Founded in 1985, Electron Engineering Services is a machine tool company specializing in machine refurbishment and CNC retrofitting, including re-engineering, re-manufacture and retrofit. It has customers across the UK, Europe and the U.S., and has worked with top industry names, including Butler, Schiess, Asquith, Heidenhain, Noble & Lund, Skoda, DSG and Boehringer. The company was retrofitting a grinding machine to turn it into an accurate grinder by installing servo systems instead of hydraulics. They turned to Apex Dynamics and its range of precision planetary gearboxes for high precision and high torque, selecting the AB115 and the PAII115 gearboxes for the job.
As part of the project, Electron determined that it needed a precision planetary gearbox fitted to the servo in order to get more accurate performance from the grinding machine and higher torque from a smaller motor.
Good availability of parts was essential for timely delivery of the final machine design as Electron had previously encountered problems with other components as a result of supply chain shortages. Other key considerations included high levels of customer support, availability of 3D models for design, and assistance with calculations, in order to meet the project deadlines.
To meet Electron’s needs, Apex Dynamics designed a solution that comprised the AB115 and PAII115 gearboxes. The AB115 is part of Apex Dynamics’ highest precision, highest torque range and is specifically designed for accuracy, while the compact, lightweight PAII115 is an economy precision planetary gearbox, with accuracy of less than 6 arc minutes and reduced backlash. The combination of the two precision planetary gearboxes provided the ideal solution for the Electron project.
By installing in-line planetary gearboxes on servo axes, Electron was able to use a much smaller motor in the grinding machine to get similar torque and thrust, with lower backlash and quieter operation. Collaboration between engineers from both Electron and Apex Dynamics allowed Electron to keep on track with the project plan. Working with Apex Dynamics resulted in a more accurate grinding machine, with the high-precision servo planetary gearboxes contributing low backlash and high precision to the machine tool axes.
Purchasing products directly from Apex Dynamics, Electron was impressed with the responsiveness of the company to queries and its fast delivery times for products. Build-to-stock manufacturing means Apex Dynamics products are always in stock, and the company makes sure they get to customers on time, with an impressive 2-3 week lead time, guaranteed delivery and excellent documentation.
By utilizing Apex Dynamics’ high precision, compact gearboxes, Electron was able to use smaller motors in the grinding machine, saving costs and improving performance. Electron found the Apex Dynamics gearboxes easy to incorporate into its design, with support from customer services in the form of 3D models and assistance with calculations. In addition, the selected gearboxes were simple to implement and fit, and Electron has been impressed with the reliability of Apex Dynamics products.
Phillip Denison, Senior Mechanical Designer at Electron Engineering Services, comments: “We have a very experienced team of machine tool guys and this was a big job, involving a complete system redesign. Having used Apex Dynamics products for some time now, they are really good at what they do and they understand what we do, helping when needed with things like calculations and 3D models. We are now at the point where if we need a gearbox we’re on the phone to Apex and they are part of our considerations when we face design challenges. The fast delivery times are really important to us. We have 6, 8, 10 months to turn a machine around, so we can’t wait long for the delivery of a gearbox. Apex have it well under control. We were really pleased with the levels of service for this project, as we got good products, at a good price, with good customer support and good delivery!”