Long-Reach Boring Machine, Built to Order

Nov. 2, 2010
Broadbent Stanley delivers for Scottish drilling equipment manufacturer

The Broadbent PA45X3M has a 12-in. spindle bore, with 90° hydraulic copying with auto nut retraction and semi-automatic cycle.

Valve Components Ltd. (VCL) is among the most widely known manufacturers of large precision valves and similar components for oil and gas exploration in Scotland, the center of Britain’s energy segment. It’s one of the region’s largest investors in new plant systems and machinery, so it’s choice of equipment carries significance. It recently assigned its choice for a new, large-capacity hollow spindle lathe to Broadbent Stanley.

Broadbent Stanley supplies a range of quality, heavy-duty manual and CNC hollow spindle lathes to the oil and gas industry. The VCL order called for one of its PA 45 x 3,000-mm manual machines.

”We have supplied machines to VCL in the past and they initially came to us for a CNC machine, as around 90% of their work was to produce high-precision large diameter threads in valve bodies with minimal operator intervention,” detailed Broadbent Stanley’s managing director, Graham Thomas. “Not only did they need to machine threads in new components, but they required the potential to pick up and re-cut existing threads during refurbishment of customers’ valve bodies.

“In addition they needed a long reach boring bar due to the accessibility and depth of some the threads,” Thomas continued. “We advised them of our patented semi-automatic threading cycle option on our PA series manual machines, suggesting there would be major savings by going manual rather than investing in a CNC machine.”

Tests were conducted after in-house manufacturing of a special long reach boring bar and holder, with a thread machined complete, exactly to specification with a time saving over the customer’s existing method of some 60%.

“We are an application-led company, so when a potential customer comes to us we always ask for details of the components to be machined rather than just quote against a paper requirement,” Thomas explained. “Of course it does have it’s downside as the fully kitted machine supplied to VCL was about half the cost of its CNC sister, but it has always been our philosophy to be open and up-front with our customers and that will never change.”