UPE Engineering invests in FANUC ROBODRILL

This is an extract from FANUC’s website as they look at our investment in the ROBODRILL…

When UPE Engineering Ltd opened its doors for business in 1999, the company caught a lucky break by being given an opportunity to manufacture a complex aerospace part for a well known manufacturer. Successfully completing this project where others had failed, UPE built a customer relationship that would see the company blossom to its current position as a marquee subcontractor to the aerospace, motorsport and medical industries.

To build upon this good fortune, the Luton Company set its stall out to only buy new machine tools that had a reputation for performance, reliability and customer service – and this led to the 2001 installation of a ROBODRILL machining centre from FANUC UK. The productivity and reliability of this first ROBODRILL ensured that when the company increased its plant list, FANUC was always top of the priority list.

As UPE Engineering’s Managing Director Mr Jim Beardwell comments: ‘Initially I loved the small footprint, the extremely fast tool-changer and the precision level of the ROBODRILL. It shaved minutes off our cycle times. Furthermore, the machine was easy to operate and user friendly. What we didn’t realise then, but has impressed us the most, is the reliability of the ROBODRILL. The first ROBODRILL we bought in 2001 has been worked hard, day and night for 14 years and the reliability is astounding. In 14 years the only downtime has been for servicing.’

As the company expanded to its current staff level of 43, so has the plant list and with it arrived another FANUC ROBODRILL. More recently, UPE has won a number of new contracts that has seen the company’s capacity limits stretched in certain departments – until it bought two new FANUC D21MiA5 ROBODRILL machines in March 2014. Installed at the same time, the 24,000rpm spindle machines are the latest additions to FANUC’S line of high powered machines. At UPE, these additions have been churning out complex parts for the aerospace, motorsport & medical sectors from day one. The most recent workflow has seen a throughput of high speed camera cases, insulating connectors and UPE Engineering’s own line of fishing products.

Commenting upon integrating the two new FANUC ROBODRILL machines into its facility, UPE’s Operations Director, Mr Steve Wickens says: ‘We thoroughly review the machine tool market and fully plan the machine capabilities around the work that we have and expect to receive in the future. The FANUC ROBODRILL machines have been incredibly flexible to our needs and fully capable of processing everything we put on the machines. A key aspect in once again selecting Fanuc is their reliability. With a widely varied plant list, the FANUC machines are the most reliable we have. Additionally, they are very easy to operate and are intuitive and completely user friendly. We have never had to call a FANUC engineer for anything other than scheduled machine maintenance and servicing.’

The relentless growth for this Luton Company has now seen it order another two FANUC high powered ROBODRILL machines. When they arrive, these new additions will sit side by side with a robotic system integrated to load and unload both machines to create an extremely productive cell with a high level of automation.