Unicut celebrates its relationship with Houghton 1 year on
With over 25 machines on the shop floor producing beyond 15 million parts a year, Unicut Precision is a subcontract manufacturer with a difference. With a variety of high-end fixed and sliding head turning centres, Unicut prides itself on investment state-of-the-art technology.
This investment drive has recently seen the Welwyn Garden City machine shop invest over £760,000 in six Citizen sliding head machines and a fixed head Miyano BNA 42SY turning centre. Running its machine shop 24 hours a day, Unicut considers itself a ‘contract manufacturer’ that works in tandem with OEM’s and Tier 1 companies to deliver cost-down production philosophies to long term projects. It is this partnership with globally renowned companies that led Unicut to implement cutting fluids from Houghton International.
Having met at an Eaton Hydraulics Global Supplier convention, the relationship between Unicut and Houghton flourished. Prior to the intervention of Houghton, Unicut was purchasing fluids from a number of sources, something that can have a negative impact. Houghton’s Business Development Manager, Kevin Lambdon explains, “We currently supply Unicut with our Macron 402 M12 neat mineral oil for the sliding head machines, the Houghto-Drive HM Series with a 100 viscosity for the barfeeds, the Houghto-Drive hydraulic oil with a 32 viscosity for machine lubrication and the Slideway Stay-Put G68 for the machine slideways. As a manufacturer of oils, we harmonise our products to prevent each oil having a negative impact upon the other products in the event of products mixing together.”
Gary Garner, Production Supervisor at Unicut Precision speaks about the positive impact Houghton products have had on the business, “The Houghton products are excellent. We get next day delivery, the quality of the oil is outstanding and it’s extremely cost effective. With regards to performance the oil is noticeably improving our tool life with improvements beyond 25% already being recorded. This is a significant cost saving for Unicut. Additionally, there is no pungent odour that is a common problem with cutting fluids.”
Production Manager Glenn Poleykett elaborates, “We run 24 hour production machining steel, stainless steel, brass, plastic and much more. Nearly every job we produce is lights-out and this is essential for our business to remain competitive. An essential part of lights-out production is our use of lubricants. We use the Houghton fluids for our barfeed units and a variety of other Houghton fluids throughout the factory. With regard to quantifying the savings, the tool life is already being extended considerably; and as the Macron mineral oil in the sliding head machines has been enhanced with additives, this is reducing our oil consumption and the respective costs.”
Our Managing Director, Jason Nicholson commented on the production scheduling and how the new machines run, concluding, “Our sliding heads typically run batches from 50 to 50,000 parts around the clock, and three of the new machines have already been committed to OEM customers and their long term production needs. Running on this basis, machine utilisation rates are core to our success. The Houghton oils are improving our uptime and reducing our tooling consumption and the consequent tool changeovers. This is a huge benefit to a business like Unicut.”