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Mills has added a range of five-face Double-Column Machining Centres to its Doosan big machine-tool portfolio.

The new DCM machines, with up to 10.25m (X-axis), 4200mm (Y-axis) and 700mm (Z-axis) travels, and 1100mm (W-axis travel/ vertical movement of elevated crossrail), can handle parts 68,000kg in weight.

Depending on the type of application, DCM machines can be specified with various ram spindle configurations (heavy-duty cutting through to high-speed/high-torque options); different head attachments and table types.

Nick Frampton, Mills’ managing director, said: ‘The Doosan big machine-tool range is impressive – and the new DCM machines are no exception.

‘In terms of breadth, depth, technical specification and all-round performance and price – big Doosan machines are the number-one choice for precision manufacturers in the oil and gas, power generation and other sectors where the machining of large components is at a premium.’ The sectors where big Doosan machines are used are demanding, with customers typically basing their machine-tool investment plans on the following criteria: machine-tool performance and functionality; machine-tool price; machine-tool availability; and the technical expertise and support available from the machine-tool supplier.

Many Mills customers have adopted strategic approaches that helped narrow down their choice.

For example, when Itasco was looking for a large-capacity lathe to manufacture end-fittings used to connect thermoplastic hoses and steel-tube umbilicals (for the oil and gas sector) it selected a Doosan Puma 700LM lathe supplied by Mills CNC.

Jim Mullen, director of Itasco, said one of the main reasons his company selected the Puma was: ‘The Doosan machine was able to reduce the number of machining operations to complete parts [from four operations down to just two].

‘The Puma takes heavy-duty machining operations in its stride and delivers high-accuracy and high-volumetric removal rates via its high-torque (45kW/1,500rev/min) spindle.

‘Furthermore, because the machine is equipped with driven tooling (12 tools/11kW 3,000rev/min), we can mill, drill and tap complex features (such as bores and threads) in one set-up.

‘The productivity improvements gained since installing the Puma have been tremendous – we’ve been able to reduce our lead times, we require less operator involvement and intervention, we’ve improved part accuracies (due to less work handling) and, as a consequence, we are more competitive.’ It’s a similar situation with Glenrothes-based precision subcontractor KSW Engineering, which recently invested in a Doosan DB 130CX Horizontal Boring Machine.

Stewart Wilson, managing director at KSW, said: ‘Our decision to invest in the Doosan machine was based on a number of inter-related factors, namely: performance of the machine, its price and availability, and the help and support we could get from Mills.

‘A critical issue for us was the machine’s availability.

‘With other competitor machines, delivery was being quoted as being 12 months or over.

‘With the Doosan, delivery was achieved in just three months and that included installation and operator training from Mills.

‘Equally important was the machine’s performance and functionality and in particular its high-accuracy volumetric removal rates, achieved via its powerful, high-torque 26kW 5,000rev/min (three-range gearbox-driven) spindle.

‘Other features, including its 130mm boring spindle and 700mm W-axis (for optimum reach across the table), its versatile B-axis rotary table and fixed-address 60-position ATC, matched our requirements perfectly.’ The investment made by Gateshead-based precision manufacturer Express Engineering in a Doosan HM 1250 Horizontal Machining Centre exemplifies Mills’ after-sales strengths.

Nigel Davison, managing director of Express Engineering, said: ‘Our HM 1250 machine was delivered and installed by Mills’ engineers in next to no time and the whole operation went smoothly from start to finish.

‘This was a critical issue for us because contracts that we’d won were based on our ability to meet fairly stringent lead times – so any unnecessary delays and downtime had to be avoided at all costs.’

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