Bending large parts from thick material

Amada has extended its range of HFE3i intelligent press brakes by adding a 400 tonne machine in 4, 5 and 6 m lengths. Aimed at heavy-engineering sectors such as agriculture, commercial vehicle, rail, construction, mining and shipbuilding, the new HFE3i HT (High Tonnage) model can bend mild steel up to 20 mm thick.

A high-rigidity frame offers optimum performance in high-tonnage applications, while Amada’s design of the lower table guarantees parallel beam deflection. Furthermore, the strong and flexible back gauge combines payload and positioning accuracy via its five motorised axes.

The standard single Delta-X finger, which can move forward and backwards independently of the other, allows high gauging flexibility and is particularly useful when bending asymmetrical workpieces. Optionally, customers can select Delta-X on both fingers.

HFE3i HT machines feature a range of equipment designed specifically for high-tonnage applications. For instance, Digipro uses wireless technology to transmit the measured angle to the control before the machine compensates to provide a precise bend angle. At all times, operators can use a hand wheel to make manual adjustments to each axis. If required, an optional device for active angle measurement is available: the Bi-M laser can measure and correct the angle in real time.

A further benefit for customers is Amada’s Eco inverter technology, which means the machine stops using power as soon as the bend is complete. As well as saving energy, this smart hydraulic power system reduces maintenance requirements, oil consumption and noise.

The HFE3i HT can be optionally fitted with Amada SF200 sheet followers (200 kg per arm) to help improve accuracy and safety. SF200 units follow the bend speed as folding takes place.

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First engine run on Testbed 80

Rolls-Royce has successfully completed the first engine run on its state-of-the-art Testbed 80, which will be the largest and smartest indoor aerospace testbed in the world after its official opening in the coming months. With an internal area of 7500 sq m, making it larger than a football pitch, the testbed conducted its first run on a Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine at the company’s facility in Derby. The project has been under construction for almost three years and represents a £90m investment.

Chris Cholerton, president of Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, says: “Testbed 80 will not only test engines such as the Trent XWB, but the engines and propulsion systems of the future, which will see us take another step towards decarbonisation. It’s great that the first engine test has been a success.”

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Lathe update broadens its appeal

Although already featuring the latest RLX ProtoTRAK control, XYZ Machine Tools has now introduced a range of options to further enhance the appeal of its RLX 780 heavy-duty CNC lathe (3000 mm between centre distance and 780 mm swing over the bed).

The first option, which will prove attractive to the oil and gas sector, is the availability of a 180 mm spindle bore (160 mm standard). This larger size makes the machine ideal for turning 6” API pipe, which has a standard 168 mm outside diameter.

For customers not familiar with the benefits of ProtoTRAK, XYZ Machine Tools has also added the option of a Siemens 828D ShopTurn control. In addition, customers specifying this CNC will benefit from an eight-station turret with live tooling using a 30 VDI connection.

“The RLX 780 has exceeded all of our sales forecasts, which we made prior to COVID-19,” states Nigel Atherton, managing director at XYZ Machine Tools. “It has proved extremely popular across sectors where large capacity mixed with flexibility is required. These latest updates and options will extend its appeal as a cost-effective solution for turning large, long components, but with the flexibility to machine smaller parts when required.”

Aimed at industries such as rail, oil and gas, and general engineering, the standard specification of the RLX 780 includes a 30 kW spindle with Yaskawa inverter drive that delivers infinitely variable speeds across two ranges of 20-417 and 580-1300 rpm. Machine stability comes from its 8600 kg overall weight, with the one-piece solid ribbed cast base featuring a 500 mm wide vee and flat bed.

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Large-capacity turn-mill range

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has introduced a range of large-capacity turn-mill machines. The Puma SMX 5100L series, the largest in Doosan’s SMX series, handles large, heavy workpieces typically found in the aerospace, energy and oil and gas sectors – machining them to completion in a single set-up.

There are four different models in the range, with the largest machines having chuck sizes up to 21”, a maximum turning diameter of 830 mm and a maximum turning length of 3050 mm.

SMX 5100LS and SMX 5100LSB machines are equipped with high-torque, built-in (left and right) spindles (up to 37 kW/2400 rpm) with 0.0001° resolution on their C axes for high-precision contouring. SMX5100L and SMX 5100LB models offer a programmable, servo-driven tailstock (instead of a sub-spindle) for the precision machining of parts such as long shafts and tubes.

All four models carry a versatile B-axis milling head (±120° stroke) that features the Capto C8 quick-change tooling system. Power is via a 37 kW motor that rotates at 10,000 rpm. The roller gear cam mechanism that drives the B axis eliminates backlash and is highly rigid, with a torque rating of up to 2700 Nm.

Ultra-fast rapid traverse rates (40 m/min), Y-axis capability (520 mm) and heavy-duty high-precision roller LM guideways further optimise productivity and performance.

The machines are also equipped with servo-driven tool changers (up to 120 tools), with the machines’ ATCs also having their own touchscreen panel for ease-of-use, efficient job set-up and better process reliability. Long boring bar and long tool magazines are available as options.

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Robotics venture launched

Belgrave & Powell, a specialist engineering services group has established a robotics and automation arm within its machine technology group division. Called Addison Robotics & Automation, the new organisation will focus on the growing trend for automation and robotics to improve productivity and manufacturing efficiency in the UK and overseas.

The 22,000 sq ft machine technology group facility in Preston employs over 50 people and comprises machine design and build, robotic demonstration and applications areas, as well as panel build, a fully equipped tool room and machine shop combined with skilled engineers from electrical, mechanical and tooling disciplines.

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