Energy Builds for Complete Machining to Meet New Demand

April 6, 2023
The demand for energy – especially clean energy – continues to grow, driving interest in new and more efficient means for supplying component parts for small power plants.

Producing energy takes a lot of manufacturing ingenuity, particularly as there is a constant need for the energy-sector’s product and a growing demand for alternative sources of energy – lately meaning “clean” energy. The growing importance of clean-energy technologies is creating new demand factors for manufacturers supplying parts and systems to energy producers.

Machine tool builder WFL Millturn Technologies is working to raise its profile among manufacturers of industrial-power system components, emphasizing its capabilities for outfitting installations for complete machining of critical components for small power plants – including turbines, gears, and generator shafts, as well as valves and pump wheels, all parts with very high tolerances for shape and position, and that place high demands on machining processes.

The Millturn machine concept that combines milling, turning, and boring functions in a single system is an effective and efficient approach to producing such workpieces, for tasks like milling of special profiles or large gears; as well as the grinding of shaft parts, including concentricity and roundness measurement. Millturn systems are capable of such task, and completing them all in compliance with precision requirements.

For example, an untensioned blank in a generator shaft is often pre-turned and turned into a Millturn with welded-on bars. As an alternative to welded-on bars, some generator shafts also are made from solid material.

One of the most important aspects of machining the welded-on bars is ensuring that the blank is aligned in the circumferential direction in such a way that the longitudinal grooves are inserted in the center of the bars. Thanks to the WFL measuring cycles, measurement of this blank is fully automated, with it even being possible to determine and correct welding errors.

In the shaft area, beveled ø 60-mm holes must be inserted, which meet the ø 100-mm center hole at a depth of approximately 500 mm. All holes can be inserted in the Millturn without any tools, including preparation of holes with very neat rounding of the edges. The precise outside diameter of the bars that is to be machined is finished in IT7 quality by means of turn-milling.

Bearing seats on the pins are rotated with maximum precision and subsequently rolled. The WFL in-process measuring guarantees process reliability, even with IT6 quality.

The potential savings when machining generator shafts in a Millturn are considerable compared to sequential manufacturing on different machines: a full 60% can be saved by complete machining in the process chain. In the case of set-up time, the savings are as high as 80-90%.

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