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(Above) The XYZ Mini Mill 560 adds variety to the machining centre capacity at Impress.

The growth of Gateshead-based Impress Group has been achieved by diversifying the sectors that it operates in, providing a 24/7 service, and working hand-in-hand with customers to ensure components and assemblies are supplied on time to the highest levels of quality. It has also been supported by investment in manufacturing technology, something that started in the early days of the business.

The group of five businesses provides a diverse range of services from pressings, laser profiling, high volume turned parts, coded welding and general sub-contract machining, but it all started with the creation of a metal pressing and fabrication business in 1997, Impress North East Limited. “We are fortunate in that we work across many different sectors and that has allowed a level of consistency in our business. Based in the north east there is always a tendency to look at heavier industries and the oil & gas sector in particular, but we have resisted that and, while we still count these businesses among our customers, there isn’t a heavy reliance on them, allowing us to continue with minimum impact on our business when one sector may be struggling,” says Impress Director, Jason Young.

The XYZ machines have been excellent workhorses proving to be extremely reliable

“Greg came in to see us and we explained the problem and he immediately suggested looking at the new XYZ 1060 HS high speed VMC. The specification of this machine ticked all of our boxes with the standard 12,000 revs/min spindle and feedrates up to 43 m/min. Not only that, but with through spindle coolant as standard we are able to maximise the machine’s capability on the materials we are cutting, allowing us to reduce cycle times and improve tool life. One other feature that will have an impact on our business is the large z-axis travel of 620 mm on the XYZ 1060 HS machine, which will allow us to target larger components and also give us the capacity to machine welded fabrications,” says Jason Young.

One option that Impress did specify was the installation of Renishaw probing on the XYZ 1060 VMC. Impress has already seen the benefits of tool and component probing on the XYZ 710 and 1020 VMC machines, where it dramatically cuts set up times. Using the probes, parts can be loaded in virtually any position on the table, with the probe and Siemens 840D ShopMill Control then working in tandem to create any offsets that may be required.

One other feature that will have an impact on our business is the large z-axis travel of 620 mm on the XYZ 1060 HS machine, which will allow us to target larger components

The XYZ 1060 HS was installed during January 2015 and is already having an impact on productivity due to its capabilities. “As soon as the machine arrived we were faced with lots of new work for it and while we haven’t sat down and quantified anything yet, our experience tells us that the extra performance gained by the faster spindle and traverse rates will yield cycle time savings. The investment in XYZ machines made by Impress has ensured that it remains at the forefront of providing the production capability demanding from it by its customers, who require anything from a one-off to 1000s off. The versatility of the XYZ VMCs allows Impress to work with customers that need parts on quick turnarounds or those that require a more formal, scheduled approach to component manufacture. Impress backs up this production capability with a full project management service from concept through to completion, bringing together the various resources within the group to provide an almost unique service in sub-contract manufacturing.

(Above) The flagship XYZ 1060 HS VMC is the latest addition to Impress Group’s range of XYZ machine tools.

(Above) The XYZ machines in action utilising the 4th axis facility at Impress

(Above) The XYZ machines in action utilising the 4th axis facility at Impress

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