The Nuclear AMRC has placed an order for a state-of-the-art machining centre which will be the first of its kind in commercial operation.
The StarragHeckert HEC 1800 will be the first machine outside Starrag’s own facilities to be equipped with the new planetary turning and milling (PTM) technology.
The PTM device (pictured) combines an extendable boring spindle with two radial turning tools, adding milling and turning capabilities to a horizontal boring machine. Together, the HEC 1800 and PTM provide seven axes of movement.
“The idea behind the PTM is to change the way large components are manufactured today,” says Lee Scott of StarragHeckert UK. “You’d usually have a multi-machine process – a vertical turning machine, milling machine, and dedicated boring machine. This allows you to do large components on one machine. It’s a game-changing technology.”
The PTM system is gaining strong interest from companies producing large casings and vessels for the power industries, oil and gas, and heavy transportation. Nuclear AMRC members will have an exclusive opportunity to work with this new technology.
“This could potentially revolutionise pump and valve manufacture,” says Stuart Dawson, machining group manager at the Nuclear AMRC. “You’re getting very close to being able to do all your machining operations on one machine. It could cut cycle time by up to 60% and improve accuracy by establishing all the geometric features in one set-up.”
The HEC 1800, which measures some 15 metres in length and is capable of taking components of up to 20 tonnes, will also include other advanced features such as a 200 bar through-spindle coolant delivery system. The machine will be installed in the Nuclear AMRC building in South Yorkshire when it is completed.
In the meanwhile, a Starrag HEC 1600 horizontal boring machine is being installed in the interim workshop on the Advanced Manufacturing Park.