Industry News

Nuclear AMRC invests in Heckert machining centre

The installation of a Heckert HEC machining centre has given the Nuclear AMRC a new research platform for comparative milling, drilling and turning routines in a single set-up.

Crucially, the machine has an integrated horizontal/vertical head that is mechanically locked by a Hirth coupling. According to Nuclear AMRC head of machining and metrology Carl Hitchens, this multi-tasking ability will be put to full use in the centre’s research for improved efficiency and quality in exploratory machining experiments and the manufacture of test components for subsequent electron beam welding/weld preparation.

Supplied by Starrag UK – a tier one partner with the Nuclear AMRC – the HEC 800 HV MT has a swing of 1400 mm and axis strokes in X, Y and Z of 1450, 1100 and 1300 mm. It features a 65 m/min feed rate.

“Importantly,” says Hitchens, “because the HEC 800 HV MT has an integrated multi-use machining head and turning table, our ability to orientate tools from vertical to horizontal will allow us to investigate swarf management and eliminate swarf clearance problems during manufacture. It will also enable us to fully investigate the true interaction between drill performance and the 80 bar through-tool coolant pressure.

“Another key feature of the machine is tangential turning – which allows the milling spindle, using a turning tool with controlled rpm in synchronisation with the circular orbit of the X and Y axes, to produce turned flange faces and multi-diameter internal/external turned features – thus negating the requirement of a facing head attachment. This will be indispensable when machining valves, for example, in a single set-up.” 

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