The membership, which includes representation on the board, will enable Mazak to make a major contribution to the Nuclear AMRC's machining R&D capabilities, in particular the development of new machining practices and processes for the production of large and complex components typically used in the power generation and oil and gas sectors.
Led by the University of Sheffield with support from the University of Manchester, the Nuclear AMRC has established partnerships with a number of leading suppliers to the power generation sector including Rolls-Royce, Areva, Westinghouse, Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata Steel.
The Orbitec 20 is particularly effective for machining eccentric features on large diameter shafts or tackling complex, large turned features on an irregular shape, which are not conducive to normal turning operations.
Operationally, the machine moves the cutting tool while the turned part remains in a fixed position. The key component of the machine is the virtual X-axis created by the facing head which uses a ‘circle within a circle' design that is naturally balanced. This allows the machine to undertake operations that would be both difficult and expensive using traditional turning methods.
The machine is capable of completing a variety of complex features, including the facing of flange surfaces, conical boring of taper holes, face milling, end milling, threading, internal grooving, concave machining and phonographic finishing, all in a single set-up. Mazak says the Orbitec 20 can complete more than 75% of valve applications, for example, in one set-up, while maintaining high levels of accuracy.
Alan Mucklow, group product manager, Europe at Yamazaki Mazak, commented: “Our membership of the Nuclear AMRC offers us the opportunity to make a real contribution to helping UK manufacturers solve the machining problems associated with the power generation sector. “Typically, the sector is machining large complex parts, many of which are not ideally suited to traditional machining methods but modern machining equipment, such as the Orbitec 20, provide a much safer and more efficient process. We look forward to working closely with the Nuclear AMRC and the power generation industry generally to help solve the manufacturing challenges the sector faces.”
Stuart Dawson, head of machining at the Nuclear AMRC added: “We're delighted to welcome Mazak to the Nuclear AMRC partnership. The Orbitec 20 is a fantastic addition to our machine tool portfolio and we expect strong demand from our manufacturing partners, particularly for oil and gas applications. The machine gives us the capability to produce parts with circular features which would be too long, heavy or out of balance to be machined on a conventional horizontal lathe." Yamazaki Mazak