VIA Machine Tools Ltd – based at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield – has introduced a new range of high-tech machines to the marketplace that it describes as "next generation machine tools"

These include VIAMILL CNC machining centres - which feature a door opening on the right side of the machine and allows the operator to have a clear view of the machine spindle through the large windows. The machine table also has a home position on the right to allow loading and unloading and can be fully automated.

VIA Machine Tools Ltd has also launched VIATURN 2/3-axis CNC lathes – which make use of the latest in tooling technology to machine parts in any direction. With advanced ballscrew design and uprated tailstock clamping this allows the turning in both plus or minus on both axes to increase cycle times and boost productivity.

Sales director James Kearney says the business was originally launched in 2001 as a supplier of large heavy-duty lathes, which was always the focus and became the speciality and it has sold both flat bed and slant bed heavy duty CNC lathes in the UK and overseas, before the offices moved to the Technology Centre at the AMRC two years ago.

“To be accepted we needed to prove that we were ‘advancing engineering’ with our products,” he says. “We demonstrated this with our new machine designs for VIAMILL and VIATURN, and our long-term goals to assemble machines in the UK.”

Kearney explains that the company had struggled to convince its suppliers on a direction to take in the design of smaller machine tools to the market.

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