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Case Study

MiniFAB Make it with Makino

MiniFAB Make it with Makino

MiniFAB is a privately-held contract engineering firm providing custom development and manufacture of disposable polymer microfluidic and microengineered products.

With an internationally renowned team of engineers, industrial designers and  biochemists, MiniFAB has so far completed 900 projects with various clients worldwide.

MiniFAB’s investment in Makino came at the best time

MiniFAB required the development capabilities to machine components to make disposable polymer microfluidic, products. From this, a brief was provided to potential Machining Center suppliers who could supply a high speed Vertical Machining Centre capable of delivering micron accuracy.

However, it wasn’t until MiniFAB recently purchased their new Makino Vertical Machining Centre that they discovered the true accuracy and precision capabilities now available to them, thanks to their new Makino F3, supported by Headland Machinery.

Makino F3 Vertical Machining Centre, supported by Headland
Makino F3 Vertical Machining Centre, supported by Headland

“When we were initially looking for the right machine, we considered all our options before we decided on the Makino,” said Daniel Thompson, Production Manager at MiniFAB.

“This is our first milling machine with true micro milling capabilities, so we didn’t have any prior relationships and weren’t restricted in that sense. It was a very even playing field.

“When we were introduced to the F3, we were initially impressed with the 30,000 RPM spindle speeds, accuracy and of course price. We never thought we could find a machine within the budget allocated. Normally a machine with the capability we are now achieving would be 2 to 3 times the price we paid,” he also said.

“We weren’t initially aware of Makino which offered us a cost-effective alternative for what we needed.”

Thanks to the new accuracies achieved by the Makino F3, MiniFAB has developed a new prototype injection moulding insert for an international customer. With geometry one third the size of a strand of a human hair, the insert featured microfluidic mixer structures, 50 micron depth x 50 micron width +/-2microns, machined in a steel injection moulding insert.

“Having the F3 machine now means we are a viable alternative in Australia for companies who want to stay under the radar. Many of our US customers work with us because of where we are, and they essentially get a 24 hour production line with both Northern and Southern hemisphere facilities.”

Experience matters to the team at MiniFAB

With over 300 years of combined experience in the team at MiniFAB, skills in product development, prototyping, design and manufacturing is the key to their current and future success.

“Not many companies can claim they have the skills or capabilities to develop and manufacture a microengineered polymer product from start to finish. The experience we have at MiniFAB means customers trust us because we’ve developed the process from prototype to finished product.

“Because of this, it also means everything is performed in house, under ISO certification. Not many companies can properly measure what their machine actually does, which is where we are different because we work with and deliver microtechnologies with certification under ISO13485 and ISO9001.” Daniel said.

Makino F3 at MiniFAB
Makino F3 at MiniFAB

About MiniFAB   

Headquartered in Melbourne, with satellite offices in Europe and USA, MiniFAB are experts in turning concept into reality through product design and volume manufacturing.

With 70 employees in Australia. MiniFAB have the experience and committed workforce to design and manufacture the part you need.

Located in Scorseby, Victoria, MiniFAB work within a clean room manufacturing environment that is part of a ‘technology hub’ complex, leveraging off the services and strength offered by other companies in the building complex.

For more information call 1300 592 061 or email marketing@headland.com.au