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MTDCNC visit the AMRC courtesy of Starrag UK
MTDCNC visit the AMRC courtesy of Starrag UK
MTDCNC visit the AMRC courtesy of Starrag UK
MTDCNC visit the AMRC courtesy of Starrag UK

MTDCNC visit the AMRC courtesy of Starrag UK

Added to MTDCNC by Starrag UK Limited on 20 December 2014

This month, the MTDCNC team took a trip to the AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) in Sheffield, courtesy of Starrag UK. And what a trip!! The technology and installations on show were truly impressive and we were lucky enough to have Lee Scott and Paul Zajac, both sales managers from Starrag UK on hand to show us around.

As the name suggests, the AMRC is at the very pinnacle of manufacturing research and first off; we took a look at a huge Dorries CONTUMAT VCE vertical turning centre that is used for turbine blade machining with cryogenic cooling (liquid free cooling). The colossal single column vertical lathe  with a swing diameter of 1.4m to 2.8m is appropriate not only for turning, but with additional units can also be used for drilling, milling and grinding. It means that it is possible in a single set-up to carry out a full machining operation that goes beyond simply turning.

The rigid cast construction on this lathe ensures low vibration and accurate cutting whilst its hydrostatic guide rails dampen vibration even further. The technical design and numerous fitting options mean that Dörries is able to configure an individual machine to every customer. With a face plate diameter from1m to 2.65m, a turning height of 2.75m and a table load up to 25,000kg, this beast of a machine is the ideal partner for high end aerospace and nuclear projects and its installation at the research centre is a perfect fit for both Dorries and the AMRC.

Alongside the turbine turning machine was the Dorries ECOSPEED machining centre that was efficiently processing aircraft ribs. Once again, for anybody that operates in the high-end bracket of the aviation industry, Dorries is a well known name - and for a good reason. Dorries has identified that in the aviation industry there is an increasing trend towards larger and larger monolithic structural components. The ECOSPEED series of machining centre  features a horizontal spindle and a vertical pallet arrangement that has been specially developed for high-speed machining of these large structural aluminium components.

A pallet transport system feeds pallets to the machine, the storage station and the loading/unloading station. The innovative Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining head then provides the user with the optimum 5-axis simultaneous machining process. At a maximum cutting volume of up to 8,000cm3/min, the machine concept is the world's most productive solution for cutting aluminium structural components, drastically cutting both production times and costs. Furthermore, its footprint also suits the large parts this industry continually churns out. The ECOSPEED series has an X-axis from 7.8 to 21.8m, a Y-axis of 2. 2m to  2.6m and a Z-axis horizontal of 670mm. Add its remarkable power and speed to this work envelope and you have a machine at the AMRC that is a first class performer.

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