XYZ Machine Tools ready to celebrate 40 years in 2024


When Nigel Atherton started XYZ in 1984 and imported and installed his first two XYZ machines in 1986, he could not have anticipated the achievements over the next 40 years.  Machine sales rapidly grew to over 50 every month but, the major change was the introduction of the ProtoTRAK® control in 1993, bridging the gap between manual machines and CNC. It set the benchmark for easy programming with machine tool sales growing from £3 million to £15 million over a five-year period.

The introduction of VMCs, Turning Centres and its TMC range with ProtoTRAK® and Siemens ShopMill and ShopTurn options saw turnover more than double again.

XYZ’s VMC range first launched in 1996, now comprises a range which goes from the XYZ 500 LR with Siemens control up to the XYZ 3010 HD. The LR machines include linear rail technology and are powerful machines designed for a production environment. The TMC range introduced in 2022 is ideal for tool rooms and for low to medium volume production applications. It brings together the ease-of-use benefits of ProtoTRAK® and a 12 or 20 station tool changer with the features of a bed mill such as the handwheels, which make it easy to go between manual and CNC operation in an enclosed unit for an improved workshop environment. These machines start with the XYZ 500 TMC and include four models with the XYZ 1600 TMC the largest at 1,600 x 650 x 635mm travel, all are fitted with linear rail technology.

The range of Turning Centres starts with the XYZ CT52 LR which can take a bar up to 52mm diameter in a compact CNC machine with Siemens control. For live tooling, the XYZ TC 320 LTY has 91mm spindle bore full C axis and the capability for live tools on all 12 tool stations. This machine makes it possible to make many parts in one operation. For true ‘one hit’ machining, the solution is the new XYZ 65 LTY-S which offers twin spindle, Y axis and live tooling.

February 2017 also saw the introduction of the XYZ UMC 5X for 5-axis simultaneous machining. These machines include technology such as dynamic collision monitoring, spindle vibration supervision and thermal spindle compensation. The UMC 5X is ideal for multi surface machining for aerospace applications or for machining a complex part in one operation.

Construction, reliability and price performance are the key reasons for XYZ’s success. Its machines are built with a solid casting to provide rigidity and strength and have earnt a reputation for long life and reliable operation with over 25,000 machines now in use in the UK.

Each one has been commissioned and tested at XYZ’s Burlescombe headquarters and is supported by its team of 16 Service Engineers located strategically around the country and its 7 in-house specialists dedicated to particular areas of technical expertise, such as software and control queries. Between them they have over 300 years of experience in XYZ machinery.

As part of its commitment to customer support, XYZ Machine Tools holds £2 million of spare parts which equates to around 20,000 different parts at its Head Office enabling it to supply the majority of spare parts off the shelf for both new and legacy machines achieving next day delivery for UK orders placed before 3pm.

Around the country, XYZ Machine Tools has six showrooms and/or training centres. These are in Burlescombe, Slough, Nuneaton, Huddersfield, Livingston and Sheffield. A further five applications engineers work with the sales team to provide machine demonstrations and training either at one of these centres or on the customer’s site. With these regional facilities, customers from around the country can benefit from local training, support and technical assistance wherever they are located.

Managing Director Nigel Atherton says, “Right from the start, when I was selling, installing and supporting the machines myself, the key factor for success was the provision of first-class customer service in a cost effective and affordable high quality machine tool package. That approach worked in 1984 and it still works today in an increasingly sophisticated engineering marketplace.”

He continues, “We are well known for precision machines which are reliable, easy to operate, simple to program and which can be delivered in a matter of days. Our objective is to fully understand the needs of our customers and provide a solution that meets those demands in a fair, transparent and ethical manner. 40 years is a major milestone, and we are looking forward to the next 40. Although I doubt that I will still be around!”

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