Sodick Fast Hole driller exceeds customers expectations by 200%

Case Study: James Walker Moorflex. Bingley West Yorkshire.

Case Study: James Walker Moorflex. Bingley West Yorkshire.

Machine – Re-furbished K1CN Full CNC Fast hole drilling machine.

Bingley (West Yorkshire) based James Walker Moorflex are experts in their field, manufacturing complex form high precision metal compression seals predominately for use in the oil and gas fields sector, serving some of the biggest players in this critically demanding global marketplace.

Faced with an unprecedented increase in demand for their product, a manufacturing bottleneck was building in their production line. This was due to the need to drill a small 1.5mm diameter hole in each of the seals they produce. In more complex components the hole required was at two angles to one another and had to meet mid-point in the ring. Usually a small hole of this size would not be such a problem, but in this case the materials used are 316 Stainless steel, Inconel 718 and Incoloy 825 all of which are especially difficult to conventionally drill. In addition the volume’s required were demanding an operative full time, drilling these tricky holes.

Wanting to implement modernisation to this area of their production – having recently invested heavily at their facility on new lathes and machining centres – James Walker Moorflex turned to Sodick for a high speed drilling solution, Works Manager Clive Smith explains. “ Fast hole EDM drilling quickly became the obvious way forward for us – once we had visited Sodi-tech’s impressive Coventry Technical Centre.”

“Giles Walker – Sodi-tech’s northern area sales manager arranged for us to conduct test cuts using the fast hole driller in their showroom.”

“The speed trial results were outstanding and were in fact around 4 times faster than the competitor machines we compared it to – it was a no brainer really especially when you realise that the frontal burn and central flushing the Sodick machine delivers makes for a remarkably smooth sided hole too.”

Production Manager Andrew Meredith continues, “What we really wanted was a full CNC hole driller so we could multi- load and leave the machine to drill un-manned. The cost of this would have been over our budget. So when Sodi-tech came back to us and offered us a fully re-furbished Pre owned K1CN full CNC fast hole driller at a price our MD would agree to, our needs were met perfectly.”

“We had viewed Sodi-tech’s in-house refurb department during our earlier visit and were very impressed by what we saw, because of this, we had no hesitation in placing the order for the refurbished machined offered.”

With a warranty, full applications back up and full machine training in place the machine was delivered to James Walkers Bingley production facility in early January 2012 and was literally thrown in at the deep end as it had to be productive from day one.

Operator Scott Elliott (aged 23) who has served his apprenticeship with James Walkers explains “When Clive and Andrew asked me to take ‘ownership’ of the Sodick I was up for the challenge, this was new technology and method for us so I wanted to be part of it. I have to say that the training we were given was excellent and that the machine itself does exactly what we need it to, program writing is really easy and machine set up for the many different jobs we do is simple and straight forward.”

Clive added “ We are now able to easily keep ahead of the production flow due to the machines cutting speed, and to allow us to improve set up and change over’s we have now also invested in a rapid change over tooling and fixturing system for the Sodick which will further improve matters.”

“I want to see more EDM capability at this site in the future and we will certainly be talking to Sodi-tech about this.”

“Our Sister company in Cumbria had already purchased a new Sodick wire machine and when I enquired to them about how good their Sodick kit was – they basically confirmed for us to go for one ourselves – they were absolutely right, we are indeed very impressed!”