Formerly known as Liberty OneSteel, InfraBuild's Workshop/Roll Shop in Mayfield NSW has recently installed three Doosan machines to increase productivity by reducing machining times. Andrew Norton checked them out.
According to Robert Fenwick, Superintendent REMS of the Workshop/Roll Shop, the three South Korean-made machines supplied by Hare & Forbes have performed better than expected and have proved to be excellent value, being priced well below competing Japanese machines.
Fenwick said that life cycle costs were considered over a ten-year operating period with the option to keep the machines longer before replacement. He also said that tooling life can be up to four times longer on the new machines, which makes investing in Doosan even better value.
Fenwick says the training and after sales service provided by Hare & Forbes is better than the competition and he particularly likes is the positive nature of the company, which doesn't criticise the competitors. He says that Hare & Forbes' Cameron Hart and Clive Tallentine visited InfraBuild on many occasions and the Hare & Forbes CNC team completed in-house training on all three machines.
One example of the after sales service occurred when a part being machined in the Puma 2600 SY broke loose and shattered the laminated glass viewing window. Hare & Forbes arranged to fix the window immediately to reduce down time.
InfraBuild has set up computer monitors at workstations showing what the finished component should look like, with the raw material superimposed over it. Operators can see at a glance where raw material has to be machined to achieve the end result to enable CADCAM programming of the machines, together with standard conversational programming on the machines.
Apart from the safety factors inherent in the design of this machine, the main benefit has been the 12000rpm spindle speed. For example an 8mm diameter tool needs a spindle speed of 8000rpm, which the DNM 5700 can handle easily, whereas the machine it has replaced had a spindle speed of only 3000 to 4000rpm. The DNM5700 is used for making tool parts from high carbon, high chromium steel blocks.
Certainly the finish of the parts I examined machined by the DNM 5700 was superb. I've seen plenty of machine parts, but the way the components fitted together was pure precision, helped by software programming that offers a 45 to 50 per cent improvement in accuracy over older machines. And of course the skill of the operator Greg, who has a feel for machinery and how it should operate.
One component InfraBuild added to the DNM 5700 was the optional coolant gun, which sprays a vegetable-based liquid (Hangsterfer's Machine tool coolant) on metal shavings to flush them towards augers, which feed a chain-type swarf conveyor. The swarf is then recycled. Robert Fenwick said using the vegetable based coolant was more expensive than other coolants but non-carcinogenic to safeguard the operators. The only complaint that Greg had was that compared with the old unguarded machines accessing the back of the machine to remove all the swarf was more of a task than before, although he appreciated the safety features built into the new Doosan machine.
This machine skims rolls machined for Australian Tube Mills and with its heavy-duty design and overall rigidity increases tool life by more than two times while job time is reduced by 30 per cent. Tools can be changed easily and Fenwick said the machine is straightforward to program. As with the DNM 5700, the plastic covered programming screen is large and programming stages are easily seen.
The Puma 5100 has sloping internal walls that with the help of the coolant gun direct metal shavings straight onto a chain-type swarf conveyor. These sloping walls make the machine easier to clean than the DNM 5700
Puma 2600 SY
This machine was only three months old when I toured the InfraBuild workshop.
The 2600 SY makes punches and dies for wire and fencing industries from hardened steels having a high carbon and chromium composition. The detail of the finished products has to be seen to be believed with perfect holes through machined blocks.
But one aspect of the 2600 SY I really liked was the ambient temperature thermal compensation of the machine. For example, on hot days the machined steel may expand slightly, which can affect the extremely fine tolerances required, while on cold days the steel may contract slightly, also affecting tolerances. The 2600 SY can provide compensate for these variations within the machine to maintain tolerances: just another example of the thought that has gone into the design of Doosan machines.
Again like the 5100, the 2600 SY has sloping internal sides that in conjunction with the coolant gun fitted make removal of swarf very easy. Rob Fenwick said that programming the 2600 SY is easy and as with its counterparts and reduces set up times before machining runs.
Of course no machine is any good without competent operators, and certainly the guys I met on the floor were dedicated to their work and have a feel for the machines, indicated by the sounds of the machines and the colour of the metal shavings. The workshop had an easy-going atmosphere and this was reflected in operators like Greg having spent most of their working life at InfraBuild. Robert Fenwick has been with the company 13 years and told me he has no desire to leave.
He also said that the biggest part of InfraBuild 's output is for the construction sector. Much of the tooling I viewed was for the rural markets and Waratah Fencing. In conjunction with other companies InfraBuild produces silos that come complete with engineers' reports on structural integrity, which can reduce insurance rates in the long term. However the main outputs are long products in bar and coil, reinforcing products, spring steels and wires, wire for rope and other rural products.
Hare & Forbes Machineryhouse