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Marlor enters the medical tools market for the first time with Rollomatic

Marlor Tooling of Peterborough, one of the UKs leading cutting tool manufacturers continues to benefit from purchasing a Rollomatic Shapesmart® CNC tool grinding machine as it expands its sales into the medical tool and instrument markets.

Still a privately-owned second-generation family business, Marlor are now located in a state-of-the-art new production facility and have 12 CNC tool and cutter grinding machines plus various other CNC machines including EDM, drilling and inspection machines. Marlor are perhaps unique amongst UK tool manufacturers in that nearly all of their sales are to other tool manufacturers and they sell directly to very few end users of tools.

Martyn Cross, Works Director at Marlor, explains that after identifying a production bottle neck they had looked at many CNC cylindrical grinding machines on numerous occasions over the last three or four years with the need for fast setup times and flexibility to make high precision tools before opting to purchase their Rollomatic MP3+ machine. According to Martyn the Rollomatic NP3+ is possibly the most transformative machine purchase that Marlor has ever made. Small or large batches of tools are now all done in house with an incredible surface finish and holding the tightest of tolerances.

The Rollomatic machine has now enabled Marlor to enter into the market for medical tool blanks for the first time with Marlor securing several high value orders including the one shown with the first batch of tools being 300 off that was produced automatically using the Rollomatic’s fully integrated robot loader for lights our running overnight. Martyn was delighted with the quality achieved that was well within the desired tolerances across the entire batch of medical parts with cycle times from the solid bar being under 8 minutes.

Marlor is able to fully utilise the easy to set auto loader during the evenings and nights whilst manufacturing lower quantity special tools during the day. Martyn states that the quality, surface finish and repeatability from the machine is stunning, whilst the extended wheel life and dressing frequencies have been a revelation. Cycle times have been dramatically reduced with Marlor siting another example of a long length through-coolant drill for an aerospace application that used to take them 7 mins to manufacture as compared with a new time of just 2 minutes on the Rollomatic machine. In quantifying improvements in quality Marlor has found that the Rollomatic machine easily holds tolerances of under 3um on tool diameters over larger batches of tools and previously they simply could not achieve that.

Rollomatic’s ShapeSmart® machines are designed for grinding tool blanks and similar stepped cylindrical components and are based on the method of peel grinding; a technology invented by Rollomatic. This new generation of cylindrical grinding machine has been improved to offer even more advantages for fast setups and superior grinding quality including both rough and finish grinding in a single automatic operation for diameters up to 25mm with a Renishaw probe handling length positioning.

Ending his findings Martyn Cross comments that in the months since its installation, Marlor has come to rely on the Rollomatic machine and states that he cannot believe how they have managed without one for so long; the three-year parts and labour guarantee and the excellent technical and service support has given us complete confidence that we have purchased the very best grinding machine for our requirements.

The NP3+ has contributed to a significant saving on production lead times, allowed rapid response for urgent jobs needing CNC cylindrical grinding, and let us take back full control by bringing in all manufacture of tool blank grinding in-house. Martyn’s ethos, that is followed by the team of engineers at Marlor, is based upon a fixation on shop-floor cleanliness, rigid process and quality controls, and complete traceability and quality assurances for his customers and in recent times he has overseen heavy investment in quality checking and tool measurement machines as well as in leading production equipment such as the Rollomatic tool grinding machine with Marlor looking to further invest in its tool manufacturing operation.

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