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Tornos Takes Off With Aerospace Solutions

Tornos Takes Off With Aerospace Solutions

Added to MTDCNC by Tornos Technologies UK Ltd on 08 March 2013

The extensive R&D work at Tornos that has resulted with the introduction of new product lines an innovations plus the arrival of new brands has seen the Swiss machine tool manufacturer witness a change in its customer base over the last couple of years. Renowned for being the benchmark in Swiss precision sliding head turning centres, Tornos UK new machine tool sales has a concentration of over 40% manufacturing aerospace parts.

Commenting upon this paradigm shift, Tornos UK Accounts Manager, Mr John Stretton comments: 'Historically Tornos has been a provider of turned parts solutions for OEMs and subcontractors manufacturing small to medium size intricate parts with exceptional accuracy and quality. However, over the last two years, sales have risen sharply to Tier 2 & 3 manufacturers in the aerospace industry. This is credit to our expanded range of products that offer increased dimensional capacities with higher power levels and matching rigidity levels. Furthermore, the Tornos R&D team hasn't only focused on developing products for cycle time reductions but improving the whole production process. One example of this is dual capability guide-bushless or conventional slider system that enables customers to witness considerable material savings. The recent innovations developed by Tornos are geared for the production of hard materials that are familiar to the aerospace sector - these materials are also expensive, so the cost savings from employing a Tornos machine are more prominent.'

With Or Without - The Guidebush

A necessary component of the sliding head turning centre has always been the guidebush. As the marquee manufacturer of sliding head turning innovations, Tornos has now developed a system whereby the guidebush can be removed to run 'bushless'. With a changeover from guidebush to bushless operation being completed in a matter of minutes, the dual capability development offers Tornos customers extensive benefits. The ability to run bushless gives the Tornos Swiss type  turning centres improved concentricity and roundness on components up to 42mm diameter. Providing improved precision, extended diameter capacities and unsurpassed rigidity are just some of the highlights. In a cost conscious market, the material savings are a key aspect. One customer that recognised the potential for such savings was Rugby based Technoset.
Already running various other sliding head turning centres, a key factor in the company's decision to purchase a Tornos Gamma was its ability to work not only as a traditional sliding head machine for long slender parts but also its quick and easy changeover to bush less working for production of short stubby parts. This system significantly cuts material wastage through reduced bar remnant sizes. As a prominent aerospace subcontractor, Technoset works with a lot of very high value materials such as Inconel, Titanium, Monel and aerospace Stainless steel grades. In some cases very high value materials can cost as much as £50 per meter. The new Gamma has cut remnant lengths from 10-12 inches to 1-2 inches giving Technoset significant material cost savings. Furthermore, with short length parts, the AS:9100 accredited company can produce significantly more parts per bar. Now available on most turning centres across the Tornos range, more aerospace manufacturers are realising the cost benefits of the Tornos guide-bushless innovation.

The benefit of the guide-bushless system is now available on the existing Delta 38. The Delta 38 offers extra dimensional capacity up to 38mm  as a slider and 42mm capacity on the bushless model, whilst the rigidity allows customers to remove a great deal of material. The new Delta 38/5BL provides a host of additional benefits whilst integrating the guide-bushless system, making it a step closer to an ‘all-purpose’ machine.

The new Delta 38/5BL is ahead of competitor machines in terms of both diameter and power. Weighing 4.6 tonnes with a main spindle generating a maximum power of 11kW and a torque of 70Nm, combined with 20x20 cross section turning tools, this is a high-performance machine that can remove large quantities of swarf. This power and torque is beyond that of many fixed head machines on the market, whilst providing the flexibility of guide bush or bushless models. When this is combined with the ability to reduce remnant sizes and thus deliver material cost savings, the Delta offers a scintillating mixture of productivity and cost savings that have made it a hit with aerospace subcontractors.

Commenting upon the relationship Tornos UK is striking with the aerospace market, John Stretton continues: "The Gamma, Sigma and Delta ranges from Tornos are offering unsurpassed benefits to manufacturers that are machining anything from simple to complex parts in high or low batch sizes from some very difficult materials. The set-up flexibility and rigidity of the machines combined with the productivity and material cost savings are well suited to the aero industry. To support flexible manufacture with minimal set-ups, Tornos has now integrated a hand wheel for the jogging through programs to prove-out jobs together with very flexible ISO programming control software.

'We are delivering 'engineered projects' to the aerospace industry. With Y-axes capability available on all our turning centres and large capacity tool platens, many customers are requesting machine set-ups with flexible tooling options to minimalise the on-going machine set-up times. Customers are becoming more conscious with the on-going set-up times rather than the cycle times for individual jobs. This is where our expertise and the support of our tooling partners delivers the results. We can deliver a 'master tooling' configuration that enables customers to eliminate repetitive tooling set-ups and changeovers whilst giving the machine tool the ability to machine a complete range of parts.

Priding itself on the ability to deliver the complete package, Tornos has demonstrated this philosophy with its new turning centres. All new machine solutions include in-built high pressure coolant system that is integrated into the machine as standard. Tornos can provide high pressure coolant systems from 60 to 340bar that can be delivered to the main and sub-spindle. This is ideal for customers conducting deep hole drilling processes and specialised operations.

Whilst being regarded as the marquee manufacturer of Swiss sliding head turning technology, the Moutier based manufacturer has diversified into the provision of high speed machining centres. Highlighting the reasoning behind this, Mr Stretton continues: 'Tornos has now developed a new range of Tornos Almac vertical machining centres, the first machine in the UK, the Tornos Almac CU2007 was demonstrated at our recent technology event and it was very well received. With variations for three to full five axis machining that deliver speed, dynamism and extremely high precision, the Almac CU2007 provides all the qualities an end user would expect from the manufacturer of Swiss precision CNC turning centres.'

Like other machine tools under the Tornos brand, the Almac CU2007 consists of a rigid cast iron construction and structural durability that allows high load capacities during machining. With a work table that accommodates loads up to 250kg and an envelope of 470, 500 and 400mm respectively in Z, X and Y-axes, the compact machining centre offers reliability, precision and the functionality that customers of this innovative manufacturer are all too familiar with. A sister machine called the CU3007 offers an X axis stroke increased to 700mm.

The  spindle offers 20,000rpm that is thermally regulated for stability whilst the HSK40 tool holder and feed rate capability of 60m/min highlight the potential for high material removal rates. With an axis acceleration beyond 1G and centrally lubricated roller guideways, the Tornos Almac guarantees exceptional surface finishes and precision.

As with all Tornos machine tools, the Almac CU2007 is as well suited to small one-off complex workpieces as it is to simplistic parts in long production runs. Regardless of the application, the Almac CU 2007 can be tailored to meet the needs of the end user. Tornos offers a number of additional extras with the machining centre, such as a tool pre-setting system, part probing system, mist extraction device and a chip conveyor.

"The availability of the new line of machining centres fully complements our solutions for turned parts and sits perfectly with the Tornos philosophy of delivering high quality engineered solutions. Our penetration of the aerospace sector is continuing to grow and the availability of high speed machining centres is playing a major part in this market growth," concludes Mr Stretton.

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