Guaranteed quality. EDMs in full-time operation at Naton Kft.
The production of die-casting, plastic mold injection tools and sheet metal working tools used mostly in automotive industry requires extremely high precision up to hundredths of a millimeter. The success of a part or a whole project can depend on these strict tolerances so using the appropriate technology is key. Although they are not complete solutions in themselves, the proper EDM machine tools are best suited to perform these tasks. This is exactly how they see it at Naton Kft., a hungarian company that designs and manufactures precision tools almost exclusively for the die casting industry.
A bold dream became a proud reality
The history of the company dates back to 1988, when Géza Marton and his colleague at the time, István Nagy decided to create their own enterprise as craftsmen, using a garage as their workshop. Five years later they had already worked in a limited partnership in another workshop with 300 m² space. In 2011 the floorspace has doubled, the company has converted into an Ltd. form and one of the owners (István Nagy) was replaced by Csaba Szabó, who had previously worked as a technical and development chief at a big foundry company. His expertise has given a renewed impetus to the company, so it continued to develop and strengthen over time.
Thanks to the persistent work and various tenders, Naton Kft. was able to invest in new machines and expand their workforce almost every year while their customer base also stabilized. Today, they have orders from big firms, such as Csaba Metál Zrt., FESTO, FÉMALK Zrt., SMR Automotive or V-Casting Ltd. Finally, in 2018 the company moved to a new site, where they’ve been working in a beautiful, modern building giving place to a well-equipped workshop and sunny offices ever since. The key of their competitive edge lies in their corporate philosophy focusing on a long-term, stable customer base, supplier partnerships that offer high quality, certified raw materials and the use of advanced, professional technologies and equipment.
The machine also works at night with previously measured electrodes mounted into the tool magazine.
Trust can only be achieved through positive experiences
The machines at Naton Kft. consist of the latest milling machines, lathes, cylindrical and surface grinders, but – based on their orders – sinker and wire EDM machines are at the heart of the fleet. “We often have to machine thin ribs and parts that are hard to reach or resize holes when manufacturing custom tools. These tasks are impossible to perform with milling machines. They can only be manufactured within hundredth of millimeter precision on wire EDMs.” says Géza Marton. Their first wire EDM – a Mitsubishi Electric DWC90, no longer in use – was purchased when they were still operating in a limited partnership. “We made punching tools for a German company that manufactured tinker tools. They ordered in high volumes, and the DWC90 proved to be a really capable machine” – adds one of the owners. Thanks to the excessively positive experiences, Naton Kft. has made an early commitment to the Japanese brand and has been working with Mitsubishi Electric EDMs exclusively ever since.
Sole agent in the brand’s domestic distribution – M+E Szerszámgép Kereskedelmi Kft. – also took a significant role in the decision. They not only provide help for Naton Kft. by quick installation and comprehensive services, they also support the production with flexible rental options. An unforeseen capacity shortage led to Naton Kft. wanting to expand their machine fleet with another Mitsubishi Electric EA28-V Advance sinker EDM. But the machine with the required custom parameters wasn’t available on stock at the time. So, the distributor offered a rental option for a smaller machine as a temporary solution. “It was delivered quite quickly and smoothly” tells Géza Marton.
Strict requirements demand impeccable operation
Today they use three Mitsubishi Electric EDMs: the oldest one is an almost 10-year-old EA28-V Advance sinker EDM, that lately operates 24/7. It required one small repair job but apart from that, it has been working seamlessly since its installation. “The machine also works at night with previously measured electrodes mounted into the tool magazine” – says one of the owners. The next machine acquired was an FA10-VS wire EDM that has also been working for a long time now. This one wasn’t yet purchased from M+E but they’ve been providing the required services for it for a while now. Obtaining spare parts is not always easy for older machines, but is not a problem for Mitsubishi Electric and its domestic sales partner M+E. Their latest machine – an MV2400S NewGen wire EDM – was installed in early 2019 and it operates without any problems since. It’s characterized by high cutting speed and accuracy and has a low power consumption, so it guarantees economic production. Machines from the MV series feature the contact-free – so also wear-free – Tubular direct drive, and the patented wire threading that ensures operator-free production. This fleet will be expanded with the EA28-V Advance, that at the same time replaces the small rental machine. Naton Kft. complements its business with design services, which fortunately also proves to be very popular – all but one of their customers require it. “Moreover, we also create part models to ensure that the model can be molded in case the customer has a new idea” adds Géza Marton. They use Siemens NX and PTC Creo (formerly Pro/ENGINEER) software for the design process, and – depending on machining requirements – it usually takes 12–20 weeks in general to finish a tool from design to production. Naton Kft.’s example perfectly demonstrates how much an efficient and reliable, well-equipped and well-supported machine fleet can ease production. Although success requires many other factors, without good equipment quality cannot be guaranteed.
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