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TPG Engineering Powers Into Nuclear Energy Market With Large Machine Duo From Ward CNC
TPG Engineering Powers Into Nuclear Energy Market With Large Machine Duo From Ward CNC
TPG Engineering Powers Into Nuclear Energy Market With Large Machine Duo From Ward CNC

TPG Engineering Powers Into Nuclear Energy Market With Large Machine Duo From Ward CNC

Added to MTDCNC by TW Ward CNC Machinery Ltd on 31 January 2017

An investment of almost £1 million in sophisticated CNC machine tools has been confirmed by TPG Engineering, the Dukinfield-based specialist manufacturer of heat exchangers and condensers.

This investment by the TP Group subsidiary reinforces the Group’s status as a major Tier 2 supplier to prime contractors in industrial, energy, process and defence sectors. It also springboards the Engineering business into a new area of physically large, highly accurate workpieces, predominantly in titanium, for nuclear engineering clients throughout the world.

The two new machine tools – a Soraluce TA-A35 travelling table mill-bore centre and a Hankook VTC 200 E vertical turning lathe (VTL), will be supplied by their exclusive UK and Ireland agent, T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC) of Sheffield. They are scheduled for imminent delivery to TPG Engineering’s Greater Manchester site, where first use will be on the company’s new two-year £1.5 million contract with GE Oil & Gas.

The machine duo offers expansive machining capacities – of 3,500 mm by 1,250 mm by 1,200 mm in the X, Y and Z axis travels on the Soraluce for components weighing up to 7,800 kgs and, on the Hankook, a 2,500 mm diameter table capable of accommodating workpieces 2,000 mm high and weighing 12,000 kgs.

They are key to the company’s strategic move to capitalise on and enhance its already considerable manufacturing skills by enabling much larger and complex workpieces to be machined to consistently high specifications.

These workpieces will be produced as part of an all-encompassing manufacturing service that includes world-class fabrication and welding for new and existing clients.

According to TPG Engineering’s Commercial Enterprise Director, Phil Curtis, the company has made a strategic move to increase its machining capabilities to secure new customers in nuclear engineering and to achieve additional, larger and more complex work from existing clients. This will also be underpinned by continual improvements to existing manufacturing processes and systems at the Greater Manchester site.

“The strategy should enable us to boost jobs at our Dukinfield base beyond our current 70 employees, as well as generate increased exports and boost our supply chain partnerships,” he says.

Mr Curtis explains that the decision to invest in machines has been greatly helped by the company’s work with the Nuclear AMRC which acted as consultants for the selection of the types of machines most suited in terms of capacity, spindle speeds, torque ratings and longevity to the targeted components, which are primarily titanium. The result “takes TPG Engineering to a higher level of capability on high-specification components that demand consistently highly-accurate machining”.

“We presented the Nuclear AMRC with specifications for a series of parts which, by their nature, require consistently reliable and high-accuracy machining routines centred on vertical turning, and milling and boring. For maximum flexibility and agility, and to avoid potential production bottlenecks, two separate machines were suggested – a VTL and a mill-bore centre.

“We did our homework and soon found that Ward CNC could not only offer suitable machines but that its back-up service, support and applications engineering input was highly desirable, too. These attributes complement the high-specification machines that have features covering a wide range of workpiece opportunities.”

These include, on the Soraluce mill-bore centre, a 40-station automatic toolchanger, automatic indexing head (2.5 deg x 2.5 deg), 22 kW/4,000 revs/min spindle and 60-bar coolant system. The Hankook VTL has a 24-position automatic tool magazine (12 tools each for turning and milling) plus a right-angle ISO 50 mill/drill head, a torque of 40 Nm, 70-bar coolant system and hydraulic three-jaw/manual four-jaw 2 m diameter combination chuck.

Tony Clowrey, Site Director at TPG Engineering, adds that “the machines will enable the Dukinfield plant to work in partnership with clients by offering proactive, agile and where appropriate very responsive manufacturing solutions.

“The enhanced machining capabilities that our new Hankook and Soraluce machines provide are at the heart of the Group’s strategy to future-proof our overall manufacturing service and complement our established specialist engineering capabilities and technical and managed services,” he says.

“These enable clients to benefit from our wealth of best-in-class engineering expertise that is technically excellent and financially efficient – and the Hankook and Soraluce machines will undoubtedly reinforce this.”

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