards. Equipped with an advanced computer interface, this cell can help bring processes closer to Industry 4.0.

  • High spindle speed
  • 200kg table load capacity
  • 500 x 350 max workpiece size

Quaser Bridgeport HX504, with bespoke Hyfore workholding, can work under high load requirements.

  • Dual pallet capability
  • High spindle speed
  • 900mm workpiece height

Bavius TR80 high precision 5-axis machine, with waste swarf briquetting. The latter can be sold on or recycled, in order to increase profitability.

  • Large range of spindles
  • Compact design with small footprint
  • Numerous automation options available