All the diecasting machines at a foundry have 6-axis robotic part handling, and three have automatic on-line vision inspection, to provide the right casting 100% of the time.
When the PMS Diecasting foundry commissioned its latest Frech hot chamber machines in October 2007, it marked a significant occasion in a five-year diecasting shop revolution Frech reported that in 2001, the PMS was dependent on the performance of two trusty but ‘mature’ EMB and Italpresse machines.
Now, PMS claims to operate one of the UK’s most well-equipped and automated high pressure zinc diecasting foundries.
PMS disconnected the EMB machine in 2005.
Then later, the Italpresse machine was replaced by two DAW 80F machines.
These have RealTime Control (RC).
Frech told manufacturingtalk that PMS is committed to RC, which has since become almost compulsory for any diecaster with a future.
PMS’ investment in RC paid off in terms of significantly improving casting consistency and dimensional accuracy.
Since the first two Frech machines were installed at PMS RC has appeared on the specification sheet for every machine it has purchased since.
To-date PMS operates two Frech DAW 20s and four Frech DAW 80s.
All the Frechs have 6-axis robotic part handling, and three have automatic on-line vision inspection, "which means that our customers get exactly the right casting 100% of the time," said PMS technical director Gordon Panter.
He added: "We have the capacity to make over 200,000 castings a day here now, so really we couldn’t afford to be without it".
Panter said: "We’re also turning over stock 100 times or more a year, and the machines we now have at our disposal means that we have sufficient capacity to produce eight- as well as four-impression castings; in fact everything that present customers are likely to require from us in the foreseeable future." PMS does more than die casting, it also offers machining too.
The machine shop performs reaming, broaching, drilling and tapping and offers a rapid prototyping service jointly with an associate.
PMS’ next investment will be a production management system that will make sure that the total capacity of the Frechs is used in the most efficient way possible.
PMS’ policy of success through investment has not gone unnoticed by those charged with the task of vitalising local industry.
Frech told manufacturingtalk that PMS gained a grant under the ‘Invest for Growth 2 Scheme’ The UK scheme supports ‘ambitious projects to encourage growth and create a positive impact on the economy’.