Displaying items by tag: production
Apprentices are being sought to follow a career in industry through a unique partnership to capitalise on the resurgence in engineering and advanced manufacturing.
Skills body Semta has joined forces with the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers to develop advanced apprenticeship programmes with foundries in the south east of England.
Companies in Kent and south London have committed to taking on apprentices to fill vacancies which are being created by the retirement of highly skilled workers.
Those young people who successfully complete the programme will achieve a diploma in casting from EAL – the specialist awarding organisation for industry qualifications.
Semta’s apprenticeship director Bill Twigg hailed the move as a significant step forward with at least six new jobs expected to be created in the first phase, quickly followed by many more.
Mr Twigg said: “Casting is a fundamental part of the UK’s Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector supplying highly engineered components parts for the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, energy supply industries and telecommunications.
“The booming car industry in the UK, the expansion of commercial aircraft engine sales and investment in nuclear and renewables, such as wind energy, present a fantastic opportunity for companies.
“Earlier this year the first foundry graduates in 20 years were honoured after they successfully completed a new Foundation Degree in Casting developed at Bradford College.
“We are delighted to be working with ICME again this time with companies in the Kent and south London areas to develop home-grown skills which will ensure casting remains an integral part of UK industry for many years to come.”
The employers taking part are: M J Allen, Aeromet International, Stone Foundry, Essex Replica and W H Rowe.
Dr Pam Murrell, chief executive of the ICME, said while many foundries had taken on apprentices in recent years, they have generally been in machining and maintenance rather than in foundry skills as it had not been possible to source the necessary technical educational programmes to underpin the apprenticeships.
Dr Murrell said: "These are companies who are supplying world class components to the automotive and aerospace industry. The lack of supply of qualified technicians and castings engineers for these companies is a concern.
"Now that we have the EAL diploma in casting, approved by Semta, we have a formal programme to deliver the necessary underpinning knowledge in casting technology.
"I am optimistic that through this innovative approach, working closely with local employers, we can start to train the technicians needed."
There are approximately 400 operating foundries in the UK with a combined turnover approaching £2.2bn pa and the industry employs at least 17,000 people producing around 550,000 tonnes of castings per year, supplying all areas of the advanced manufacturing industry.
LEADING AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENT SUPPLIER AUTOMATICALLY CHOOSES ADDISONMCKEE.
Global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of the world's finest tube bending and endforming technologies, AddisonMckee of Lebanon, USA; Brantford, Canada and Bamber Bridge, UK has recently installed an automated cell into a facility in the north of England.
One of the world’s largest international groups dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal components and structural systems for the automotive industry. Whilst AddisonMcKee’s unrivalled experience of CNC bending and forming technology made the company’s appointment to supply a fully integrated system a natural one, it was recently completed on time to the customer’s full satisfaction.
Two components were presented to AddisonMckee to process, one required only bending and drilling, but to be produced by a fully automated solution; the other component only needed forming and production was to be manually controlled. (To be automated at a later date.)
BENDING OPERATION. -
The bending cell incorporated a bunker system fed by pallets of cut 34mm diameter tubes, which were unloaded magnetically and processed within a buffer system, to a pick-up point were the tube was seam detected and presented ready for an ABB robot to collect. The robot with a double gripper held the new tube until the eB80bending machine had completed two symmetrical 1 x D bend on bend applications; it then removed the bent tube and inserted the new tube, and the bending process recommenced. The bent tube is then transferred by the robot to a combined inspection gauge and drilling fixture, if the component is deemed to be incorrect it is transferred to a reject chute; otherwise two holes are drilled and the component is transferred to a finished part stillage, which is mounted on a turntable system. When the stillage is full the turntable presents an empty stillage ready for the process to work continuously. Within any automated system, safety and process fault diagnosis are of paramount importance. AddisonMckee worked with and were assisted by Premier Automation to engineer a fully integrated robotic system that met all the customer’s logistics and health and safety requirements.
FORMING OPERATION. –
The component to be formed was a straight 50mm diameter tube that required three AddisonMckee machines to form both ends and trim to length. One end required a flat to be produced by a two hit 70RF machine and the other end required a 70SRF (selectable ram form). The SRF machine used three hits to produce an offset reduction to a size that allowed the 34mm bent tube to be inserted on the final welded assembly. After forming the resultant end deformation was trimmed to the correct length with an FM70TTPN (tube trim with pre-notch).
So Your Second-Hand Machine Does Not Become a “Failure”
Lower investment volume, adequate production capacity – the arguments for buying a second-hand machine are obvious. Is it that simple though? Particularly in the case of complex tube bending machines, there is a whole range of factors determining the efficiency of using a second-hand system. In the worst case, the new, second-hand machine becomes a “failure” in the production sequence because the component quality and output performance do not match.
Who buys a car without a test drive and without knowing its features? Yet, investment in a second-hand system resembles precisely this scenario more often than you would think. This is particularly true if complex tube bending machines from a niche area are bought without consulting the original manufacturer. Pipe bending processing on an industrial scale is a good example of this: customer-specific system solutions are used in many sectors, ensuring high-precision bending results by means of CNC control, high performance drives and bending tools with a complex structure. The sophisticated plant technology cannot be simply dismantled and reconstructed to produce new components in a different company. “Detailed questions of component geometry, material and output quantity have a decisive impact on the possible applications of the machine,” explains Hartmut Stöhr, Managing Director of bending machine specialist Schwarze-Robitec (producer of machines in the brands Schwarze-Robitec, Robitec and Schwarze-Wirtz). “In our case, the procedure itself complicates the sale of second-hand machines by third parties. If one of our tube bending machines has been designed for example to process thin-walled exhaust pipes in mass production, it might not be suitable for bending thick-walled high-pressure tubes for plant construction. Ultimately, whether the drive concept and machine design can produce perfect component quality under the new conditions can be judged only by one of our specialists.”
Exceptionally High Risks
The fact that second-hand special-purpose machines are bought time and again without consulting the manufacturer is the result of economic considerations, as Stöhr knows: “It naturally sounds attractive if a machine from a prestigious manufacturer can be offered at an apparently very reasonable price for one’s own production.” Consequently, however, buyers of bending machines frequently take excessive risks. Machines are therefore taken over with no prior testing. Initial testing takes place only on the new production site. Under these conditions, it is of course impossible to verify whether the system has the required capacity. “Before buying, it should at least be ensured that the machine actually works properly. The control must show no errors, the mechanics must not be worn and the machine must be complete in terms of its components,” Schwarze-Robitec Managing Director Bert Zorn points out perhaps the simplest basic conditions. “It must then be presented in test mode, in order to be able to clarify for example that all of the axles still work properly. However, these criteria are really the absolute minimum and they are adequate in only the rarest of cases. There is generally a lot more to be considered.”
Small Things Can Tip the Balance
Time and again, the bending specialists are confronted with enquiries from users who have already bought a second-hand machine and encounter great problems a short time after the start of production. “We are contacted when the horse has bolted and the machine does not work,” Zorn says. Even small things can tip the balance here – for example if incorrect hydraulic filters are used, resulting in problems with the hydraulic pumps after a short time.
Information in the Manufacturer’s Database
On the other side, rogue sellers sometimes exploit the ignorance of buyers: old plants are repainted then even given false type references and accordingly sold more expensively. It is also a problem if original components have been replaced or improper repairs or alterations carried out on the machine. Customers are additionally left in the dark about possible difficulties with obtaining spares for very old parts. In the event of production problems, even the original manufacturer’s fitters are sometimes baffled, as they cannot repair the foreign parts and the result may then be expensive downgrading to original condition. Ultimately, Schwarze-Robitec therefore recommends asking at some point before any investment decision. “There are various options if you contact us,” explains Jürgen Korte, Authorised Representative at Schwarze-Robitec. “We can look at our records to see exactly which machine is being offered. In addition to the delivery condition and the exact age of the machine, we can then also provide statements about whether the machine has undergone regular maintenance by the manufacturer. This is at least an initial indication of the current condition of the plant. Moreover, we can assess whether the machine type offered is an option at all for the application area.”
Focus on Safety Technology in the Case of Second-Hand Machines
Of course, these indicators also provide no absolute guarantee. The ideal way when buying second-hand machines is therefore to buy from the original manufacturer. As well as factory-tested second-hand machines, Schwarze-Robitec also supplies reconditioned machines. In the case of the bending specialist, reconditioned means: the manufacturer restores the machine to mint condition by complete dismantling and reconstruction from scratch – naturally including the latest control, electrical installation, hydraulics etc. Furthermore, the reconditioned system is also always compliant with the current safety regulations and therefore has CE marking. This is a very important topic, particularly when buying a second-hand machine. If machines display no CE marking and their safety technology is incomplete, they must not be placed in operation. In some cases, even the lack of operating instructions – with directions on the correct procedure in case of damage – might be enough for a second-hand machine to not comply with the safety regulations. “For an original manufacturer, such things naturally go without saying. The customer also receives a full guarantee on our reconditioned machines,” Authorised Representative Korte explains the advantages of buying from the manufacturer.
If There are No Spares
The issue of spares is of similar importance when buying a second-hand machine. Here, of course, the older the machine, the less reliable our stock. Generally, only the machine manufacturer is able to say whether it is still possible to obtain vital components in case of damage. Here again, the database provides information on the components used in a machine. However, from this perspective, a reconditioned machine is always the first choice. In this case, all obsolete components are replaced – from the control to the smallest sealing ring. Moreover, the manufacturers guarantee lasting operation of the system through an extensive service provision. The question of spares is then resolved from the outset.
Better Brand New?
In which case should a second-hand machine be avoided and a completely new system chosen? In the view of the specialists, the product range and daily use of the machine are critical. “If no series parts are to be produced and enough time is scheduled for maintenance and repair, a second-hand machine is certainly an option that can be considered,” Managing Director Bert Zorn states. “However, if production is dependent on a high level of availability of the plant and you want to benefit from the advantages of the latest control generation then the company is better advised to have a new machine or a reconditioned plant. A new machine can then also be completely customised to the requirements of the customer. We recommend that any company interested in a tube bending machine or wanting to pass on their old machine first contact us, the manufacturer.”
West Bromwich based Berck Ltd, leading manufacturers of quality metal pressings and metal and plastic subassemblies, have won an impressive £1m contract with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Having previously worked as a second tier supplier for JLR, the new order marks a continuation in their business relationship, with Berck Ltd producing components for the car manufacturer’s new line of vehicles.
According to Berck Ltd’s Managing Director Darren Yates, it is the company’s dedication to the highest quality standards and an expertise in the most innovative design which have ensured the firm’s precision components to become widely used in car manufacturing plants worldwide. Stressing the importance of excellent customer service, he says, “We have gained a reputation for really looking after our customers. We realise that they are busy people and we have always endeavoured to make it as easy for them as we can.”
The new contract will see Berck Ltd making cable harness assemblies, battery terminal contacts and cable management solutions to eliminate the over-heating of wires in the engine. The extra work has enabled the firm to expand their 63 strong workforce with another two members of staff, adding to their overall number of apprentices and championing the next generation of engineers at the same time.
Already employing two apprentices in their press show who are undergoing training to qualify as press setters, Darren Yates says, “We are really pleased to have taken on another apprentice who is being trained in quality control and in our tool room, as well as a post-graduate who is working in the product design department. It is important for us to look at the next engineering generation and we are incredibly pleased with our two new recruits.”
Having already gained a B-Tec level qualification, apprentice Rikki Power is hoped to join the company in the commercial department upon completion of his training. Meanwhile, 24 year old Pradeep Kumar has been recruited into the product design department, following the retirement of a former employee.
Commenting on his latest recruit, Darren Yates says, “Recruiting someone like Pradeep has breathed new life into this area of our business and is exactly what we wanted. In recent years, the image crisis suffered by manufacturing and engineering has meant it has not always been easy to recruit.”
However, identifying a change in perceptions as young people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance and value of learning a trade and acquiring specific skills, he adds, “The manufacturing and engineering sector is currently consisting of an ageing workforce. It is therefore important to preserve the skills and expertise of our highly experienced existing workers by bestowing them on the next generation.”
This is a practice that has already proven to be successful for Berck Ltd in the past. One of their staff members in the tool room originally started as an apprentice with the company ten years ago and has remained with them ever since.
The design and manufacturing of welding equipment for nuclear power production is one activity among Polysoude’s wide range of applications. In this field, the company is involved from the first stage up to the very end.
Most of the piping must be installed and joined directly inside the plant under construction, which means restricted access to the welding areas and the necessity of all-position welding. These conditions are perfectly met by the orbital welding equipment. Mobile power sources are adapted to the harsh on-site conditions including humidity and unstable energy supply; with open orbital welding heads and low profile open carriage-type welding heads.
Nuclear fuel fabrication
The final processing of enriched solid uranium hexafluoride (UF6) is carried out in nuclear fuel fabrication facilities.
The thin-walled tubes which are used to produce these rods usually consist of a zirconium alloy. The extremities of the tubes are sealed gas-tight by means of welded end caps. The weld is carried out without the addition of filler wire.
Nuclear power plant
The components of the primary cooling circuit of a nuclear power plant belong to the Nuclear Island. The welding of the heavy components is carried out as far as possible during prefabrication in a workshop using stationary welding equipment. For example, the core barrel is placed on a turntable and rotates during the weld operation; two welding torches are installed opposite on column and boom devices and weld simultaneously. Narrow gap welding equipment and control devices for the synchronisation of the weld cycle and the different movements are designed and manufactured by Polysoude.
The inner surfaces of the reactor vessel and the steam generators are protected against the corrosive attack of the coolant by a resistant layer, the important surfaces are commonly coated in an economical manner by strip cladding.
Special attention needs to be paid to the construction of the reactor vessel head. In particular, the top and bottom parts are complex components with numerous nozzles for control instruments and the Control Rod Drive Mechanism (CRDM).
To connect one of the four CDRM tubes, in the first step carbon steel is welded on the outside of the vessel head until a flat circular surface is attained. During the second step a circular cladding operation with low alloy steel wire is carried out until the specified height of the stud is reached. During all operations none of the welds are in contact with the coolant and all carbon steel surfaces are protected.
The central element of modern steam turbines, the rotor with a length of up to 20 metres and a weight of up to 350 tons. To complete the heterogeneous joint, the rotor segments are super positioned and the buttered sides are then welded together using the TIG hot wire narrow gap technique.
Maintenance and repair
Preventive maintenance and professionally carried out repairs are essential for the safe and sustainable operation of nuclear power plants. The improved design of delicate constructions, helps to avoid unscheduled downtime. Mechanised, remotely operated welding equipment allows respect of the specified procedures and helps to maintain the man-rem exposure of the repair personnel at a low level.
Recycling of used fuel and sustainable nuclear waste disposal
Polysoude is involved in the development of methods to seal the huge transport canisters lastingly using specific welding procedures.
Pdf of the artcile can be download from the link below
Sharon Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, announced today that a ribbon-cutting event will celebrate the April 1, 2013 relaunch of the Sharon Tube brand. On June 11, 2013, Sharon Tube will welcome employees and their families, customers, local dignitaries and the media to gather at the precision tube facility to commemorate Sharon Tube's history and celebrate its new state-of-the art manufacturing process.
Media Day festivities begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, with the ribbon-cutting ceremony and a welcome speech given by JMC Steel Group's CEO, Barry Zekelman. Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader, an advocate for domestic manufacturing, will then deliver the keynote speech. Sharon Tube President Bill Perrine will offer closing remarks, speaking to Sharon Tube's relaunch and bright future as a world-class DOM manufacturing facility.
Following the keynote speeches, guests will be given guided tours of the plant to see the recent expansion of the DOM manufacturing facility firsthand. A picnic lunch will be provided following the tours.
Magnetic Analysis Corporation, a leader in nondestructive testing, is celebrating 85 years of designing and supplying innovative inspection instruments and systems for metal manufacturers throughout the world.
Founded in 1928 in Long Island City, NY at a time when testing for quality purposes usually meant laboratory “sampling” techniques which essentially destroyed or altered part of the product being tested, MAC began working with electromagnetic techniques to “nondestructively” test steel bars without altering the product. After six years of development work, MAC introduced the first successful bartester to identify cracks in steel bars in a mill in 1934. Since then, the company has set the standard for innovative NDT technology for metal bar, tube and parts, with rotary eddy current testers, phase gating, pulsed eddy current, polar presentation, fully digitized test instrumentation, vivid color presentations, rotary ultrasonic testers, advanced flux leakage inspection and much more.
“With the increasingly demanding specifications that our customers must meet, MAC has developed test systems to meet the stringent requirements of API, ASTM, EN, DIN and other standards organizations, allowing manufacturers to improve their quality and ship more products, be they oil country tubular goods, nuclear heat exchanger tubing, bar for the automotive industry, wire for medical use, or other critical applications”, says MAC President and CEO Joseph Vitulli.
“Serving the world’s metalworking industry with reliable, cost effective, top-of-the-line instrumentation and test systems to ensure they can meet the high quality requirements of their customers, is our 24/7 goal”, says Company Chairman, William Gould 3rd whose father and grandfather were the original founders. “But the real key to our survival and growth has been innovative MAC people, over several generations, who have understood the challenge to make product that truly serves the world’s needs - product that works reliably, is economic to make, and practical to use. MAC people’s energy and imagination continues to enable us to serve a very diverse and challenging world”.
OTO just completed the production of a 1 ½” high productivity tube mill for delivery to Ferrotodo, a leading tube manufacturer located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
This is the third tube mill that OTO havesupplied to this customer in ten years of extremely fruitful collaboration. With this mill in place Ferrotodo will increase their share in the export market, and in particular, the automotive industry.
The tube mill has been installed with the aim of entering in the automotive industry, and will principally be used for the production of headrests, and the main frame for the seats for two top car manufacturers.
The machine is capable of manufacturing tubes in the range from 10mm up to 38mm, with thicknesses up to 2mm, and the capability to process special high resistance steel, the mill is also able to produce stainless steel tubes.
Among the various features, the mill will be capable to produce tube having very robust tolerance in diameter in order to satisfy the extremely stringent requirements of the automotive industry. This is the fourth mill of this specific size that OTO has manufactured so far, and one more is on order for delivery to South America next year.
Trilogy Machinery, Inc. becomes the exclusive North American distributor for Schwarze-Robitec tube bending machines.
Schwarze-Robitec is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tube cold bending machines. The traditional company from Germany, which was founded in 1903, develops and produces tube and pipe bending systems for the automotive, shipbuilding and offshore industries, power plant construction and the chemical industry as well as special bending solutions for many other sectors of industry.
The bespoke quality products will now be sold throughout North America exclusively by prestigious partner agency Trilogy Machinery, Inc. “For our customers in the USA, Canada and Mexico, we have gained the ideal partner in Trilogy, which will now continue the successful work of Charles Russell Jr. and Tony Granelli,” Schwarze-Robitec Managing Director Bert Zorn reports. “Agency president Allan Flamholz has worked in the area of metal processing machines for over 33 year and has exact knowledge of the latest market requirements.
With his trained team, he offers the best possible advice for our entire range of products and solutions.” In addition to customer advice and customer care, the new appointment of Trilogy Machinery includes the complete sale including import of bending machines and tools.
According to relevant industry analysis, in China, production lines for aluminum plate processing has been developing toward wide plates, and as the most typical representative, the 2800mm single stand 6 rolling mill project of Nanshan Aluminum is being currently implemented as scheduled (Nanshan Aluminum is the only listed company focusing on aluminum products in China, and the Company has been topping other large aluminum enterprises in terms of corporate size and production output) and is expected to put into operation by the end of 2014. This project was undertaken by ABB China and SMS, which may mill aluminum products with a maximum width of 2650 mm, reaching a record in width of cold rolling mills for aluminum plates in China.
ABB has cooperated with Nanshan Aluminum for a long time. Early in 2003, ABB built two 2300mm wide single stand production lines for Nanshan Aluminum, which set a benchmark for the construction of the same type roller mills, and construction of the same type of roller mills had become all the rage across China and ABB had also undertaken more than 10 high-end aluminum rolling mill projects in China afterwards. In 2012, ABB built a three stands continuous cold rolling mill production lines for Nanshan Aluminum, which was the first in Asia and the second in the world. This time, Nanshan Aluminum builds this 2800 mm single stand rolling mill project, aiming at the global high-end market, and the fact that it cooperates with ABB again demonstrates its recognition of ABB’s comprehensive strengths.
ABB is responsible for the design, debugging of the electrical and automation systems for the project as well as the follow-up services. ABB mainly supplies equipment and systems, including distribution systems, MCC, primary and secondary automatic control systems, motors and transmission systems, special instruments, operating floors and cases, and fields sensors.
This project has many features in electrical systems and automation systems and we would like to introduce as below:
Feature 1: All final transmission systems for the rolling line utilize imported ABB motors
Rolling mill stands imported from ABB Finland are equipped with main motors with a power up to 6,500 kW and a voltage grade of 3,150 V, and are also equipped with ABB ACS6000 medium voltage drive transmission systems. Most motors equipped for other parts are also imported ABB products.
Feature 2: DTC core technology provides the transmission systems unbeatable excellent dynamic properties
Medium- and low-voltage motor driving systems utilize ABB’s traditional DTC technology. Compared with PWM and other control modes, DTC has a significant advantage in response time: at a frequency of less than 40 Hz, the typical torque response time may reach a super level of 1-2 ms, 10 times faster than that of traditional control modes. DTC technology may easily achieve high precision control on motor speed and torque without speed encoders.
The nature of DTC technology determines its high energy conservation. When the system works, the adaptive motor model-based high-speed digital microprocessors might capture actual flux and torque from motors at a speed of 40,000 computations per second and compare the captured values with settings, and the system may only make adjustments when there is any difference between the settings and readings. As a result, in terms of the principle of operation, DTC technology provides theoretical basis for energy saving.
Feature 3: This is the first time for EDT milling mode to be used in aluminum mills in China, which ensures features of ordinary rolling and roughen rolling
In order to better meet the market demands, Nanshan Aluminum demanded that this rolling mill shall provide roughen rolling features, and some final products require surface texturing by EDT rolling. . In consideration of this, ABB designed EDT rolling mode for this rolling mill, in other words, use the upper intermediate roll extended bending system instead of the hydraulic screw down cylinder for rolling, so as to achieve roughen rolling with low rolling force. In addition to special electric spark roughen rollers for working rolls and special roller types for intermediate rollers, for EDT rolling, it is even more important to achieve stable rolling with small rolling reductions (rolling force ≤200t, far below the normal rolling force level). However, when the rolling reduction is less than 10%, if we continue to use normal hydraulic pressure cylinders (which provide a maximum rolling force of 30MN), we cannot meet requirements on rolling stability and control precision for roughen finishing.
As a result, for ABB, the key point is how to integrate the existing general rolling strategies and roughen finishing, and based on the mathematical model rolling mill and secondary process control, the system may switch rolling modes safely and reliably optimize rolling process control.
Feature 4: Achieve highest standard in the industry for all indicators
Nanshan Aluminum has always been strict with precisions of systems and equipment. The reason why it has long been cooperating with ABB is that, ABB may provide a wide range of mature technologies and products across electrical and automation entire industry chains, covering motors, transmission systems, instruments and meters as well as control systems, so that Nanshan Aluminum may achieve the highest indicators in the industry and lead the development of the industry. For example, for this Project, thin aluminum plate may achieve 8I-Units, and the thickness control may achieve a precision of 2 um, static tension may achieve a control precision of 1.5%, and the speed control precision may achieve 0.01%.
Mr. Sun Yongming, Head of Paper, Metals & Cement in China said, “ABB will continue to serve global high-end metallurgy projects, and provide total solutions for upgrade and renovation of electrical and automation systems to both new and existing customers.
With advantages in excellent technology, product, service and project management in electrical and automatic systems and its great success in localization and a strong service capability, and based on win-win cooperation with international mechanical equipment suppliers, ABB has dominated most of high-end aluminum rolling mill projects market in China.
In face of the current downturn in Chinese metallurgy, Sun from ABB said honestly that, “ABB will strongly support steel, nonferrous metal enterprises to upgrade and renovate their plants, including both process upgrading or periodic equipment replacement, ABB will provide personalized and marketed-oriented total solutions in solution design, equipment selection and control strategy as well as other steps in consideration of corporate situation and latest technology development trend. ABB has also obtained good practical experiences in Panzhihua Steel, Ningbo Baoxin Steel and many other enterprises.”