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UK manufacturers seek to enhance capabilities with demand for the latest sliding head technology

UK manufacturers seek to enhance capabilities with demand for the latest sliding head technology

Derbyshire-based sliding head lathe supplier, Star Micronics GB Ltd, reports a high level of demand for its eagerly anticipated SX-38 Type A model – with the first UK machine ordered prior to its arrival from the factory.

The latest offering from Star – the “SX Series” – represents years of machine tool research and development to produce the next generation of sliding head lathe technology. Delivering unrivalled metal cutting performance within a modest footprint, the ergonomic SX-38 Type A is a breakthrough model ideal for complex mill-turn parts.

For machining on the main spindle, the SX-38 features a 10-station turret and an opposing 4-station gang-type tool platen. In addition, the fully programmable swivelling B-axis offers 4 driven tools for machining on the main and 4 counter spindles for the sub. Mounted on an independent Z3-axis, the turret utilises Star’s unique quick-mount tool units which maintains compatibility with existing models.

Packed with a range of innovative features, the 12-axis SX model also includes Star’s “super-position mode” for simultaneous machining of two different features, “Star Motion Control” to minimise idle times, hydraulic clamping for the B-axis tool post that provides full 5-axis machining capability, built-in 11kW main and sub spindles for improved metal removal rates, an 8-station back working tool post with Y-axis for increased machining overlap and switchable guide bush and non-guide bush modes for increased versatility.

Weighing in at nearly 6-tonnes, the SX-38 incorporates a rigid 60° slanting bed for greater accessibility and improved chip disposal. In addition, dovetail guideways have been adopted for the X3, Y3 and Y2 axes for increased stability during heavy-duty cutting. Coolant volume has also been optimised without compromising ergonomics with the inclusion of a removable 375 litre wraparound tank.

The very first of the new SX machines has been pre-ordered by Vixen CNC Limited, a specialist supplier of mill-turn components located in Gwynedd, Wales. With 20 existing Star models on-site offering up to 42mm diameter capacity, the acquisition of a new SX-38 further enhances its machine tool portfolio and marks another significant milestone in the growth of the business.

Vixen CNC’s Managing Director, Jake Wood, says: “Remaining at the forefront of the turned parts industry is of great importance to us and our continued investment in the latest Star technology allows us to offer customers unparalleled response times, superior quality and full manufacturing flexibility.”

He continues: “The SX-38 offers significant benefits and further increases our sliding head capabilities. We work with a vast range of materials and supply finished parts to a wide array of sectors including automotive, medical, marine and fasteners. Our new SX machine will give us the ability to explore additional business opportunities and reinforce our position as a leading global supplier.”

Star GB’s Operations Manager, Alec Warner, adds: “The SX-38 offers mill-turn component manufacturers unrivalled metal cutting performance, accuracy and versatility within a compact footprint. We’re delighted with the level of interest the SX has already generated from sliding head users eager to expand their capabilities. Given their recent investment record in high technology machinery, it’s no surprise that Vixen CNC ordered at the earliest opportunity and I’m confident the SX will surpass their expectations.”

Following strong enquiry levels, Star GB predicts that the new SX model will be a popular addition to its comprehensive range of 38mm machines.

Vixen CNC Limited –