experience could do it. And the great thing is that once we've produced a program, we can store it indefinitely on cassette, for future use. Occasionally, Pullmax P211 we take a program off a cassette and modify it for an almost identical job. " Off-line programming facilities can Gives Aircraft also be provided for the P211, if required. A range of feeding rates and fast positioning speeds can be catered for Fabricators Flying and, despite its compact, 'C-frame' construction, the P211 can handle a full-size 2m x lm sheet without reposi Start in CNC tioning, permitting the production of long, complex components in one piece and increasing the number of smaller components which can be produced from a single sheet in one operating cycle. ideal introduction to CNC punching Aircraft component fabricators SPD Cycle times are minimised by the use Fabrications, of Moseley, Lancashire, and nibbling for the small to medium of single-stroke punching and the paten made a flying start in automated workshop. ted, semi-automatic, quick-change tool manufacturing, thanks to Pullmax's To avoid the need to re-program ing system, which cuts toolchanging P211 CNC punching and nibbling existing designs, the P211 has a unique times to seven seconds. As a result the machine. template following facility. The operator machine, once programmed, turns out simply drives the punch head around The changeover from manually con components at up to five or six times the any existing template, even a develop trolled to modern CNC equipment is rate of manual machinery. ment model, and the machine control never easy, no matter how desirable the "Our production programme consists system digitises the shape and stores it in improvements in turnround times and chiefly of short runs, but we do have memory. Most new work, however, is repeatable quality may be, and SPD's some longer runs of 100 or 200 items," programmed via the console and VDU managing director, Bob Orme, spent says Bob Orme. "The P211 saves us screens; but this need hold no fears for some time looking at what was available time on the longer runs and gives us the even the most complete novice to CNC before making the decision to purchase same bulk production economies on the work. the P211. shorter ones. And once a run is under "We were turning out components Simple instructions, in clear English way, the operator can keep an eye on it (or any of six other languages) appear on manual nibbling machines, but they while he gets on with something else." on the VDU screen and the operator were becoming more and more of a Though primarily aimed at the smaller responds by keying in parameters and bottleneck", he explains. "If a long run establishment, the P211 has also proved was in progress smaller jobs could be choices directly through the keyboard. useful to some larger organisations as an held up for ages, and the operator was It's almost as simple as drawing money economical supplementary machine, from a bank cash machine! And tied to the machine while it was avoiding the need to break into tightly resident programs for standard features working. Toolchanging could be very organised production runs for specials like straight lines, circles, arcs and rows time-consuming on complex shapes and or trial models. supporting and manipulating long of holes speed up the process. components for the various stages in the "Our first operator picked it up very operation was a job in itself. quickly," recalls Bob Orme, "and we've Pullmax Ltd, Maple Park, Lowfields got two more people trained up now. To Avenue, Leeds LS12 6HH. Tel: (0532) "But we had a huge library of templates from previous contracts and be honest, I think anyone with workshop 778330. we knew that a lot of our future business would come from repeat orders. If we had to keep falling back on manual methods, a new CNC machine wouldn't be earning its keep, but we didn't fancy the job of translating all the templates into computer language, and then programming them into a machine's memory. And, of course, there was the question of who would do the prog ramming: certainly we didn't have anyone with that sort of experience in- house, though we did have one operator with experience of working on a fairly sophisticated router." Fortunately, the P211 was designed with just such a situation in mind, as an 24 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERING — November 1990
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1990
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