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A Doosan HM1000 and a Doosan DBC110 Borer Installed at FMC Technologies

A Doosan HM1000 and a Doosan DBC110 Borer Installed at FMC Technologies

Added to MTDCNC by Mills CNC Ltd on 10 May 2011

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan CNC machine in the UK and Ireland, has recently supplied two large capacity machine tools to FMC Technologies.

The machines, a Doosan HM1000 (1000mm twin-pallet horizontal machining centre) and a Doosan DBC110 (horizontal boring machine) were installed at FMC Technologies&rsquo Dunfermline facility in February 2010 and are being used to machine large, heavy and high-precision critical performance Annulus Wing Blocks (AWBs).

These solid AWBs, made from difficult-to-machine materials (i.e. carbide steel with inconel-welded features), are characterised by their complex multi-valve designs and configurations, and are mounted onto subsea equipment used in the oil and gas industry to regulate the flow of hydrocarbons into and out of a well. The machined features on AWBs typically include bores, valve pockets and other features.

Says Andrew Jack, Mills CNC&rsquos Technical Director:

&ldquoFMC approached Mills CNC and two other machine tool suppliers regarding a significant upgrade to their AWB manufacturing cell.

&ldquoThe project was technically challenging and involved much more than merely recommending machine tool models. As it transpired, the project required the ed machine tool manufacturer to have a thorough understanding of FMC&rsquos manufacturing objectives and a willingness to become actively involved in developing a unique, value-driven solution.&rdquo

The new HM 1000 and DBC 110 machines proposed by Mills, and ultimately supplied to FMC, have been designed for fast, accurate and heavy-duty machining of large work pieces. Both machines are equipped with BT 50 taper high-torque spindles, good-size work tables and high capacity tool changers.

In addition to the two Doosan machine tools, Mills&rsquo recommended solution also had, at its core, the &lsquozero-point&rsquo clamping system - a system specifically designed to help manufacturers increase their productivity.

Continues Andrew Jack:

&ldquoWe proposed the &lsquozero-point&rsquo clamping system because it would enable 4-faces of the large, heavy carbide steel blocks to be machined in one set-up on the Doosan machines and this, we proposed, would deliver a number of benefits:

- Reduced job set-ups
- Shorter part cycle times
- Fewer operator interventions
- Improved component accuracy owing to the reduction in fixturing and work-holding operations.&rdquo

The zero-point clamping system also ensures repeatable part positioning. And, unlike traditional vice-like work-holding equipment which must grip at least two sides of a part, the zero-point system only requires one side to be clamped, thereby giving greater, improved access.

Mills CNC&rsquos recommended solution was accepted in principle, but hard, objective evidence that cycle times could be reduced and that the zero-point clamping system would be able to hold the parts rigidly and accurately during the boring and milling operations was required.

Says Andrew Jack:

&ldquoWe arranged for FMC engineers to visit Doosan&rsquos South Korean facility as part of the ion and verification process. They witnessed and evaluated a series of machining trials to demonstrate the power of the Doosan machines, and the reliability of the zero-point clamping system we had recommended.

&ldquoThese real time trials went smoothly and backed-up the productivity and performance claims we had detailed in our proposals.&rdquo

Visits to specific Mills customer reference sites were also arranged to enable FMC to investigate further the scope, scale and efficacy of Mills&rsquo after-sales services including technical and applications support, machine tool service and training.

Concludes Iain Robertson at FMC Technologies&rsquo Dunfermline operation:

&ldquoMills CNC&rsquos business approach and the services they provide, combined with the performance of the Doosan machine tools, resulted in us placing the order with them. Since installation we have experienced a significant reduction in AWB cycle times.&rdquo

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