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One of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest CNC machining centres commissioned

One of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest CNC machining centres has been commissioned in New Zealand.

The 36 station linear pallet automated horizontal machining centre is owned by Christchurch specialised machining company Integrated Hydraulics and will produce hi-spec hydraulic manifolds and a wide range of other precision machined components.

To support this investment the company has also commissioned a next-generation TEM thermal deburring machine and DURR Ecoclean universal cleaning machine.

Apart from a significant lift in manufacturing capacity, Integrated Hydraulics General Manager, Nick Lawry (pictured above), says the new technology will help the company manage highly variable workloads through an unpredictable global economic climate.

“The new machines will allow us to rapidly scale either up or down, without affecting our staff levels,” he said. “With a 36 station loading capacity and true ‘lights out’ automation we now have the ability to expand production instantly to meet any order – big or small.

"We can easily ramp-up production when required, and quickly prove customized ‘one-offs’, without having to find extra skilled staff and, similarly, we can scale production back down, without affecting staff levels. This allows us to retain a long-serving and highly experienced team at all times.”

The TEM deburring machine uses a thermal chemical process to remove burrs that develop during the machining process. Components are placed in a pressure chamber, which is then filled with a gas mixture and ignited. Temperatures between 2500°C and 3000°C burn off the burr.

“In the past deburring was a highly intensive manual process that would tie up skilled staff and slow production,” said Lawry. “This would significantly affect our ability to meet larger orders within tight timeframes.

“The automated cleaning process using the TEM machine in conjunction with the DURR Ecoclean technology will ensure larger and rapidly delivered orders can now enjoy the high levels of QC detail normally only available using long inspection process and high staff numbers.”

Nick Lawry says the company is experiencing very strong growth, after a difficult year in Christchurch and patchy times during the recent recession.

The strongly performing Australian mining industry is leading the way, with Integrated Hydraulics providing manifolds for industry giants such as Bosch Rexroth Australia. The company is also exporting to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“Our strength is in the quality of the product that we produce and our strong engineering and design resource,” says Nick Lawry.

“There are companies throughout Asia that can produce large numbers of manifolds fast. But that often comes with a compromise in quality, consistency and design efficiency.

"We have deliberately focused on acquiring top-of-the-line CNC machining gear, state-of-the-art design software and highly skilled staff. This combination means our products are very well engineered and highly regarded in the marketplace – this is our point of difference.”

In New Zealand, Integrated Hydraulics produce hydraulic manifolds for the transport, marine, forestry and mining industries, a range of precision components and assemblies for a number of New Zealand exporters, and a range of high and low volume custom items for specialised manufacturers.

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