New investments for Ansaldo Nuclear
13 March 2020
Ansaldo Nuclear has invested a three-figure sum into the installation of an advanced 5-axis waterjet cutting table at its Wolverhampton works. The MAXIEM 3060 JetMachining Center from OMAX is capable of slicing into metal or other materials using a high-velocity water jet and pressure with precision, enabling engineers to shape and produce piece-part components for large-scale fabrications.
Providing a fast, smooth, precise and environmentally-friendly operation, with a working envelope of 6m x 2.6m, a 5-axis cutting head, a linear accuracy of ±0.003″ and linear axis repeatability of ±0.001″, this new equipment is set to further enhance Ansaldo Nuclear’s manufacturing capabilities whilst reducing costs through process optimisation.
The revolutionary new waterjet cutting table, which was installed in February 2020, sees Ansaldo Nuclear joining just a handful of other companies in the UK able to offer this level of five axis precision cutting, and allows the business to eliminate the sub-contracted profiling of material, increasing cost-effectiveness and putting it in control of its own programmes – rather than having to rely on timings of a third party. It also reduces the burden on some of its larger machines that would in the past have been utilised for plate preparation.
In the past, Ansaldo Nuclear pre-profiled plates for weld preparations on its existing Maxijet and Minijet tables before outsourcing for final CNC machining and weld preparations. This was due to overall dimensional inaccuracies along with the limitations offered by a 3-axis waterjet cutting head. Thanks to this new investment, plate preparation can now be achieved in a single operation, significantly reducing production time and cost. What’s more, because it is just one of a handful of machines in the UK with this level of capacity, Ansaldo Nuclear is putting plans in place to allow other firms to access its benefits.
Other benefits include a rapid water filling feature to enable underwater cutting, which will dramatically reduce noise levels whilst ensuring the area around the table is kept garnet free. The system also includes a garnet removal system to reduce tank maintenance and a terrain follower to cater for slightly bent plates.
David Howorth, Head of Business Development at Ansaldo Nuclear in the UK comments:
“This investment is a significant development in our ongoing drive to develop our manufacturing capabilities whilst increasing volumes and adding value, and follows the recent installation of an impressive 15Te SWL crane which has enhanced lifting capacity at our Wolverhampton-based, stainless steel fabrication bay.
“Our investment strategy is focussed on expanding our industry-leading solutions to maximise efficiency and ultimately contribute to the UK government’s Nuclear Sector Deal target of reducing the cost of new build by 30% and a 20% reduction in the cost of decommissioning.”
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