Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. has added a new machining operation for large-dimension parts, describing it as the largest of its type in the U.K. The 250-metric ton, five-axis vertical turning lathe (VTL) is the largest such machine built by BOST Machine Tools, a Spanish manufacturer.
The Sheffield, England-based engineering group produces large-dimension open-die steel forgings and castings, as well as mill rolls, steel ingots and bars. It’s well known as a supplier of engineered structural parts for nuclear power, oil-and-gas, petrochemical, and process manufacturing systems.
The new machine has a maximum machining height of 4 meters, a maximum swing diameter of 8.5 meters, and table weight capacity of 100 metric tons. It is programmed with Industry 4.0 capabilities for process control, adaptive control, and real-time interactive maintenance.
The VTL is expected to improve machining times substantially for critical components.
“The improvement of our machining facilities is of particular interest to customers such as those in the defense industry, as it has superior accuracy and will significantly reduce lead times on delivery for crucial components both for the UK and US submarine programs,” commented David Bond, Forgemasters CEO,.
“Our new VTL also will have significant implications for the machining of domed or cylindrical components, such as those required in the civil nuclear power market and pressure vessel markets,” Bond said
“BOST hydrosphere machines offer key benefits of being extremely heavy, rigid and powerful yet still capable of the highest levels of accuracy,” according to Stuart McDowell, managing director at McDowell Machine Tools, BOST’s distributor in the U.K. “This technology is a significant investment for Forgemasters and gives the company capability unrivalled in the U.K., and matched by only a handful of companies throughout the world.”
Next, a new horizontal floor boring machine, also designed and built by BOST, will be installed to Forgemasters’ capacity for machining of complex shapes like node castings for offshore oil and gas markets.
“Despite the high levels of competition for contracts that we face on a global level, the (SFIL) business has always recognized the need to keep investing and pushing technological boundaries and capacity so that we can compete at the highest level,” according to David Bond.
“Upgrades to our plant will continue and improved facilities in each department from steelmaking to machining are helping this company to make great strides in what we can achieve,” he added.