Kennewell CNC Machining, a contract machine shop in South Australia, recently invested in a servo-driven Hydrafeed Barfeeder from Dimac Tooling.

Kennewell manufactures everything from parts for agricultural machinery to high-end motorsport and tattooing equipment, specialising in small batches. It is also heavily involved with the production of prototype parts to assist companies bring products to market. Established in 1995, the company has steadily grown and now has a total of 12 staff working over two shifts.

Owner Brett Kennewell and Leading Hand Brett Klose acquired the Hydrafeed Barfeeder to retrofit to an existing CNC lathe and replace the existing pneumatic unit that had come with the unit.

“Our old barfeeder had to be monitored constantly, so was very unproductive,” says Kennewell. “I really don’t like pneumatic equipment; the barfeeder we had has been unreliable and because it ran on compressed air, was expensive to run.

Hydrafeed UK has developed a user-friendly unit with an additional productivity benefit over other barfeeders on the market. Once the bar size is set and the setup has been saved, there’s no need to open the cover again. Simply by calling up the program from the touch screen, the HydraFeed will set itself on centreline automatically, thanks to the servo-drive bar-lifter mechanism.

“The key benefit of the Hydrafeed Barfeeder is that it has increased my productivity by allowing me to run the machine unattended,” adds Kennewell. “It’s essentially given our existing CNC lathe a new lease of life. One other feature is that the Hydrafeed is very easy to use so it doesn’t take long for staff members to become proficient at operating it.”

Standard features include servo control, fully automated set-up through a user friendly HMI screen and the versatility to accommodate different bar diameters and lengths including random bar lengths. A wide variety of models are available to suit any application. Kennewell also benefitted from one-on-one training from Dimac to ensure the barfeeder was installed correctly and operated at optimum performance.

“Dimac’s service was a breath of fresh air,” add Kennewell. “Competitive suppliers seemed reluctant or unable to bring in a machine for me to test, but Paul Fowler (Managing Director at Dimac) brought the Hydrafeed Barfeeeder in and demonstrated the unit.

“It certainly ticked all the boxes. I would recommend the Hydrafeed Barfeeder without hesitation to any company.”