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Accuracy and longevity of Hartford VMC stands out..

Accuracy and longevity of Hartford VMC stands out..

Added to MTDCNC by TW Ward CNC Machinery Ltd on 11 April 2013

The accuracy and longevity, as well as the value for money, of a Hartford vertical machining centre that has been operating at Pacson Valves for more than seven years convinced the Dundee-based manufacturer to return to machine supplier, T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC), when it needed additional capacity to meet increasing demand from clients in the oil and gas industries.

According to Production Supervisor Peter Dolan, the Kappa 1300 VMC has proved itself convincingly on the company’s comprehensive range of high-integrity valves – ball, gate, needle and check valves – used in severe service and highly critical applications. The valves are machined from, for example, carbon, stainless, duplex and super duplex stainless steels, inconel, hasteloy and titanium, and operations required include multi-face milling, drilling and tapping.

'Like any other machinist, we cannot afford to get things wrong when we invest in capital machinery,' says Mr Dolan. 'So, when originally investigating additional VMC capability, we carried out an extensive costing exercise, pitching the Kappa against a similar capacity, but higher-priced machine.

'After extensive cutting trials and considering all other specification and selection aspects, the Kappa won hands down. And it hasn’t disappointed; whether used for roughing work or for holding tight, one thou tolerances, the machine is still fit-for-purpose today seven years on.'

He continues: 'So, last year, to meet increasing demand, we returned to Ward CNC and invested in new Hartford Pro 1000 and Mercury 2060 AG machines. Importantly, the 2060 provides much-needed capability to extend the size of the workpieces handled within the range of surface and sub-sea valves and pressure control products produced.

With a working area of 2,100 by 850 mm able to accommodate loads up to 2,500 kgs, the 40-tool Hartford Mercury boasts x, y, z axes of 2,060 mm by 800 mm by 666 mm (optionally, 820 mm) and a 18.5 kW main spindle motor (optionally, 22/26 W).

'The machine has really enabled us to ‘up the stakes’ in terms of our capabilities,' concludes Mr Dolan, 'and I’ve no doubt that, like our original Hartford Kappa, it and the Pro 1000 will be consistently available long into the future.'

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