"The majority of our work is in standard materials such as stainless, mild steel and brass," said Fred Pain, General Manager. "But the work we undertook last year with specialist materials made a significant contribution to turnover and enabled us to develop the additional skills and processes that are necessary to handle the non-standard properties of these specialist materials."
Acro undertook work for the oil industry that required parts precision machined in titanium. Although titanium is very expensive, it is very strong in comparison to it's weight and has proven ideal for the aerospace and automotive sectors.
"Titanium is a hard material and we've found that we have to machine it using neat cutting oil, but the real concern is that it has a low flash point and can catch fire very easily. It's swarf burns with an intense bright white flame," said Fred. "We've found that we cannot run machines unmanned with this material and it is also advisable to have an automatic fire extinguisher fitted to the machine as well as an automatic broken tool detector. Having said this, titanium gives a nice finish and the components perform well in the field. We've found the titanium work very rewarding."
Acro has also undertaken work in Monel. Monel is a high tensile strength nickel-copper alloy that is highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion, salt water, and various acid and alkaline solutions. It is often used for marine engineering, chemical and hydrocarbon processing equipment, valves, pumps, shafts, fittings, fasteners, and heat exchangers.
“Working with these harder materials such as Stainless 316 and Monel used to be quite a challenge,” said Fred. “However, we now track the latest cutting technologies and have also developed a number of new techniques to be able to deliver production volumes quickly and of a consistent quality.”
In recent months Acro has expanded it's established 24 hour CNC turning capability with the introduction of a 4-axis Vertical Machining Centre that incorporates automatic inspection equipment. Acro claims that its new machine has been running at full capacity, almost for the day it was delivered to the factory.
"Over the past 30 years, we've developed a reputation for delivering on time and in spec," said Fred. "So we've applied this thinking to the new milling side of the business and it's been a great success, we're exploring the possibility of a further machine sometime during 2008."
About Acro Precision Technology
With over 30 years' experience in the machining of precision engineering components, Acro represents one of Europe's leading suppliers to the engineering and technology sector. Acro offers specialist low volume prototype development as well as high volume manufacturing and is equipped with a broad range of modern CNC [Computer Numerically Controlled] machinery: -
· CNC lathes with live tooling and 24 hour unmanned production
· Swiss type sliding head automatics
· CNC milling
· Conventional turning/milling/finishing
Customer projects have included components for sports cars suspensions, bomb disposal robots, hospital beds, forecourt petrol pumps, the London Underground, equipment for off-shore oil exploration and production and components for the construction industry.
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