Wire EDM designed for ultra precision

Makino, which is represented in the UK by NCMT, has released its UP6 HEAT wire EDM for ultra-precision machining. The machine is capable of achieving workpiece positional accuracies of 1 µm, while providing XYZ travels of 650 x 470 x 320 mm.

Designed for precision stamping and fine-blanking applications, the machine is suitable for electric motor stator die tooling. The Makino UP6 HEAT features a stationary work table design that helps improve positional accuracy, as the machine is moving the same mass regardless of workpiece weight. A programmable rise and fall three-sided work tank is deployed that provides ergonomic access to the work zone; a configuration that also simplifies requirements for automation.
The machine contains several features that are designed to provide high levels of long-term thermal stability, such as integrating the water di-electric reservoir into the base casting of the machine, which also minimises floor-space requirements. Makino’s UP6 HEAT employs active thermal cooling of the entire structure, whereby chilled di-electric fluid is circulated through the casting to maintain a constant machine temperature.
Hyper-i control, with its 24” HD touch screen, operates like a common smartphone or tablet. The Hyper-i control delivers a common interface that is used on both Makino wire and die-sink EDM machines, and contains many helpful advanced functions that support the needs of the operator to boost productivity. UP6 HEAT also comes as standard with the HyperConnect IIoT network connectivity function for remote machine monitoring and interconnectivity of all manufacturing information.
For further information www.ncmt.co.uk

EDM used on live nuclear reactor pipeline

Machining specialist Hydratight says it has become the first company to use EDM for maintenance work on a live nuclear reactor pipeline system.
The company completed the technically challenging campaign for a major energy company at a US power station as part of post-Fukushima upgrades.

Using EDM avoided an expensive unplanned shutdown of the reactor, and took 48 hours off the reactor outage schedule.
The process used a heated solid electrode to cut a hole (featuring 0.05 mm tolerance) within the reactor feed water line. Microscopic cuttings were then removed using back-flushing and vacuums. Hydratight’s process prevented 99.5% of foreign material exclusion particles, such as drill cuttings and debris, from entering the reactor.
Mike Riordan, Hydratight’s nuclear speciality services manager, says: “This was a milestone achievement on a live nuclear reactor pipeline system, and resulted in safety enhancements in line with the industry’s post-Fukushima requirements. The work has created another way to feed water into the main line if there is ever a power loss to the reactor.”
The line had water pressure of 8.3 bar and electrical conductance exceeding 3,500 micro-siemens. Hydratight’s speciality services deployed customised tooling to negotiate a 380 mm long, 25 mm wide pipe as an entry point to reach the spot where the 19 mm EDM penetration was to take place.
“Material contaminations are a major concern for most facilities, and EDM is a highly accurate and safe way of machining,” says Riordan. “Tool pressure was also a concern on this particular project, so we were able to use a method which was completely contactless.”
Hydratight has offered its services to the nuclear and power-generation industries for more than 30 years.
For further information www.hydratight.com

Bowers joins STC

Bowers Group has joined the Silverstone Technology Cluster (STC), a not-for-profit organisation that is headquartered at the Silverstone racing circuit in Northamptonshire.

The cluster has been backed by the UK government and highlights a market of untapped potential. As part of its membership, Bowers Group has also been invited to join the Silverstone Metrology Special Interest Group (SIG).The aim of the group is to help accelerate technological development through metrology, leading to a rise in awareness, collaboration and the sharing of best practice.
For further information www.bowersgroup.co.uk

Software investment

Reading-based machining subcontractor Rodmatic has invested in a new production control system from PSL Datatrack to provide more effective management of its business, particularly with regard to production processes and customer service.

“We wanted a solution from a supplier that could understand the needs of a subcontract engineering business,” says Martin Wilson, general manager at Rodmatic. “As a BTMA Technical Member, we knew that PSL Datatrack had expertise and a good track record in our sector.”
For further information www.psldatatrack.com

Marposs buys software specialist

Metrology specialist Marposs has acquired control over Blulink, an Italian software house that specialises in software for quality control and process management.

Based in Reggio Emilia and active since 1990, Blulink focused its work on the development of software solutions for the integrated management of quality and safety in the working environment. The most advanced results of its research have been gathered in the Quarta3 platform, released in 2012 and adopted by over 1000 companies in Italy, as well as many other countries around the world. Blulink employs 40 people.
For further information www.marposs.com

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