New Alpha lathe a winner for leading WA engineering firm
Where do Australia’s industrial companies go for assistance when they have a big job to tackle?
One of the prominent firms at the heavy end of the spectrum is All-Go Engineering in WA.
Far from struggling to cope with the global recession, the company is investing in even greater capacity.
The company is about to install two additional large and powerful machines to improve still further its exceptional service to such industries as mining and crushing, oil and gas, and railways.
The first is a CNC vertical lathe that can handle four metres in diameter and 1.8m in height. It can also carry 20 tonnes on the table.
The second is a CNC centre lathe that can swing a metre in the gap and is 4m between centres.
The company is located in the heart of Kwinana industrial strip, close to port and rail facilities.
It has been established for several decades, tackling jobs from hundreds of clients, ranging from local contractors to huge international companies.
The modern workshop at Naval Base is equipped with the latest high-tech, fully computerised machinery for optimum speed and accuracy, and includes some of the heaviest duty capacity in the State.
This year, the company won the Rockingham-Kwinana Chamber of Commerce award for Regional Medium Business of the Year, largely due to its commitment to having “quality machines coupled with quality staff.”
Customers in Australia and overseas are eagerly awaiting the pending arrival of the company’s new Alpha 2800 CNC centre lathe.
Purchased from a trusted supplier – 600 Machine Tools and its distributor in WA, Ambassador Machine Tools – the new machine is the top of the line of this globally-famous family of lathes.
“The 30 kW main spindle motor power of the massive Alpha 2800XS, combined with a capacity between centres of up to 4m and a spindle bore of up to 170mm, puts the largest machine in the range into a class-leading position,” said the applications engineer for 600 Machine Tools, Peter Griffiths.
“These ‘heavyweights’ weigh-in at seven tonnes, and are designed for speed, ease of operation, and excellent results with big finished components – not to mention lower unit costs,” Mr Griffiths said.
Managing director of 600 Machine Tools, Sydney-based Cliff Purser, added that the powerful lathes are especially popular with toolrooms working with larger work-pieces.
“The Manual Guide i conversational programming system is standard on all Alpha XS machines for fully-automatic turning. Its strength is that it is effectively a CNC graphical user interface (GUI),” Mr Purser said.
“All the time the machine is working in Manual Guide i, the Alpha’s Fanuc control is creating a CNC programme in the background. This means conversion from conversational mode to CNC mode is instant. It also means industry-standard CNC programmes can be loaded into and out of the control at any time.”
The managing director of Ambassador Machine Tools, Tom Downs, said his company would provide local support for the Alpha 2800XS, as it does for other machines supplied by 600 Machine Tools.
“It is a pleasure to work with such a progressive customer as All-Go Engineering, because its management and workforce not only invest in precision machines but also in staff training,” Mr Downs said.
“This enlightened attitude has achieved success in ensuring high levels of accuracy with minimal risk of error, he said. “Additionally, the company is equipped for flexibility, enabling it to adjust quickly to accommodate urgent jobs when necessary. In fact, it has built a sterling reputation on its customer focus and ‘can do’ approach.”
Workshop manager, Chris Atkins, said: “The Alpha 2800XS complements our existing fleet of state-of-the art machine tools that enable us to deliver high-quality service cost-effectively, and with world-class accuracy. Most of our staff have been with us for many years, and are highly skilled with vast experience in machining and related technologies.
“We constantly strive to achieve continuous development and improvements, and we are committed to training apprentices to ensure skilled tradesmen into the future. At least one new apprentice has been welcomed on board every year since inception.
“One of the biggest worries for any contractor having this type of work done, is that of warranty. Typically, if a job is completed overseas by a low-cost operator, any money saved may be lost many times over if the article, when delivered, is found to be out of spec. By using All-Go, these concerns disappear,” Mr Atkins said.
All-Go Engineering provides mechanical engineering services to clients around Australia and overseas, from one-off jobs to batch work or mass production.
Its Weston Street workshops have been upgraded to 20 tonne overhead crane lift capacity, and now cover 2000 sqm under-roof with a further 1000 sqm of lay-down area outside.
Mr Purser praised All-Go Engineering for its apprenticeships policy, and noted that Australia’s trade schools are now showing interest in the Alpha range of world-class lathes on which to train the engineers of tomorrow.
The Alpha XS Manual/CNC range is available in five versions with a choice of various ‘swing over bed’ and ‘distance between centres’ dimensions for optimum versatility in a wealth of turning applications.
“Fast, easy set-up times and simple operation in all modes are the keys to the Alpha XS Series’ continuing success, Mr Purser said.
“These very affordable machines benefit from the ultra-high speed Fanuc CNC control. These virtues are added to high-quality repeatability and accuracy for turning small-tomedium sized batches, superb surface-finish and, most importantly of all, significantly lower component production costs.
“However, the potential for profit in these capabilities has not been missed by such noted engineering specialists as All-Go Engineering, which has now enhanced its already formidable capacity by installing the biggest centre lathe in the Alpha XS range,” Mr Purser said.
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