Three machines, one destination


Coventry-based, multi-spindle experts, Wickman have just completed the installation of a new custom-built machine for a USA-based customer. The company is especially delighted that this is the third Wickman CNC multi-spindle that has been purchased by this customer and sees this latest acquisition as a ringing endorsement of their quality, engineering and service.

The machine is the result of a six-month programme of design, investment and sheer hard work. One of the customer’s key requirements was an unloading system with a pneumatic parts catcher, and the in-house team are thrilled with the result, which they describe as clean, simple, tidy and very effective. According to Owen Coyne, Wickman’s Director, this is typical of the company’s approach. Asked about the project, he said, ‘It has certainly been a challenge, but I can honestly say that this machine is one of the best we’ve ever built. We knew at the outset that we had to deliver on every single customer requirement. And not just deliver, but exceed expectations, too. I’m proud of our team, because we’ve nailed it.’

The machine has been bought by a leading manufacturer in the North American fire and pneumatics industry. With a long list of features specified, Wickman were under pressure on both the technical side and to provide superb value for money. Wickman’s engineers set about the task with enthusiasm, looking for innovative solutions and every possible improvement, however small, on what they had done before.

The resulting machine is a 10 axis multi-spindle with 3 CNC cross slides and two CNC independent slides with U-axis capability and a CNC centre block. With a bar capacity of up to 44mm and incorporating all new Cucchi bar-loading technology, the machine also features programmable feed rates, heavy-duty back working, and CNC thread milling and flat generation. In addition, for an efficient, safe and tidy working environment, there is a bundle facility parts conveyor and belt-type swarf management.

Talking about the new addition to his operation’s plant, a representative commented, ‘We had a lot of requirements from this new turning machine, but we had other multi-spindles from the Wickman stable so we knew their build quality and reliability. When we started to talk to them about our requirements, we realized that the guys in Coventry were true problem-solving engineers. After that, everything fell into place.’

‘The three Wickman CNC machines have really transformed our operation: we have more up time and changeovers are faster. Putting it simply, we’ve become a more efficient business.’