CNC Machining Co Ltd | Haas Customer Success Story
CNC Machining Co is a family-run production machining business based in Auckland, New Zealand. The ISO accredited company supplies more than 600,000 components annually to the plastics, hydraulics, agricultural, dairy, electronics, manufacturing, and engineering industries. Founded in 1986 by Managing Director John Houston, the company currently has a team of 14 employees, including John’s son, Ally Houston, as general manager.
“We machine all materials,” says Ally, proudly highlighting the company’s wide range of skills and capabilities. “All metals, all plastics, all brass, titanium . . . you name it, we will have machined it.” As a contract manufacturer, CNC Machining Co doesn’t make any products of their own, but they “can make anything that comes in the door,” says Ally
In 2015, CNC Machining Co purchased the first Haas UMC-750 universal machining center to be sold in New Zealand, making them one of only a few companies in the country to have 5-axis capabilities. Purchasing the Haas UMC-750 was an easy decision, Ally says, because they already had a 10-year-old Haas VF-2 that “has gone very well for them.”
Ally explains that the UMC-750 was an investment in the future, and a way to take CNC Machining Co to the next level. “Today, it’s essential to not just supply the highest quality components, but also to produce them in the smartest way. Investing in new technology, such as our production planning system and the Haas UMC-750, ensures that our customers are accessing the latest manufacturing techniques in the most efficient means possible. The 5-axis is basically the be all and end all in our industry,” Ally adds. “You can’t get any better than the 5-axis.”
The simultaneous 5-axis capabilities of the UMC-750 have allowed CNC Machining Co to reduce their setup times and increase the accuracy of their complex and multi-sided parts. “We can now access five sides and any angle of a component, where we used to have to machine one side and manually turn it over,” says Ally. “This helps significantly with efficiencies.”
The Haas Intuitive Probing System, which comes standard on the UMC-750, is another feature Ally is excited to have. “We can get a probe to come down and actually measure the part while it’s still in the machine,” he says, “so we can then re-machine the part on the spot if we need to, before taking the part off.”
This means getting the parts right the first time, every time, and ensures “you are machining things to a very high level of quality,” Ally says, which has allowed the company to expand its portfolio to include high-precision work for the medical and military industries.
Being new to 5-axis machining, Ally and his staff were surprised how easy the UMC-750 was to set up and operate. “The transition from 3- and 4-axis work to 5-axis was much easier than I expected,” Ally says.
Rather than the 3- to 4-hour setup times they were expecting, they’re able to set up simple parts in around 30 minutes, which increases the shop’s productivity and efficiency. “The speed and the way you can set up the machine is a heck of a lot quicker than I was anticipating,” says Ally.
Since purchasing that first UMC-750, CNC Machining Co has expanded its stable of Haas machines to include a second UMC-750, a DS-30SSY dual-spindle turning center with bar feeder, a DM-2 Drill/Mill Center with TRT100 dual-axis rotary, and an ST-10 turning center.