Heckert X40 machining centre enters the Factory of the Future

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​A Starrag Heckert five-axis horizontal machining centre has joined a series of other multi-axis Starrag-supplied machines in a Starrag-dedicated machining area at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory of the Future.

Previously successfully applied to a dedicated machining project in another AMRC building in Rotherham, the Heckert X40 now complements Starrag STC 1250 and Ecospeed machining centres, as well as a multi-axis Bumotec s191 turn-mill/machining centre and NB251 high speed blisk machining centre in the Factory of the Future, ready to tackle varying machining and manufacturing projects.

Established in 2008, the Factory of the Future houses an array of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment to enable partner companies and project sponsors to develop and trial new technologies and processes.

The AMRC works closely with its customers and project sponsors to select the ideal machines and manufacturing technologies required to fulfil each project’s individual demands.

“The X40 will undoubtedly prove just as successful alongside the STC and Ecospeed,” said Phil Kirkland, head of the machining group at the AMRC, “and that will likely include extending its initial project work that embraced the machining of aluminium housings.”

He added: “Our partnership with Starrag has been built over a number of years and this addition to the Factory of the Future portfolio further cements this; we expect the strengths of the Heckert X40 to be utilised to the full.

“Forthcoming projects for the machine will no doubt illustrate how a wide range of components can be produced effectively and efficiently, and the X40 technology will also enable our operators and engineers to continually upskill.”

Importantly, the CNC features Starrag’s human-machine interface (HMI) for easier, intuitive programming and operation. It is this technology, combined with an impressive specification - X, Y and Z axes travels of 700 mm by 750 mm by 750 mm plus workpiece heights of 500 mm, rapids of 80 m/min and a 30,000 revs/min spindle offering torque values of up to 350 Nm – that will lend the X40 to a wide range of tasks at the Factory of the Future.

The Heckert X40 is one of eight Starrag machines installed progressively since 2003 at the AMRC and at sister centre Nuclear AMRC by Starrag as part of its Tier 2 membership with the AMRC.