New machining centre cuts costs and improves machining accuracies

By replacing two ageing horizontal boring machines with an Ecoforce 1 HT2 machining centre, a specialist in the supply of pumps, fittings and systems for the global energy and mining industries has reduced multiple (four/five) set-ups to one in some cases, halved cycle times, cut tooling costs by up to 50% and improved machining accuracies to within six-eight microns on workpieces weighing up to 12 tonnes.

Able to drill, mill, turn and generate threads in a single setting, the machine installed by Starrag Group brand Scharmann is also processing parts with fewer tools than before – which means less tool changing, which is therefore contributing to the reduced cycle times.

Also, by switching from carbide to ceramic tooling for the machining of an Inconel-clad bore, the machining time for this application has been slashed from 20 minutes down to just two minutes.

Processing workpieces with diameters up to 1,250 mm being a mixture of small welded structures to barrel-type pump bodies, KSB - a long-time user of Scharmann machines - specified the Ecoforce 1 HT2 with 1,250 mm by 1,600 mm table and X, Y and Z axes travels of 2,400 mm by 2,000 mm by 3,500 mm, plus 600 mm in W. The 45 kW/4,000 revs/min machine has a torque of 1,700 Nm for milling and drilling, and 5,000 Nm for turning.

KSB, however, needed a number of important changes to the original Ecoforce specification before going ahead with the purchase. While retaining the Siemens 840 D control system, which ensured continuity in programming, the company also required:

- An 80-tool chain magazine with automatic pick-up for a balanced P700 facing head (300 revs/min; 5,000 Nm) and universal angled milling head for five-sided machining - rather than the conventional larger tool magazine and pallet changer because space is at a premium;

- An additional NC table (800 mm by 80 mm) to accommodate smaller workpieces;

- Temperature compensation – specifically to counter any possible spindle elongation caused by the often lengthy process of milling screw threads in a single pass;

- modified vacuum extraction system, now attached at a lower level, to enable operators themselves to carry out simple maintenance and cleaning – which, in fact, has since been adopted on all new Scharmann Ecoforce models.

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