Machining for the construction sector

Machining components for the construction sector, be it yellow goods or construction materials is highly demanding for all tiers of the supply chain and specifying the right machine for each application is key.

Performance and power are the key criteria for machines operating in the construction sector, whether it is making components for yellow goods, such as diggers and backhoe loaders, or pipe and tube used in the construction of buildings.

Heavy Duty Machining

Heavy duty machining

High torque, 50 taper machines have been increasingly in demand as the sector searches for machines which can combine power with accuracy. Mazak’s VTC-800/30HD, which stands for ‘heavy duty’, is a 50 taper variant of the highly successful VTC-800 series of machines. The HD version provides an ideal platform for cutting hard-to-machine materials, combining a machine structure that has been optimized for stability, with a high rigidity integral design spindle to deliver class leading machining capability.

In order to deliver outstanding metal removal rates and counteract the potential for vibration, the VTC- 800/30HD incorporates a new highly rigid column, carrier and base structure designed to enable the machine to deliver all of its power with no vibration or loss of accuracy. The high performance machine structure has been designed to provide class-leading static and dynamic stiffness, enabling the HD to deliver the higher levels of spindle torque and power demanded by 50 taper performance.

The Mazak designed and manufactured 10,000rpm spindle delivers continuous power of 22kW and a short time torque of 302Nm. In production, the machine combines agility with power and will deliver a rapid feed rate of 50m/min in the X-,Y- and Z-axes; 0.5G of acceleration and a 5.7 second chip-to-chip time. 36 tools are provided as standard.

Solution for large components

Large components

Within the construction sector the role that automation can play in improving production efficiency is becoming increasingly important. The QUICK TURN NEXUS 450-II for example is capable of machining large components up to two metres in length, which rules out manual handling for the loading and unloading of workpieces. However, significant improvements in efficiency, including lights out unmanned running can be made with a simple yet innovative robotic loading and material handling solution.

Large components, including drivetrain or structural components, such as bucket pins, require large machine capacities. Mazak’s HCN-6800 horizontal machining centre has a maximum workpiece diameter of 1,050mm with a maximum workpiece height of 1,300mm. Power is provided by a 50 taper, 10,000rpm spindle that is allied to a rigid machine construction making it ideal for heavy duty machining as well as high accuracy finish machining.


Tooling and workholding capabilities

Tooling and workholding capabilities

Tooling size and workholding capabilities are also of vital importance to machine users in the construction sector. The HCN-5000/50 combines both of these attributes, enabling the high speed machining of multiple workpieces which can be mounted on large multiple surface fixtures. The machine is equipped with a powerful 10,000rpm, 50 taper spindle capable of machining a wide range of workpieces and materials.

Large turning capability is also an important attribute for machines working in the construction sector. Mazak’s MEGATURN is a vertical CNC turning centre designed for heavy-duty cutting of large workpieces. The MEGATURN 1600, for example, has a maximum machining diameter of 1,650mm and a maximum machining height of 900mm and is allied to a high-torque main motor and rigid 12-tool drum turret.  To maximize flexibility, the MEGATURN also provides for an optional Automatic Tool Changer enabling large tools to be exchanged into the machine turret automatically enhancing the range of applications and reducing set-up time.


Construction Tube and pipe cutting

Tube and pipe

Tube and pipe are a common component of building structures and, in recent years, Mazak’s 3D FABRI GEAR has become a highly popular machine for this type of application. The Fabri Gear has been specifically designed for high precision 3D laser cutting of complex or angled configurations of long pipe and structural materials. The laser cutter is equipped with a 3D torch that facilitates movement on five different axes, which enables the machine to cut both closed and open profiles.

Most importantly, the 3D torch delivers industry-leading levels of accuracy by cutting vertically to ensure that the metal tubes sit flush against each other with no gaps. This reduces the need for jigs to hold the cut metal in place prior to welding and reduces the amount of weld material, offering the benefit of faster weld times and greater strength from the weld. Mazak estimate that tube cut with the 3D FABRI GEAR can be welded and assembled twice as fast as conventionally cut tube.

The laser cutter is designed for the automated cutting of any shaped material, from round through to square, rectangular and triangular pipe and is equipped with a four chuck system that prevents vibration and ensures highly accurate cutting. In addition, an auto-centering clamp enables fast set-up with no change in set-up from square to circular or triangular tube.

The 3D FABRI GEAR is ideal for cutting long and heavy tube used in the construction industry, such as building structures, heating and ventilation systems, along with machinery applications including cranes and agricultural machinery. Specifically, the 3D FABRI GEAR has been used in a number of highly prestigious construction projects, including the Yas Marina Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi, the national football stadium in Gdansk, Poland and the Tokyo Sky Tree, which is the world’s tallest broadcast tower.

The range of different products being machined for the construction sector is huge enormous, but the common attributes demanded of machines is the ability to manufacture demanding components quickly and with great accuracy. Our advice is to partner with a machine supplier that can offer the necessary breadth of machines and application support that will enable you to choose the best machining and automation solution for your specific requirements.