Investing in a MECAL CNC machining centre and a MECAL CN mitre saw from Addison Saws of Stourbridge has helped Surrey-based Designplan Lighting reduce customer lead times by up to 50%.
A leading name in specialist robust lighting solutions for transport, social housing, custodial, secure healthcare and urban exterior settings, Designplan Lighting has enjoyed a boom in demand for its high quality aluminium extruded light fittings over recent years. However, with outsourcing both the cutting and machining of aluminium extrusions typically taking several weeks, the lighting specialist decided it was time to extend its already considerable in-house machining capabilities.
“We had initially considered purchasing a mitre saw and a costly 5-axis aluminium milling machine from another source,” comments Designplan Lighting’s Engineering Manager, Rob Aldred. “A meeting with Addison Saws, however, convinced us that this was far from the most cost-effective or production-efficient solution. “With our milling requirements largely surrounding the production of cast bulkhead fittings, Addison was able to demonstrate that our money would be better spent on a high-speed CNC machining centre and mitre saw for extrusions, supported by a small CNC production machine for completing milling work on bulkhead castings.”
MECAL MC 305 Kosmos – 4-axis capability
The CNC machining centre supplied to Designplan Lighting by Addison Saws is an MC 305 Kosmos model from Italian manufacturer, MECAL. Able to machine components of up to 8000mm in length, the MC 305 Kosmos can easily accommodate the longest extrusions used by Designplan Lighting, while its 4-axis operation enables the lighting specialist to drill, mill and tap components in one single operation. Before being machined on the MC 305 Kosmos, profile sections are cut to length using a MECAL SW 453 CN Reverse Vico double mitre saw that has also been supplied by Addison Saws.
Highly robust, with a user-friendly control system, the MC 305 Kosmos CNC machining centre has brought considerable versatility to Designplan Lighting’s product development and manufacturing capabilities, reducing lead times by up to 50%. Significant savings – in both production and capital equipment costs. Perhaps most importantly, Designplan Lighting’s reduction in reliance on outsourcing the machining of its aluminium extrusions has delivered significant savings in production costs – a benefit that is enabling the lighting specialist to remain highly competitive. “We are now able to log every job by material cost and machining time,” adds Rob Aldred, “and already – just one month after the MECAL machines were installed – the savings we are making are considerable. So far we have invested approximately £120,000 in the MECAL CNC machining centre and CN mitre saw from Addison Saws. We now anticipate making a further modest investment in a CNC machine for milling bulkhead housings.
“Had we not spoken to Addison Saws, however, we could have easily spent £250,000 on a 5- axis milling machine. Their sound advice and first class production solutions have not only halved our lead times for aluminium light fittings, but also saved our company a substantial amount.”