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A Ward CNC-supplied Hartford Infinity double-column vertical machining centre is allowing Tubesheet, a manufacturer of heat exchanger tube plates, to tackle larger workpieces.

In addition, the more recent installation – again by Ward CNC – of a pre-owned vertical boring machine has also allowed the company to bring in-house a range of previously outsourced components.

‘The result of using the Hartford since it was commissioned earlier this year is that we are able to comfortably process plates of over 2m diameter and, with the Webster and Bennett borer, we now have total control over the quality, delivery and cost of finish machining routines on certain components,’ said Tubesheet’s production manager, Steve Howkins.

‘It was soon successfully put to work mainly drilling (a variety of diameters) and performing a small amount of spigot milling on the wide range of tube plates that we process – mainly as one-offs,’ he said.

With X, Y and Z axes of 3,050 x 2,100 x 780/1,070mm, the Hartford Infinity HAS-3210 double column vertical machining centre also offers rapid traverse rates of 15m/min in X and Z, 12m/min in Y, and cutting feed rates of 8,000revs/min to complement a spindle speed of 6,000 (10,000) revs/min from its 22/26kW spindle.

It is fitted with a 20 (32)-tool automatic toolchanger, which provides Tubesheet with adequate capability for the range of drill diameters required.

The Heidenhain iTNC 530 CNC and complementary drive package was specifically selected to complement the company’s continuous use of the EdgeCAM CAD/CAM system.

This enables electronics drawings to be received via email; EdgeCAM then quickly converts these into NC programs with appropriate speeds, feeds and tool selections.

Tubesheet opted for a Ward-supplied vertical borer when it decided to bring in-house finish machining operations on spigots to meet an ultra-high surface finish of Ra 3.2-6.3.

TW Ward CNC Machinery

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