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Doosan distributor Mills CNC has supplied two large-capacity machine tools to FMC Technologies to machine large, heavy and high-precision critical performance annulus wing blocks (AWBs).

The machines are a Doosan HM1000 (1,000mm twin-pallet horizontal machining centre) and a Doosan DBC110 (horizontal boring machine).

They were installed at FMC Technologies’ Dunfermline facility in February 2010.

Solid AWBs, made from difficult-to-machine materials (such as carbide steel with inconel-welded features) are characterised by their complex multi-valve designs and configuration, and are mounted onto subsea equipment used in the oil and gas industry to regulate the flow of hydrocarbons into and out of a well.

The machined features on AWBs typically include bores, valve pockets and other features.

The HM 1000 and DBC 110 machines have been designed for fast, accurate and heavy-duty machining of large workpieces.

Both machines are equipped with BT 50 taper high-torque spindles, good size work tables, and high-capacity tool changers.

In addition to the two Doosan machine tools supplied to FMC Technologies, Mills CNC proposed the ‘zero-point’ clamping system, which is designed to help manufacturers increase their productivity.

The company suggested this system because it would enable four faces of the large, heavy carbide steel blocks to be machined in one setup on the Doosan machines, which would deliver benefits including: reduced job setups; shorter part-cycle times; fewer operator interventions; and improved component accuracy.

The zero-point clamping system also ensures repeatable part positioning, and only requires one side to be clamped, offering improved access.

Mills CNC’s recommendations were accepted in principle, but objective evidence that cycle times could be reduced and that the zero-point clamping system would be able to hold the parts rigidly and accurately during the boring and milling operations was required.

The company arranged for FMC engineers to visit Doosan’s South Korean facility as part of the selection and verification process.

They witnessed and evaluated a series of machining trials to demonstrate the ability Doosan machines and the reliability of the zero-point clamping system.

The real-time trials went smoothly and backed up the productivity and performance claims, Mills CNC said.

Visits to specific Mills customer reference sites were also arranged to enable FMC to investigate further the scope, scale and efficacy of Mills’ after-sales services, including technical and applications support, machine tool service and training.

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