5 Star Cases has invested in another Thermwood Model 40 CNC machining centre to help keep pace with its healthy order book, which has experienced phenomenal sales in 2010 following a consistent year in 2009.
5 Star already had 2 Thermwood machines installed in its Wisbech, UK HQ and manufacturing facility, so the choice of another of the same brand was obvious
Thermwood, based in Dale, Indiana, was initially selected back in 1999 when 5 Star made its first investment into CNC manufacturing. Having carried out a comprehensive evaluation of major brands, 5 Star's technical and engineering department again chose Thermwood. The principal reasons are Thermwood's excellent pre-sales service, the equipment's simplicity of use and long term durability, plus good recommendation from a number of references.
Back in 1999, Thermwood was one of the first automated machining manufacturers to employ standard PC based control, whilst most other systems utilised bespoke architecture such as Bosch and Fanuc. Being PC based, standard off-the-shelf parts can be readily sourced, and training is much quicker due to the widely used interface.
All three of 5 Star's CNC machining centres are based around a standard 8' x 4' panel working envelope and feature universal vacuum. This vacuum uses a large format pump to evacuate air through a grid plenum and spoilboard system, and enables panel hold-down without the need for complex and time-consuming clamps and fixtures.
This is ideal for predominantly flat panel case manufacture, whilst other jig systems can be used alongside the existing universal vacuum.
The three CNC machines differ only by the number and type of cutting tools. The first is a 5 position â€˜Bar Type' automatic tool-changer. CNC number 2 has Thermwood's latest model which incorporates a â€˜Typewriter' style 5 position auto tool-changer mounted directly on the spindle. In addition, a further 7 tools are situated at the rear of the table, offering a 12 tool selection in total. The latest machine features an 8 position rotary â€˜Turret' system, where the entire selection of 8 tools are rotated at the head.
Phil Bailey, 5 Star's chief engineer explains, "The latest Thermwood became available back and was an opportunity too good to miss. Once we'd made the decision to invest in a third machine, plans were initiated to ensure the smoothest possible installation with the minimum disruption to production - which took some logistical juggling as we have been absolutely flat out busy throughout the summer!”
The existing two machines were moved, along with the necessary electrical and air services, allowing the third Thermwood to be secured in place.
Bailey concludes, “Having completed the installation and commissioning of the latest machine, 5 Star now has even further capacity to produce cases and foam inserts that require CNC machined parts quickly and efficiently”.
5 Star is renowned for its fast responses and turnaround , along with high quality, robust engineering and the ability to design and build custom projects as required.
For more press info on 5 Star Cases, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. Contact 5 Star direct on +44 (0)1945 427000 or check www.5star-cases.com
Pictured – 5 Star's Phil Bailey with the 3 Thermwood CNC's