Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News: Partners cutting the environmental costs of machining


Newburgh Engineering is working with the The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and partners across Europe to develop new machining techniques that could slash energy costs and improve performance.

With a state of the art facility at Templeborough in Rotherham, Newburgh is a specialist contract manufacturer of component parts and assemblies for the nuclear, defence, oil and gas, petrochemical, aerospace and power generation industries.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, the AMRC is a world class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

Eneplan (Energy efficient process planning system) is a three-year research project involving 17 companies and research centres across Europe, funded under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programe (FP7). It is investigating new techniques to make machining processes more environmentally friendly, energy efficient and cost effective.

Newburgh joined the project to apply the research to its precision engineering work for the aerospace sector. The company has taken on production of a new component, and is using techniques developed in Eneplan to find more efficient ways of making it.

Vince Middleton, chairman of Newburgh Engineering, said: "We got involved in the Eneplan project through our involvement with the AMRC, as it seemed a natural fit with our ethos of always looking for the most cost effective way to manufacture product with the minimal environmental impact."

Udi Woy, project engineer at the AMRC, added: "We investigated alternative manufacturing processes to reduce energy and environmental impact while maintaining the same performance and quality measures.

"We found that with greener manufacturing processes such as abrasive waterjet, we could target material waste by nesting parts. We can get two components from the same block of material that only gave us one with traditional processes."

The AMRC has a state of the art waterjet milling centre provided by member company WardJet that uses a precisely controlled stream of extremely high-pressure water, containing a small amount of abrasive particles, to rapidly cut metals and other materials.

Further work found that a combination of waterjet rough cutting and machine tool finishing could provide the same material benefits in a shorter time.

Newburgh is gaining additional benefits from taking part in the international collaboration between industry and academia. Middleton added: "The ability to tap into all the project partners across Europe has already paid dividends to our company through the transfer of cutting edge knowledge and the interaction with open-minded and intelligent individuals.

"Engaging with the project is developing our personnel and vastly expanding their horizons of what is going on in manufacturing across Europe and what is truly world class. Bringing this back into the business will benefit the company for decades to come."

Newburgh Engineering website
AMRC website

Images: AMRC


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