Operations

Operationally, we have distinct groups of turning machines which allow us to offer you such a wide choice.

Meet our Stars
(Sliding Head CNCs for complex components of all sizes and volumes)

The most dramatic change over the last few years has been the huge investment into sliding head CNC machine technology. Wilco have purchased three brand new Star SR20RII and two brand new SR32J sliding head C.N.C. lathes and six used SA12/16 ones, as part of a company acquisition, to bringing the C.N.C. machine total to fifteen.

The machines (pictured) are the latest generation 6 axis machines from Star Micronics incorporating a powerful sub-spindle, up to 24 cutting tools, full C-axis to both spindles and powered milling/drilling units. This means that even the most complex components are machined complete without the need for any secondary operations. This increases the consistency and quality of the components they produce and shortens the lead time to customers. The machines now run 24 hours a day up to 7 days a week to maximise their utility. More investment is planned to further this area of operations to improve once again the machining options available for our customers.

Short order section
(for simple parts in low volumes)

Recently installing a section of 6 Emi-Mec sprints to cover low volume work from 3 to 52mm diameter, created a new short order section. This allows any parts required in say less than 1,000 lots to be tackled with the correct machinery i.e. quick to set up, and isolate the impact of low volume work from the general operations thereby ensuring that overall delivery performance is maintained.

This has led to a marked reduction in the demand for changeovers on the conventional machines, shortening of the lead times for all machining sections by removing low volume demand from them, and more efficient secondary operation turning due to their ability to semi-automate additional operations where required.

Single-spindle Autos
(Medium to High volume; low to medium complexity up to 52mm diameter)

This machine type is the workhorse of traditional turned parts manufacture. Being mechanical cam operated machines means that cutting operations can be automatically overlapped. For example the outside form or diameters can be machined at the same time as the centre is being drilled, which optimises the cutting time and reduces the idle time considerably.

The fast cycle times and accuracy of these machine types mean that most components that do not require milling or complex work can be produced in a very cost effective manner.

Wilco employ over 70 of these machines in three distinct capacity groups. This allows us to standardise on machine types within those three groups for capacity planning purposes whilst offering a large physical size capability from 3 52mm diameter.

Multi-spindle Autos
(High volume; medium complexity to 45mm diameter)

Machining six bars of material at the same time allows this section of machinery to produce turned parts at very quick cycle times. This is ideal for higher volumes of work where piece price is more critical.

Components are broken down into separate smaller machining operations that are achieved concurrently. This gives huge cycle time advantage although set up times and tooling costs tend to be higher. On larger volumes of turned parts however, the increased set up and tooling costs become negligible compared to the running time.

Centreless grinding

High specification surface finished and tight tolerance diameters are achieved on conventionally machined parts using centreless grinding. The parts are guided onto a large grinding wheel that gradually reduces the diameter. The process is continuous, where further parts are introduced from a vibrating hopper or manually if the part geometry dictates it.

Barrel Deburring

Unwanted burr produced during the machining cycle can be removed from the turned parts by barrelling. The turned parts are placed into a barrel of ceramic stones. The movement of the parts and stones causes an overall grinding action that reduces or removes prominent areas of the parts and improves the surface finish. The barrelling speed and time is automatically controlled to gain consistent results.

Aqueous Parts Washing

To remove unwanted oil and grease, Wilco have installed a Tristar continuous parts washer. The components are progressed through a three stage washing process by an Archimedes screw. The components are immersed in a detergent solution, spray washed and finally dried before exiting the machine. Rust inhibitors added to the detergent solution allow for both ferrous and non-ferrous parts to be handled.

Latest News


16/05/2017
Extra Stars: More sliding head turned parts capacity
Two additional Star Sliding head CNC have been added to the machining capability. An SR32J 32mm spi...

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16/05/2017
LED Lighting
Out with the old and in with the new...as part of our environmental review, we have installed new LE...

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16/05/2017
Fixed Head Expansion: New Daewoo Lynx L220CY
We've added a new fixed head machine with C and Y axis. The machine will turn 65mm bars and with an...

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27/08/2014
See us in action
A new video has been produced to show customers what we do and how we do it.  The short video i...

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06/01/2014
Shirley Engineering joins the fold.
In January 2013, Shirley Engineering was aquired by Wilco Manufacturing.  The plant, equip...

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06/01/2014
New Multi Axis Fixed Head CNC
A new Miyano BNJ 51SY5 was installed in October 2012 to add to the diversity of parts that can be ma...

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14/12/2010
Another one?
November 2010: New Star SR20J Additional capacity requirements have led to another brand new machin...

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14/12/2010
Whiz Bang measuring equipment
November 2010: New Tesa Optiv Classic TP Following the installation of the TESA Scan 50 Plus in 200...

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