Hanwha sliding heads are breathing life into Ventilator Challenge
With the sudden ramp-up of the ‘VentilatorChallengeUK’ project to battle the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Dugard Machine Tools has witnessed an unprecedented surge in enquiries and sales with its Hanwha range of sliding head turning centres.
As manufacturers up and down the country switch production output to machining small turned components for the Ventilator Challenge UK, the attributes of the Hanwha range is genuinely coming to the fore. The Hanwha XE Series is the latest generation in a well-established and successful line of rigid, productive, robust and extremely flexible turning centres. The Hanwha XE35 is particularly enjoying success during this challenging period.
The compact heavy-duty machine is the largest in the XE Series, with the facility to turn bars up to 35 mm diameter within its compact 2.3 by 1.2 by 1.7 m footprint. The rigid 2,750 kg machine is the perfect platform for machining hard materials and undertaking high-volume material removal. This is demonstrated by the vibration dampening heavy cast construction and the strong and rigid tool post that all combine to create a platform for unsurpassed surface finishes and enhanced tool life.
The remarkably capable and flexible Hanwha XE35 has a powerful 2.2/5 kW main spindle motor and a 1.5/2.2 kW sub-spindle motor, both achieving a maximum spindle speed of 6,500 rpm. The high-torque spindle motors are matched by the powerful and intuitive Hanwha software, the FANUC-0i CNC Control and the gear type modular live tooling configuration.
The tooling configuration combines power, rigidity and flexibility with 18 tooling positions that provide simultaneous front and rear spindle machining through a platen of five fixed tools and four driven tools in the X1-axis with another four driven tools on the Z2-axis plane, one on the Z1-axis that is accompanied by an additional four tool stations for boring, drilling and the machining of other internal features. All live tooling positions offer a high spindle speed of 6,000 rpm with a 1 kW spindle motor. The modular gear type live tooling configuration is an innovative design that generates exceptional torque levels for heavy drilling and milling cycles.
The axes stroke of the impressive Hanwha XE35 is particularly spacious with 210 mm in the Z1-axis, 62 mm in the X1-axis, 340 mm in the Y1-axis, 205 mm in Z2 and 312 mm in X2.
The impressive Hanwha XE35 is available with the H, J, N and NE configurations to open a world of opportunities to end-users. The H and N variants have been designated as guide-bush and non-guide bush options to provide differing bar turning length, capacity and setup configurations within the work area for the end-user. In addition, the Hanwha XE35 is also offered with the J and NE variants. Unlike the H and N variants, these models offer four static tool positions in the Z2 axis as opposed to two driven and two static positions on the H and N models.
For further details on how this impressive line of productive and robust machines can transform your production output, contact:
New contract inspection service prioritises medical component manufacturers
LK Metrology has expanded and streamlined its contract inspection department to prioritise quality control services for medical equipment and component manufacturers
Coordinate measuring machine (CMM) manufacturer LK Metrology, based in Castle Donington, Derbyshire, has introduced a subcontract inspection service in support of ventilator and other medical component and equipment manufacturers in the UK and Ireland that may not have sufficient quality control resource in-house.
When the UK government launched its VentilatorChallengeUK, the consortium behind it asked multinational firms such as Rolls-Royce, BAe and GKN with robust experience in supply chain management to identify and involve OEMs and subcontract machinists in the aerospace, automotive and other industries to boost the production of medical parts. It was designed to meet the target of 30,000 extra ventilators needed by the National Health Service to cope with the surge in Covid-19 patients. They were looking for manufacturers with spare machining capacity or an ability to acquire more urgently, as well as ISO accreditation and expertise in metrology to ensure the high level of quality required when making parts for medical equipment.
Many firms had the first two prerequisites but not the third. It prompted LK Metrology to expand the existing contract inspection service run from its headquarters in Castle Donington and make it available exclusively to companies registered to supply ventilator and other medical parts. The CMM Assistance Programme can be contacted on 01332 813755 or www.lkmetrology.com/contact
Dave Robinson, marketing manager at LK Metrology comments: “We understand that manufacturers in the medical sector today are critically needed to help provide valuable components, products and systems to combat the pandemic.
“The majority typically require the use of CMMs to measure, reverse engineer and assure the quality of many complex and precision parts, including prismatic, rotational and freeform. For that reason, we are offering them a series of metrology services that we believe can be of assistance during these anxious times.”
The company’s location in Derbyshire in the Midlands means that it is conveniently placed to serve the whole of the UK and Ireland. It continues to operate under government guidelines, including in its own factory and in the field for applications, programming and service, and has put in place special transportation arrangements should manufacturers require them.
Renishaw ramps up production of ventilator components
Global engineering company, Renishaw has started mass-producing critical components for medical ventilators, as part of a nationwide effort to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19. The company has dedicated a significant part of its manufacturing sites in Gloucestershire and South Wales to produce precision-machined components for two different ventilators manufactured by the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, with production at the sites now running seven days a week. This follows a huge effort from the project, manufacturing engineering and production teams over the last two weeks.
Like many companies across the UK, Renishaw reacted to the UK government’s call to radically increase ventilator production to treat coronavirus patients suffering with respiratory complications. Tens of thousands of these complex machines are needed in just a few weeks.
Marc Saunders, director of group strategic development, who is leading Renishaw’s response, explains: “When the government called, we scrambled to respond and immediately realised the daunting scale of the challenge. Ventilators are sophisticated medical devices and we felt that our capabilities would be best applied to helping scale up the production of designs with existing technologies. We soon realised that many other industrial companies were thinking the same way and that we would need our combined capacity and capabilities to achieve this enormous endeavour.”
Within a few days, Renishaw joined with leading companies in the aerospace, automotive, medical devices and motorsport sectors to form the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, under the leadership of Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. This diverse team is working non-stop to boost production of two proven ventilators, selected by the NHS and manufactured in the UK by Penlon and Smiths Medical.
Dick Elsy explains: “Penlon and Smiths ordinarily have combined capacity of between 50 and 60 ventilators per week. However, thanks to the scale and resources of the wider consortium, we are targeting production of at least 1,500 units a week of the Penlon and Smiths models combined within a matter of weeks. Ventilators are intricate and highly complex pieces of medical equipment and it is vital that we balance the twin imperatives of speed of delivery with the absolute adherence to regulatory standards that is needed to ensure patient safety.”
Within this context, Renishaw’s manufacturing activities form part of a complex network of suppliers that the consortium is coordinating, many of whom, like Renishaw, are making ventilator components for the first time. Mass-production of ventilators, each of which comprises hundreds of diverse components, requires millions of parts to come together for assembly, a huge logistical operation.
“To prepare for the important work that we are undertaking, both for the ventilator project and our global customers in critical supply chains, we temporarily closed our UK manufacturing facilities last week to introduce additional measures to protect the welfare of our employees”, explains Gareth Hankins, director of group manufacturing services at Renishaw.
“We have reorganised our factories to increase spacing, as well as zoning areas to restrict movement around the sites. Hygiene regimes have also been enhanced to minimise the potential risk of the spread of infection. Our staff have responded magnificently to this challenging situation and it is wonderful to see the factories back up and running and for us to be playing our part in the national Ventilator Challenge.”
Marc Saunders reflects: “It has been an extraordinary few weeks, with so many companies from different fields aligning on a single goal and pulling together so effectively and so quickly. The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people around the world.
“The consortium’s key message is that ‘Every ventilator produced is a life saved’ and Renishaw is proud to be playing its part in this vital endeavour.”
UK-based Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has over 4,500 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.
For the year ended June 2019 Renishaw recorded sales of £574 million of which 94 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are the USA, China, Japan and Germany.
Throughout its history, Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13 and 18 percent of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of this R&D and manufacturing of the company’s products is carried out in the UK.
The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.