Beakbane is supplying axis drive covers for a British-built manufacturing system that can now combine additive and subtractive processes in one machine.

Cybaman Technologies originally designed its Digital Manufacturing Platform as a high-precision, 6-axis system capable of multiple processes including milling, grinding, laser cutting, scanning and welding. With the launch of its new Laser Metal Deposition System, the machine can operate as an additive, subtractive or hybrid manufacturing system, producing complex parts in a single setup.

Cybaman’s systems are used in a variety of sectors, including dental work, rapid prototyping, aerospace and jewellery, processing material ranging from gold to ceramics.

To ensure the high precision of the axis drives are not compromised by dirt, abrasive dust, metal chips, coolant or other debris, it is important that they are protected by a suitable protective cover that does not hamper their free movement.

Cybaman first approached Beakbane in 2011 when it wanted to improve on the quality of the sewn covers provided by its existing supplier.

The Beakbane covers are constructed of pleated black polyurethane-coated polyester welded to precision-cut PVC internal supports. Thanks to its use of an advanced CNC cutting system, Beakbane is able to make the PVC supports extremely precise, which means that the covers move more smoothly and freely than the ones they replaced.

The welded products also have a tidier and more aesthetically pleasing finish than the sewn covers.

Beakbane UK Sales Executive Ron Rayner says: “We were able to produce accurate, better performing and more attractive covers at around the same price they had been paying before.”

Beakbane initially supplied five designs of vertical and horizontal axis covers, with sizes typically around 330mm long extended and 60mm long compressed.

Around two years ago, Cybaman decided to move to a more cost-effective ball-screw rail for three of the axis drives. This had the same performance of the previous model, but a slightly different profile, so Beakbane worked with Cybaman to redesign the covers to accommodate the new shape. Because Beakbane is ISO 9001 accredited it was able to create a complete set of new drawings covering both the old and the new designs.

Beakbane continues to work with Cybaman on its new product development.

Cybaman designer engineer Joe J McLean said: “Beakbane have helped us a lot and suggested the best way of doing things when we were designing new products. They have been very good on delivery and lead times and have been very helpful when we needed something urgently.”