British luxury watch manufacturer Bremont made the most of Sandvik Coromant and DMG MORI’s strategic partnership as it introduced a turnkey manufacturing cell to double capacity at its factory.
Luxury watchmaker Bremont Watch Company is a true British manufacturing success story. Founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002, the company specialises in the manufacture of certified chronometers for the aviation sector. These watches are assembled, as well as shock and quality tested, at the manufacturer’s dedicated headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK. Production of the main components, such as stainless steel backs and casings, takes place just a few minutes’ drive away.
High demand and the launch of six new watch designs meant that Bremont’s production capacity had to be increased. To achieve this, the company purchased an NTX 1000, a state-of-the-art 5-axis machining centre from DMG MORI, which is equipped with tool packages from Sandvik Coromant.
The project was six months in the making, explains Mathew Bates, a machine tool investment specialist from Sandvik Coromant’s UK Machine Tool Solutions team. “From the beginning, the objective was to deliver a ‘right first time’ solution,” explains Bates. “We wanted Bremont to be able to use the new system straight away.”
Close collaboration with application technicians from DMG MORI was needed, with regard to the selection of suitable tools.
“We knew that we had to produce six new watches,” says Bates. “As soon as the drawings were ready we met with specialists from DMG MORI to compile a list of standard tools and to determine which special tools would be needed.”
Integrated Automation for 24/7 Operation
The DMG MORI NTX 1000 is equipped with a magazine for 38 Coromant Capto tools, with the option of expanding the capacity up to 76 tools. The turn and mill machine is suitable for turning and high-speed milling in five axes, simultaneously.
Thanks to the bar loader, the machine produces the different stainless steel components around the clock without any operator intervention.
Everything from a Single Source—Tools, Machine, Automation and Programming
Even before the installation of the machine, Frederick Shortt, application technician at DMG MORI, and his development team created and simulated the numerical control (NC) programs with the Vericut computer-aided manufacture (CAM) system.
“Together with Sandvik Coromant we optimised all programs in such a way that as few tools as possible are needed,” says Shortt.
In other words, Bremont only bought what they really needed. As this all took place before the installation, so Bremont was able to start producing from day one.
“This joint optimisation meant that any teething problems were reduced to a minimum and the investment quickly paid off for Bremont,” explains James Rhys-Davies, Strategic Relations Director, Northern Europe at Sandvik Coromant.
“The call for such turnkey solutions will increase steadily. Although the preliminary costs are sometimes a little higher, the benefits of a fast return on investment (ROI) and maximisation of machine availability make such turnkey production cells a very attractive option, as cost per part is generally much lower.”
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