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Frazer Nash has a barrelful of benefits from Quickgrind

Frazer Nash Manufacturing has a rich history of breaking the boundaries of manufacturing technology since its inception in 1910. In the modern era, the company is ensuring it keeps breaking the boundaries of precision focussed excellence by applying cutting tools and services from Quickgrind.

The roots of the Petersfield Company date back to 1910 when Archibald Frazer-Nash jointly developed a lightweight automobile, the GN Cycle Car. After more than a decade of success, he set up the Frazer-Nash sports car company to develop a successor. Various Frazer-Nash models were introduced over the next three decades, becoming a classic sports car still admired today. By 1929, attention had turned to the growing aerospace industry and the development of servo powered gun-turrets for the Lancaster and Vickers Wellington bombers. Nowadays, the Hampshire manufacturer retains an interest in the aerospace industry whilst also focusing upon the food processing industries.

Looking at the recently founded relationship with Quickgrind, Andy Brooker, the Additive Manufacturing Development Manager at Frazer Nash Manufacturing says: “Quickgrind came in to see us with an offer; we sat here and listened to them. Since the initial discussions, we have increased our work with Quickgrind significantly as they offer excellent service and they have reduced our cutting tool inventory by at least 50%. We now have tools in a vending system that is ready to go when we need them.”

“Furthermore, these tools are bespoke to what we do.  These tools are not standard off-the-shelf 10mm diameter end mills; the tools are dedicated to our production and the process of how we use them. The advantage of Quickgrind is that we’ve needed to use the custom side of their business where we’ve needed tools as soon as possible and they have turned tools around in a day and a half for us. So, I couldn’t personally think of a better company to work with.”

Commenting upon the relationship with Frazer Nash, Quickgrind’s Mike Stobart says: “We are more than three years into our relationship and things are working very well. Frazer Nash is certainly a company that is always looking forward and they have openness to talk about new projects and how we can implement new tooling solutions. As well as the tooling solutions, we help them out with any production processes that may need optimising. As examples, Frazer Nash was machining a stainless steel job with the Quickgrind Mirage four-flute end mills and we had considerable success with this. Additionally, they are now machining a lot of aluminium and we have supplied our Caiman range of tools.”

“Now the company has started working with OPEN MIND Technologies as its CAM vendor, we are supplying the latest barrel tools. We are an application partner with OPEN MIND, so the barrel tools are reaping considerable benefits. Frazer Nash is also using our Spectre 3-flute and Phantom 4-flute tools for high feed machining. So, there is a wide variation of tools supplied here and they are readily available in the vending machines that we have installed.”

A barrel of benefits

Referring to the success of the barrel tools, Mr Brooker says: “These tools take over from what a ball nose cutter would do on a 5-axis machine. The advantage is the bigger cut area. So, we have reduced our cycle times with the barrel tools by over 20 hours on some jobs and this is machining titanium. That is a massive saving.”

“When anybody comes along and says they can save you 80% of your tool time, you sit there thinking ‘yeah ok!’, but Mike Stobart came in and gave us the tools and it’s safe to say we won’t be going back to our old methods. The tools are absolutely brilliant. Instead of doing 0.8mm step-overs with a ball nose, we are doing 3-4mm step-overs with a barrel tool that gets exactly the same surface finish. On some surfaces, we are holding H7 tolerances with the barrel cutters. You can’t ask for any better.”

Commenting further on the relationship, Mike Stobart says: “I think the relationship has worked very well because Frazer Nash is prepared to work with us. We like to think of our clients as partners, so they come to us for optimisation of tool paths as well as the supply of cutting tools. We very much become part of the production process. We do find many companies can be a little afraid of change, but Frazer Nash is really interested in looking forward and we are helping them on that journey.”

“Our QuickCAMPro service has been very well executed at Frazer Nash, especially in the introduction and application of the new barrel tools. The barrel tools have proven very successful and I envisage the use of these tools becoming more commonplace at Frazer Nash as well as with other manufacturers,” concludes Mr Stobart.