Introducing the new Orbigrind T350
The new Orbigrind T350, a newly designed heavy duty crankshaft grinding machine believed to be one of the world’s largest, is in the final stages of being installed at LC&M’s Lincoln manufacturing facility in the UK.
Mr Harwood, Managing Director of UK based Lincoln Crankshaft & Machine Ltd (LC&M) takes up the story “We have grown our sub-contract shaft and crankshaft business over the years with 2009 being our best trading year thus far, and as part of our ongoing strategy, additional investment in new plant and equipment was required in order to achieve the next stage of our company development. We looked closely at the global market for a suitable machine and whilst there are a number of manufacturers offering machines of the size required, we didn’t just want another large capacity CNC grinding machine.”
Orbital grinding is not a new process but machines the size of the new Orbigrind T350 with a maximum distance between centres of 11,000mm and swing of 1900mm, under full CNC control, had proven nigh on impossible to produce in the past. Conventional CNC machines utilise recirculating ballscrew drives via a/c motors, and whilst lost motion or backlash is minimal when new, after a short period of time, constantly reversing a crosslide/wheelhead assembly weighing some 7 or 8 tonnes would soon introduce inaccuracies, with excessive wear in the ballscrew/drive taking place. So, a completely new drive system was developed utilising linear motor technology and whilst more expensive, it completely eliminates the need for conventional drives, and gives micron accuracy.
Although still is the early stages of machine usage, LC&M has already achieved major savings in both set-up and machining times. Gone are the days of individually clocking each bearing or “pin” diameter, prior to grinding, as all is accommodated within the control software. “Once fully proficient” Mr Harwood adds, “We believe we can slash up to 60% off setting times alone, this will give us better throughput, a reduction in lead time, which in turn will make us more competitive in the market place.”
All our machines are built to specific customer requirements and tolerances, contact us for more information.
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