Precision engineering company Archer has expanded its domestic and international manufacturing capabilities with the acquisition of a fourth Okuma CNC machine – the Okuma MB-56VA.

“We first invested in Okuma in 2007 and since then we have increased the size of our purchases each time,” said Managing Director Brad Byrne. “To remain competitive you have to have the best world-class equipment.

“The reason behind getting the MB-56VA was to strengthen our standard engineering output and to diversify into other areas of work to meet the needs of new customers. We have seven- and nine-axis Okuma multi-tasking machines for the complex tasks and this takes care of mainstream jobs for our customers in Australia and overseas.”

The Okuma MB-56VA is a three-axis vertical machining centre with a high-speed, 40-taper, 15,000rpm spindle and 22kW VAC integral motor. It has a work area of 1300mm by 560mm. The compact (2,500m x 3,100mm footprint) mill features Okuma’s Thermo Friendly Concept (TFC) and Collision Avoidance System (CAS).

TFC accounts for the amount of heat generated in and around the machine space and uses sensors and feed axis position data to control against thermal deformation during machining to maintain cutting accuracy. CAS runs real-time simulation of the cutting path milliseconds before cutting takes place in order to detect any clashes and it will shut down the machine to prevent damage.

“As with our other Okumas, we heavily customised this machine”, added Operations Director Russ Byrne, who runs the third-generation family owned company alongside his brother. “So it has the 32-position auto tool-changer as well as other optional upgrades. These ensure that we have the full capability we need to take on new and different projects in the future.

“From the time we ordered the MB-56VA to installation, commissioning and starting its first job was less than a month and it has been flat out ever since. It gives us the confidence to take on all kinds of precision and zero-fail projects from anywhere in the world. A good example of this is the sophisticated scientific laboratory plunge-test tunnels we designed and manufacture for international manufacturers of fire sprinkler systems.”

Steve Norbis, Branch Manager – NSW, Okuma Australia, said: “What is exciting about our partnership with Archer is their positive attitude towards quality and customer satisfaction. Brad and Russell are not just looking for standard machine tools. They invest in options that enhance productivity for their business. In turn, this helps them to be competitive and offer quality far beyond normal expectations. Okuma is proud to be partnered with such a visionary customer such as Archer Enterprises.”