A lot is going on at Link-Belt’s manufacturing facility. The first thing you notice is the 30,000-square-foot training and quality assurance facility under construction. It is set to open early in 2016.
And there’s also a buzz about a huge, new contraption they call the Burkhardt + Weber MCX 1200 HVP. After an 18-month search, Link-Belt selected this machining center for its boom production process.
“This machine will mean a sizeable jump in production levels, reducing setup times for tooling and provide greater consistency in production in such components as the boom and fly subweldments,” said Pat Collins, director of product marketing.
The MCX 1200 HVP is powered by a 50 hp engine with 1,046 foot per pound of torque, 1,780 IPM max feed rate and a 20 to 8,000 RPM geared spindle speed range (full HP at 160 RPM).
The horizontal and vertical spindle feature of the tooling head allows for six-sided machining, reducing setup and cycle time, cost of fixtures and improving accuracy. The MCX 1200 HVP improves the efficiency of kitting since all boom components for a single crane can be machined at the same time.
For measuring and documenting tool attributes, the center uses Zoller software, which establishes presets that measure, inspect and manage tools. The location of each tool, its size and degree of wear is maintained by this system to provide a real-time catalogue of all tools. Programs are tested using computer-aided simulation software, which provide 3D renderings before machining occurs.
A six pallet carousel allows the operator to both load and unload pallets while the machine runs. The pallet changing system shuttles finished parts and pulls new parts into the queue.
Power consumption on the MCX 1200 HVP is minimized through features like power shut off to the main unit. Chip conveyors remove shavings from machined parts and collect them to be recycled and reused. The amount of water coolant used is conserved by being filtered and reused.
“This machine will greatly increase efficiencies,” said Collins. “It will replace two machines, essentially.”