Micro-Precision, a specialist manufacturer of precision components, is now the exclusive UK distributor for S&T Dynamics GHO-200 gear cutting machines. These high-precision yet cost-effective CNC machines are manufactured in South Korean, but Micro-Precision believes the quality is equal to that available from European manufactures. Furthermore, because Micro-Precision is a gear manufacturer, and is using the S&T machines for its own production in a variety of materials including exotics, the company says it will be able to provide customers with technical support that is at least as good as that available from conventional suppliers of gear cutting machines.
Currently Micro-Precision is offering the GHO-200 gear hobbing machine, but S&T Dynamics also manufactures larger hobbing machines, shapers, shavers, deburrers and associated accessories, some of which Micro-Precision may offer in the future. Micro-Precision's faith in the capabilities of the machines is reflected in the fact that it has two new S&T machines in its own 20,000sqft precision-manufacturing facility, which are used for its own production and for customer demonstrations.
Indeed, before making the decision to act as a distributor, Micro-Precision made sure the machines could meet the demands of the aerospace industry – with extensive inspection and testing of machined components before they were shipped. Once the machines and the manufactured components passed Micro-Precision's exhaustive quality control standards, the decision was made to distribute the machines. Moreover, Micro-Precision's experience with the machines has proven that they are equally suitable for high-precision production of small and large batches, with the machines being capable of holding sizes to within a few microns even on larger batches.
Hobbing machine details
S&T's gear machines are said to be easy and quick to program; all that is required is the cutter specifications, the workpiece specifications and the cutting conditions. Customers can specify either Siemens of Fanuc controllers.
There are two GHO-200 machines installed at Micro-Precision in constant use and available for inspection and machining trials. Having the two machines in operation in the UK by the vendor means that any prospective purchasers can draw upon first-hand experience on set-up and operating procedures, plus the capacity to subcontract work and train operators on the machines before new machines are delivered, thereby aiding changeovers and ensuring any purchaser is up and running quickly and smoothly, with the ability to ramp up production progressively.
GHO-200 hobbing machines have a maximum workpiece diameter of 200mm and maximum workpiece module of M4.5 (120 DP minimum). The centre distance (from workpiece to hob) can be between 15 and 215mm. By utilising a zero-backlash torque motor for the table, rather than the more usual worm drive, the machines achieve excellent rigidity. Another feature that helps to increase overall machine rigidity - and, therefore, precision - is the one-piece cast iron frame. Components such as bearings, slideways, motors and controls are standard items that are available globally, so reliability should be excellent and long-term maintenance straightforward.
The machines can be operated in wet, dry or semi-dry (oil mist) modes, depending on the customer requirements. One or two hobs can be mounted on the arbour; with a hob clamping system that uses disc springs and a hydraulic quill, hob setting is said to be very quick.
Programming is also quick thanks to the Global User Data (GUD) environment. Programs can also be exported or transferred between machines using memory cards.
Micro-Precision is supplying the machines as complete packages, including features such as facilities for producing crowned gears, tapered gears, helical gears, skiving, beburring, plus all necessary software and a hub centring unit. The machines are CE marked by the manufacturer in South Korea, and Micro-Precision has also had an independent engineer assess the machines, which were found to be fully compliant with the Essential Health and Safety Requirements of the Machinery Directive.
Service and support
With clients across a great many industries, including civil, military, aerospace, medical, general industrial and motorsport, Micro-Precision is committed to exceptionally high quality standards and is happy for potential customers to visit its premises and see the machines working in a production environment. The company is also more than happy for customers to test the machines with their own parts prior to purchase.
If a client purchases a machine, Micro-Precision can offer training in a production environment, including part programming, tooling and product development. World-class service support is also part of the package, with preventative maintenance, breakdown cover and out-of-hours technical support.
Micro-Precision says that the S&T Dynamics machines are almost half the price of equivalent machines from Europe, and are therefore a very attractive, lower-risk alternative to buying and refurbishing second-hand machines. If required, Micro-Precision can put customers in contact with Lombard for finance, as Lombard has assessed the machines and is impressed by their capabilities and their investment value (each case will, of course, be assessed on its own merits).
For full details of the GHO-200 gear hobbing machine's extensive features and technical capabilities, contact Stephen Whitehead at Micro-Precision on +44 (0)1442 241027.