To machine helical gears at 45-degree angles, Gurecky Manufacturing Service Inc. installed a customized multifunctional machine from DMG Mori Ellison Technologies with a hobbing tool from Heimatec.
As the competitive nature within a market increases, so does the need for increased productivity and through put by handling the parts less. One way to meet this need is to accomplish more operations in one setup. Gurecky Manufacturing Services Inc. of Rosenberg, Texas, decided to enhance its manufacturing operations by purchasing a machine that could act as a regular CNC lathe and machine helical gears at the same time. However, a custom hobbing tool from Heimatec Inc. (Prospect Heights, Ill.) was necessary to achieve a desired 45-degree helix angle.
Gurecky was founded in 1983. Today, the company operates out of a 43,000-square-foot facility, serving the oil, gas and energy industries. The company produces multifaceted precision parts ranging from prototypes to mass production. To remain competitive, Gurecky constantly invests in advanced manufacturing equipment. For example, since buying its first DMU 50 ecoline from DMG Mori (Hoffman Estates, Ill.), the company has moved production from traditional vertical machining centers (VMCs) to the more versatile five-axis DMG Mori machines.
In late 2012, Gurecky President John Dorman decided it was time to purchase a CNC machine specifically for gear hobbing. The company approached DMG Mori Ellison Technologies and decided to install its customized multifunctional NLX 2500SY/700 with the ability to hob gears. What made this particular application challenging was the fact that Gurecky needed to machine helical gears at a 45-degree angle. This was a problem because standard hobbing units only allow ±30 degrees of helix angle adjustment due to loss of rigidity.
Undaunted by the task, Heimatec said it could design a custom hobbing tool with ±45 degrees of adjustment to use in conjunction with the new machine. According to Preben Hansen, president of Heimatec, lathes and their coordinating controls are more sophisticated these days, so a dedicated hobbing machine isn’t always necessary. “As long as the machines can handle it, we can build a tool to do it.”
After a few months of testing, the tool was complete and ready to be put to work. Rigidity is the key to tackling this difficult machining operation, he says. “It’s a pretty difficult operation, and when you’re twisting that tool, there’s a lot of leverage. You have to be concerned with the rigidity of the tool. When you’re turning at 45 degrees and milling at the same time, you tend to lose rigidity,” he says.
To combat this loss, Mr. Hansen says Heimatec’s hobbing units are designed with a strong bearing structure. In turn, this structure provides the rigidity necessary to reduce backlash and increase tool life. It also increases the performance of the hobs that do the cutting, he says.
New dedicated automotive stud welding system provider created
A unique, dedicated supplier of stud welding systems to the global automotive sector has been created following the sale of the former Nelson Fastener Systems business by leading international component manufacturer Doncasters Group.
The automotive division of the business – now known as Nelson Automotive – has been retained by Doncasters as part of the Group´s focus and commitment to the global automotive sector. It will continue to supply the sector with the market-leading stud welding systems, service and consumables for which the Nelson name has become renowned worldwide.
Its global customer base already includes many of the leading OEMs and well as major Tier 1 suppliers, all of whom will continue to benefit from unparalleled levels of innovation and service.
Products will continue to be manufactured in Gevelsberg in Germany, where a dedicated team is focused on the development of the next generation of stud welding systems, pushing the boundaries of speed, performance and durability.
The company is at the forefront of innovation in the sector, with its SPEEDPORT feeding system enabling a single unit to weld more than 40,000 studs in a day. It also offers an extensive range of manual and automatic systems, as well as robotic weld heads for high production environments.
Nelson Automotive boasts global reach with a complete product portfolio backed up by outstanding local service. It enjoys strong synergies with other companies within Doncasters´ Speciality Automotive division.
A spokesman for the company commented: “Our systems are used by leading players in the automotive sector in Europe, Asia and the Americas, where our service-led approach and commitment to innovation sets us apart.
Remaining within Doncasters´ Specialty Automotive division give us access to extensive resources in the area of research & development, equipping us ideally to meet the challenges faced by automotive manufacturers seeking outstanding stud welding performance at best cost.
The future is very bright for the business and we look forward to extending existing partnerships as well as embarking on new ones, whether customers are seeking systems for new production facilities or as upgrades to existing plants.”
Routine maintenance is essential for the continued reliability of machinery, even when it is used infrequently. For a power station in Wales, the induced draft (ID) fan motors are scheduled for maintenance every ten years and sometimes the inspection can reveal some unexpected issues. Fortunately, Sulzer had delivered motor repairs in the past for this site and was able to provide a comprehensive repair and installation including realignment.
More and more coal-fired power stations in the UK are being taken off full-time operation and only used during periods of peak demand in a drive to reduce carbon emissions. As a result, the machinery and equipment is used less frequently but it must still be ready for operation when the demand for energy rises.
A program of routine maintenance minimizes the risk of breakdown by completing any repairs during planned outages that will not affect the ability of the power station to meet demand.
In this example of the importance of routine maintenance, a pair of ID fan motors was removed from service to check their overall condition. ID fans are used at the outlet of the boiler system to exhaust the flue gases, creating a negative pressure in the furnace; their reliable performance is essential to furnace efficiency.
As the leading independent provider of maintenance solutions for rotating equipment, Sulzer had already developed a working relationship with the power station and was contracted to complete the inspection and repair of one of the motors. The second motor was replaced with a spare unit and held for inspection at a later date.
Sulzer has a network of service centers throughout the UK and in this case the Avonmouth Service Center took the lead for the repair and sent a team of field service engineers to the site. Jamie Watt, Site Supervisor for Sulzer, explains: “These motors use a 3.3 KV supply and produce 1.4 MW of power to drive the fans.
“The motor and bedframe alone weigh 23 tonnes along with an additional 15 tonnes for the fan and the ductwork. The scale of the equipment required us to use a 100-tonne crane to assist with the removal process and allow the motor to be loaded for transport to the service center.”
Communication is key
The initial inspection of the motor found that electrically it was in good shape, passing all the insulation resistance tests for both stator and rotor. However, mechanically there were several issues that required attention, including a considerable amount of sheet-metal work that needed to be replaced.
Greg Sandy, Electrical Works Manager for Sulzer at the Avonmouth Service Center, comments: “From the outset, a continuous dialogue was established with the power station to advise on progress in the project and explain any changes to the original repair program. Sulzer uses critical path analysis to ensure that all the different aspects of the repair project are completed as efficiently as possible, minimizing the overall project timeframe.
Sharing the load
Inspection of the stator revealed that all the windings would need to be re-wedged, while the stator frame was very corroded and needed to be cleaned and repainted. The new wedges were manufactured in-house and the repair team worked around the clock to remove and replace the original coil wedges.
Meanwhile, the rotor bearing journals needed to be polished and the coupling journal was badly worn. This was machined before spiral weld was applied and then machined to nominal dimensions with a new key-way.
At the same time, the white metal bearings were re-surfaced and the bearing housings were refurbished. These were found to have been poorly repaired in the past and had different sized bolts holding them in place. The housings were machined, fitted with inserts and equipped with new retaining hardware.
Once the components had been fully refurbished, the motor was reassembled and the faulty auxiliary components, such as the tacho and some of the sensor wiring were replaced. In this case, the extended scope of repairs and manufacturing of new parts was completed in just two months.
The return of the motor to the power station was organized by the Avonmouth Service Center, which also provided the personnel to install and align it. The sheer scale of this equipment meant that the driveshaft could not be turned by hand, as required for a laser alignment process, so the installation was completed using more traditional tools.
The customer requested the alignment to be within 0.05 mm axially and 0.125 mm offset. In fact, the team managed to achieve an out-of-parallel figure of 0.02 mm using a series of hydraulic rams and feeler gauges. Jamie Watt concludes: “Fortunately, we still retain the skills to install larger equipment without some of the modern technology. The timing of the completion of this project coincided with the return of the transformers, which had also undergone extensive repairs, and the customer was very satisfied with the completed work.”
Digital display transmission with SDL4 B&R presents new generation of HMI panel interface
B&R recently introduced the fourth generation of its display transmission technology, Smart Display Link (SDL). SDL4 is based on HDBaseT 2.0 and can span up to 100 meters between the industrial PC and display device. This makes it easy to equip expansive machines and systems with multiple remote HMI panels.
Up to 100 m
SDL4 makes it possible to transmit display content and other data over much greater distances. It’s possible to span up to 100 meters between PC and display. An additional highlight of SDL4 is its use of standard Ethernet cables, which drastically reduces cable costs over longer distances. The thin cable and slim RJ45 connector are a perfect fit in tight situations such as feed-through openings and swing arm systems.
Up to 4 HMI panels per PC
An SDL4 converter allows up to three panels to be connected to one Automation PC. A fourth Automation Panel displaying different content can also be operated via an additional SDL4 interface. This is B&R’s response to the needs of modern manufacturing systems, which increasingly feature multiple locally-mounted operator panels.
Independent of operating system and software
The modular design of B&R’s PC and panel systems allows any Automation Panel to be equipped with an SDL4 interface. SDL4 transmission technology is independent of software and operating systems and integrates all communication channels – including USB, touch screen and function keys – in one single cable. SDL4 transmits all signals uncompressed and in high resolution for optimum image quality.
Smart Display Link 4 transmits all communication channels between PC and HMI panel via a standard Ethernet cable and is independent of operating system and software.
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