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New 5-axis CNC machining centres and robots

Release time:2023-11-27

You might have spotted a couple of recent social media posts mentioning our new 5-axis' target='_blank'>machining centres and robots. We’re pleased to formally announce that our new machines and robots are now fully functional within our CNC department.

Our new machines can handle parts that are one-offs with complex geometry that are better suited to machining on 5-axis rather than 3-axis machines. Furthermore, as the new machine tools are tended by robots (named by our staff as Rocky and Apollo), they are ideal for quickly and cost-effectively machining small batches of prototype or production parts, regardless of the geometric complexity.

New investment

The latest investment in our CNC machining capability comprises a pair of Haas VF-2SSYT five-axis vertical machining centres (VMCs) with automatic tool changers, programmable air vices and Haas robot packages. The machines’ bed dimensions are 450 x 350 mm, which should be ample for our customers’ usual requirements.

We have also invested in staff training so we can make the most of the new capability for complex machining and small-batch production.

This new equipment is in addition to – and not a replacement for – our existing CNC machine tools meaning we have even greater capacity. We are continuing to operate our three Hardinge-Bridgeport GX 480 vertical machining centres, a Bridgeport VMC 600 vertical machining centre, three Haas Mini Mills, a Haas ST 10 turning centre and a semi-CNC Haas TL-1 toolroom lathe.

Small batches

Customers are increasingly requesting our support to bridge the gap between prototyping and production, which is why we have invested in robotic automation. For batch production, a robot loads a blank that is clamped in the machine tool’s programmable vice. If necessary, the robot can reposition the workpiece in the vice part-way through the machining program. When machining is complete, the robot removes the part, places it in a tray, then loads a new blank so the process can be repeated. Once set up, machining can continue unattended, including overnight.

We always inspect the first-off part and then subsequent inspections are conducted in accordance with a regime agreed in advance with the customer.


We hold stocks of aluminium alloy 6082, stainless steel (304 and 316 grades), acetal (black and natural) and acrylic. If required, can source almost any metal, engineering plastic or other material that can be machined.

Service levels

We still offer three service levels for CNC milling on the new five-axis machining centres: Express, Standard and Economy. Parts are shipped in as little as three working days with our Express Service. As you would expect, the availability of the Express service depends on part geometry, material and quantities. If your project timescales are tight, talk to us and we will endeavour to meet your requirements, whatever the technical aspects.

Benefits for customers

Our two new five-axis vertical machining centres enable us to CNC machine parts with greater geometric complexity than is possible on our three-axis machines, without resorting to time-consuming manual set-ups or bespoke fixtures that would add time and cost to the project. Furthermore, the automation enables batches of parts to be produced more quickly and cost-effectively.

If you previously went elsewhere for complex parts or small batches, we can now undertake this work in-house. We are now a true one-stop shop for prototyping and ramping up towards production.

Talk to us

If you need CNC machining for prototyping or low-volume production or would like a tour of our facilities, contact us on  or complete the enquiry form below to request a quote.

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