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The 5-Axis Leap: Quebec mouldmaker embraces five axis technology in a big way

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When André Rochette decides to do something, he does it in a big way. As president of Rocand Inc., Sainte-Foy, QC, he was faced with a substantial increase in sales and development activity.

He wasn’t about to let his customers down. “Client relations are very important to us, and as a Tier 1 automotive supplier, we have to meet aggressive delivery times. Our existing equipment was unable to keep up with demand, so it was a simple decision. We increased capacity to meet our customers’ needs.”

Most manufacturers would respond by purchasing an additional machine to meet that need. Rocand ordered three. “Small, medium, and large,” laughs Rochette, describing his new five axis CNC universal milling machines from DMG. “Our goal is to continually produce high quality products to the automotive industry, with the best lead time and a competitive price. Choosing that equipment was a way for us to achieve those goals.”

Mouldmakers need a number of capabilities to do their work. Chief among these is an efficient method of removing large amounts of material quickly. DMG delivered that with its U-series machines. The largest of Rocand’s new machines, the DMU 340 P, has a 3400 mm work envelope and table load capacity of 16 tons. Its 52 kW, 12,000 rpm spindle boasts 430 Nm of torque. And since Rocand purchased the optional 24000 rpm pickup spindle, it can rough and finish five sides of the workpiece in one handling. Says Rochette, “now we can do more machining in a single operation and produce tools for our customers in the shortest possible time.”

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