Nuclear business booming

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Birmingham-based Burcas has invested in a new large-capacity vertical machining centre to produce tooling, prototypes and high precision components for the nuclear sector.

The Doosan Mynx 9500/50 machine was supplied by Mills CNC and has also been used to machine high-precision tungsten carbide and HSS knives and blades for customers in the paper and packaging sector.

The nuclear sector has always been important to Burcas and, over the last 10 months has become even more so owing to a decline in the company’s other major business areas, such as aerospace, oil and gas, due to the effects of the pandemic.

In fact, says owner and MD Mike Burrows, it was the increase in demand for Burcas’ machining services from customers in the nuclear sector that was the catalyst behind the new Doosan machine tool investment.

“To capitalise on the growing business opportunities in the nuclear sector we, at the beginning of the year, audited our existing machining capacity and capabilities.

“The results of the audit combined with our knowledge of the sector highlighted a need for us to strengthen our milling capabilities as a matter of some urgency.

“As a consequence we specced out the type of machine we knew we required in terms of its size and capacity, spindle configuration and speed, torque rating etc., and began researching the market for the ideal machine.

“Although the new machine tool purchase was driven, almost entirely, by an increase in demand from customers in the nuclear sector we never lost sight that it would also become a major machining asset for our future aerospace and oil and gas business - when both returned to something resembling normality.”

The key criteria when selecting the machine were the ability to machine a wider range of larger and longer components, and the need for a rigid design and construction to cope with materials such as stainless steels, Hastelloy, titanium and exotics as well machining routines featuring heavy duty cutting and interrupted cuts.

The machine selected, the Mynx 9500/50, is a large-capacity machine with a working envelope of 2500mm (X) by 950mm (Y) and 850mm (Z) and a maximum table load of 3,500kg.

It is equipped with a powerful, two-speed gear box driven (22kW/10,000rpm), high-torque (452 Nm) spindle, with a BT50 face and taper configuration that makes it ideal for heavy-duty cutting operations, long machining runs and the efficient and accurate machining of ‘difficult-to-machine’ materials. The machine has a 40-position automatic tool changer and a four row screw chip disposal system that delivers improved efficiency and process reliability.

Mike Burrows concludes: “We constantly monitor and evaluate all aspects of our business. If, and when, we identify an area that needs attention or improvement we act decisively.

“The new Mynx 9500/50 investment is another example of Burcas’ commitment to continuous improvement and of us striving to be the best we can be.”