Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More complexity drives investment at Caragh

More complexity drives investment at Caragh

A steady increase in subcontract work for the medical industry coupled with the trend towards greater component complexity has prompted Caragh Tool & Die to invest in a fifth Hurco machining centre with 5-axis capability.
A trend towards greater component complexity led Caragh Tool & Die to invest in a fifth 5-axis machining centre


Founded in 1982, Caragh employs 80 people at a 2,300 sq m. facility in Galway, Ireland. It provides consultancy and product design optimisation services followed by machining of prototypes and small batches up to production volumes. Typical components find their way into transport refrigeration systems, semiconductor manufacturing plant and gas chromatography equipment. Materials machined include titanium, stainless steel, aluminium and a range of plastics.
In 1998, a separate division called Caragh Meditech was formed to meet the highly specialised demands of the expanding medical device sector. Now accounting for 45 per cent of turnover, its products include parts for ventilators, drug delivery systems, dental apparatus, ophthalmic and orthopedic surgical instruments, manufacturing tooling for various medical products and implantable devices such as stents.

It was in the early 90s that the first Hurco was installed in the factory, a BMC30, which was chosen largely due to its twin-screen, graphics-based control system. It lends itself to easy shop floor programming and is ideal for both experienced and less experienced operators, according to Caragh's engineering manager, Pat Ryan.

He commented, "G-code programming may be better for high volume work or where the part contains complex surfaces, but for prototypes and short runs, conversational programming on the Ultimax is much quicker and more flexible for the majority of jobs.

"Speed is of the essence, as set-up time is long compared with total machining time if there are only a few parts to produce, so lengthy programming procedures would reduce profitability."

Shop floor programming is used for 85 per cent of jobs on the Hurco's at the Galway firm, even for producing components with complex contours.

Tricone Bit