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Doosan Puma 800XL installed at MNB Precision

Doosan Puma 800XL installed at MNB Precision

Added to MTDCNC by Mills CNC Ltd on 06 March 2013

Leading precision subcontract specialist – MNB Precision Ltd., has recently invested in a new Doosan large capacity, box guide-way lathe from Mills CNC.

The machine, a Puma 800XL, was installed at the company’s facility in Coventry in September 2012 and is being used to machine large, high-precision complex parts for the oil and gas sector - a sector which today accounts for over 95% of MNB’s annual turnover.

The Puma 800XL, with its 900mm maximum turning diameter; its 5050mm maximum work-piece length capacity and maximum work-piece weight machining capability of 3000kg (chucking work) and 12,500kg (shaft work) is a large, heavy-duty machine – and is one of the biggest Doosan lathes available on the market.

Indeed its size was too big for MNB’s existing facility and required the company to build a 3000 sq ft extension adjacent to its main shop floor to house the new machine.

Says Elliot Benton, MNB’s Commercial Director:

'We needed a new large capacity lathe to give us additional turning capacity and, after investigating what was available from various machine tool manufacturers, decided on the Puma 800XL essentially because of its performance, reliability, availability and competitive price.

'We already had experience of  Doosan lathes having previously purchased a Puma 700, a Puma 400L and a Puma 400XL from Mills CNC in the past...and knew that they were liked by our operators and programmers and, just as importantly, that they were up to the job and wouldn’t let us down.'

However, having made the decision to purchase the new Puma 800XL, it wasn’t entirely all plain sailing as Elliot Benton remembers;

'There wasn’t sufficient space on our shop floor to comfortably house a new large capacity lathe. But we didn’t allow that to deter us and, with characteristic in-house innovative thinking and problem-solving, agreed to build the extension to house the machine.'

The Puma 800XL

The Puma 800XL is an impressive machine equipped with a powerful 45kW twin-speed gearbox driven spindle (750-rpm) and a fast-indexing 12-station turret, and was supplied to MNB (from Mills CNC) with an automatic (tow-along tailstock), a specialist tooling package, 2 x hydraulic steadies and a 32 inch chuck and 27.5 inch chuck.

MNB needs and uses all the power and capacity of the Puma 800XL to machine components for the oil and gas sector.

As a specialist manufacturer serving this sector, MNB has a niche focus on machining large components (one offs and small batches) made from hard and difficult to machine materials – inconels, duplex, non-magnetic stainless steels etc.

These materials with their anti-corrosion properties and, certainly when it comes to stainless steels, their high chromium content are used for many oil and gas drilling and exploration components – housings, valves, shafts, stabilisers, collars, well-bore clean-up equipment etc.

But the properties that make these materials suitable for oil and gas applications also make them difficult to machine. As a consequence machine tools for machining these tough, hard materials need to be robust and be capable of making deep cuts at relatively high speeds and feeds.

Says Elliot Benton:

'The Puma 800XL is a heavy-duty machine ideal for machining stainless steels and inconels, and has replaced an older (10 year old) lathe that wasn’t up to the mark in terms of its size, power, accuracy or reliability.

'We push the Puma 800XL to its limits. It runs virtually around the clock (24/6) and machines complex parts in what are often long cycle times (typically 5 – 12 hours).'

The components machined on the Puma 800XL are long (up to 6 metres), are machined to tight tolerances (0.025mm) and high surface finishes.

MNB Precision

MNB is a family business first established in 1981.

The company has grown exponentially over the last 30 years and today employs 76 staff.

Although being hit by the economic downturn in 2008 the company has bounced back strongly over the last 4 years.

Through its niche focus (e.g. manufacturing complex parts for the oil and gas sector), continuous improvement programmes and investment in new, advanced manufacturing technologies, and its commitment to delivering ‘right-first-time’ high quality, cost-competitive machined components on time to customers – MNB has more than ‘weathered the storm’ and has experienced 20% growth (on average), since the downturn.

The company’s focus on the oil and gas sector has paid dividends and MNB’s customers include the main movers and shakers in the sector - Aker Subsea AS; Mi-Swaco; Halliburton; Enovate Schulberger, Weatherford, GE Oil and Gas etc.

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