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Broadbent Stanley’s 11m CNC Orbital Grinding Machine, the Orbigrind T350, is believed to be the world’s largest orbital grinder designed exclusively for the production of large crankshafts and shafts.

In addition to 11m between centres, the machine has a swing over the slideways of 1,750mm (1,900mm in the gap) with a maximum component weight between centres of 25,000kg, It is almost 17m long and weighs 60,000kg.

‘The Orbigrind T350 is a purpose-built machine controlled by a CNC system, rather than an adaption of a conventional machine,’ said Graham Thomas, managing director.

‘Customers also asked for a bigger crankshaft throw (pin offset from centreline), so we gave them 350mm,’ he added.

The software engineers’ brief was to produce ‘standard crankshaft machining cycles’, as all crankshafts, no matter what the number of pins or size, share common features.

They all have bearing journals and pins with differing angles to each other, so the team developed their software around one initial but simple operation.

All the operator has to do is set the first pin at bottom dead centre, which acts as his datum, with the programme generated via one-step-at-a-time inputs into the control.

Anticipated savings for setting alone are estimated to be between 60 and 90 per cent.

This micron-accuracy machine comes complete with two driven workheads – one fixed and one powered as per a tailstock, two chucks, 10 steadies and a 1,600mm-diameter grinding wheel.

The machine can also be configured to suit individual customer needs, including in-process gauging.

Broadbent Stanley

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