Grayline turns to Dugard

Founded only five years ago, Grayline Engineering is a machine shop located in Woodbridge that typically reflects the general subcontract sector, manufacturing ‘anything and everything’, according to managing director Graham Chattenton. Central to the company’s growth is a strategy to invest in machine tools from Dugard.

“I used Dugard machines when I worked at other companies and they’ve always been helpful,” he says. “If there has ever been a service issue or problem with the machines, Dugard has stepped up to the mark and I’ve always been really happy with the results.”

When Grayline was set up five years ago it invested in two Dugard 32 sliding-head machines. To complement these machines, which have now been superseded in the Dugard range by the Hanwha series of sliding-head lathes, Grayline recently invested in a Dugard SMEC SL2000ASY sub-spindle turning centre with Y-axis machining capabilities.

With a swing over bed of 650 mm, a maximum machining diameter of 395 mm and a maximum machining length of 450 mm, this 8” chuck machine has been supplied with a Hydrafeed 65 bar feeding unit.

Offering a larger capacity than the sliding-head machines, the SMEC SL2000ASY has an 11/18.5 kW spindle motor with a maximum spindle speed of 4500 rpm, and a 5.5/7.5 kW motor on the sub-spindle. In addition, a driven tooling unit achieves a spindle speed of 5000 rpm from the 3.7/5.5 kW continuous live tooling motor.

Speaking about the purchase of the SMEC SL2000ASY slant-bed machine, Chattenton concludes: “The staff at Dugard are always quick to make sure that we’re getting everything we need to do the job. We pick up the phone and get all the answers we need.”

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Pyrometer for aluminium forging

Ametek Land, a manufacturer of monitors and analysers for industrial infrared non-contact temperature measurement, has continued innovating its popular Spot AL EQS aluminium applications pyrometer by introducing two new modes for forging and forming applications.

The new F and F Mg (magnesium) algorithms extend Ametek Land’s capabilities to provide accurate, repeatable temperature measurements to additional aluminium production and processing industries. These new algorithms are suitable for reheating and secondary processing applications with thicker alloy-dependent oxide layers.

Ametek Land says that the F and F Mg modes of Spot AL EQS are suited to billet temperature measurements at entry to the extrusion press or during other aluminium pre-heating processes. The modes provide accurate digital temperature readings of low and variable emissivity aluminium to ensure optimised process speed and efficiency, and help deliver high-quality products with minimal scrap.

Spot AL EQS pyrometers now offer five measurement modes, with dedicated pre-set algorithms that provide the accurate digital temperature readings of low and variable emissivity aluminium. Potential F and F Mg applications include: billet profile; ingot/sales (re)heat furnace; pre-heating and forging; induction heating/heat treatment; mounting/shrinking; and preheating for coating/bending.

The Spot AL EQS non-contact infrared pyrometer provides a single sensor solution for aluminium extrusion, strip mill, forming/forging and further processing. It uses Ametek Land’s Spot technology and proprietary data-processing algorithms to measure aluminium temperature at the exit of an extruder press; quench and billets; strip mill; forging/forming applications; and forging/forming applications with high-magnesium content alloys.
Offering measurements ranging from 200 to 700°C, the pyrometer integrates with control systems to optimise throughput at the press or mill.

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High-speed video measuring

To measure components reliably and efficiently, whether in an inspection room or on the shop floor, Nikon has developed a new CNC video measuring system. Also known as an optical CMM, the Nexiv VMZ-S3020 is suitable for automated quality-control applications in a production line, as its high speed allows real-time feedback of measured results to optimise a manufacturing process.

Applications include inspecting a variety of mechanical, moulded, cast and pressed components that fall within its 300 x 200 x 200 mm working volume. Nikon’s proprietary optical measuring, image processing and analysis technologies are employed to detect feature edges at high speed, capturing accurately and automatically the shape and dimensions of even the most complex components.

There are numerous enhancements to the robustness of the unit and its functionality over the instrument that it replaces, the VMZ-R3020. Additionally, the Nexiv VMZ-S series can achieve even faster movements and image capture steps via the dedicated CMOS camera than its predecessor. In-house-developed, high-resolution linear encoders feed the position of the stage axes back to the control, maintaining measurement precision and consistency. Image transfer and subsequent data processing are also quicker, making it possible to reduce measurement cycle times without compromising accuracy or reproducibility.

Fast laser scanning at 1000 points/sec can rapidly acquire the cross-sectional shape of a surface and evaluate the relative heights, meeting measurement needs across a wide variety of samples.

A fully featured measurement software environment, Nexiv AutoMeasure, enables high precision, high speed and easy measurement cycles using tools that are close to hand in a user-friendly GUI.

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Baxi commits to net zero

Boiler manufacturer Baxi Heating is promising to revolutionise the way homes and buildings are heated. Karen Boswell OBE, the newly appointed managing director of Baxi Heating, says: “Future generations will judge us by our actions. Our pledge is to be carbon neutral in all our operations by 2030, and to lead the phase-out of carbon intensive heating by ensuring every product we make from 2025 will work with low-carbon energy fuels, either directly, such as hydrogen boilers, heat pumps, smart electric water heating and heat networks, or hydrogen-ready boilers than can be converted after installation.”

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Robots partner humans at FPT

At the plant of FPT Industrial Driveline in Turin, which produces transmissions and axles for heavy equipment, can be found a new Advanced Use Robotic Arm (AURA). Dedicated to assembling axle spindles, AURA is a robot designed and built by Comau and used in the HuManS (Human-centered Manufacturing System) project, which places humans at the centre of the production system, surrounded by machinery that helps and shares the space with them in complete safety. Almost 3 m high and weighing about 3 tonnes, AURA is a collaborative industrial robot that works alongside humans, without barriers.

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