By adding new machines, this company has earned new business they wouldn’t even have considered in the past and that allowed them to deliver large precision-machined parts to their customers much faster than ever before.
U&L Engineering has been repairing, overhauling and remanufacturing equipment in the field for some years now. “We’ve made investments and upgrades in our equipment and technology, allowing us to competitively carry out the external work for our clients in the mining, construction, earth-moving and agriculture industries that use our rebuilding and reconditioning services,” explained Ulrich Olivier, U&L Engineering’s owner.
“We have been rebuilding equipment since the company was established in 2006. For the equipment owners and operators, rebuilding makes economic sense. Simple economics dictate that there are always going to be customers who are going to be rebuilding machines, especially in this economic climate.”
In June 2022 U&L Engineering installed a Sino SP2240, a gantry type CNC double column machining center with a direct driven spindle, Fanuc OiMF CNC control plus a Renishaw NC4 probe and RMP60 spindle probe. The machine was supplied by WD Hearn Machine Tools
“Of the rebuilding that we do hydraulic cylinders take up quite a bit of our time and capacity. We can replace the barrel, rod, rod eyes, head/seal areas, hydraulic lines and connections, or custom-fabricate new cylinders to spec,” explained Olivier.
“Hydraulic cylinders are used in a multitude of applications and come in a number of different sizes. We have been repairing, refurbishing, rebuilding and manufacturing new hydraulic cylinders, pins, bushes, dog bones and toggle links for several years including hydraulic cylinders for challenging applications in the most difficult of environmental conditions. We rebuild to OEM spec.”
“For some time we wanted to include the larger, more complex components needed for construction equipment, farm machinery, valves, power generation and today’s growing number of other large products in our range of services. It is an area that we have been gaining traction in but we have not pushed it too much because we haven’t really had the equipment to do the large part machining.”
“We have now developed a new strategy for larger-scale automated machining operations. We are focussing on two needs: Acquire CNC machines that are simple to programme and operate, yet providing the versatility needed by a contract machining services company, and acquire machine tools with the rigidity and strength to produce large parts with uniform, precise accuracy under the continuous cutting forces experienced with automatic operation.”
The machine has XYZ travels of 4 200mm by 2 250mm +200mm by 1 000mm, work table size 4 000mm by 1 800mm, a maximum load of 12 tons, BT50 spindle, rapid feeds of 10 000mm/min, power of 18.5/22kW and 24/32pcs tool magazine
“This strategy not only increases our capability but it also increases our capacity, which we had already started to do when we acquired two more Hurco CNC lathes.”
“Installed now in June 2022 was a Sino SP2240, a gantry type CNC double column machining center with a direct driven spindle, Fanuc OiMF CNC control plus a Renishaw NC4 probe and RMP60 spindle probe.”
“The machine has XYZ travels of 4 200mm by 2 250mm +200mm by 1 000mm, work table size 4 000mm by 1 800mm, a maximum load of 12 tons, BT50 spindle, rapid feeds of 10 000mm/min, power of 18.5/22kW and 24/32pcs tool magazine.”
“This machine is suitable for milling, boring, drilling, threading of ferrous and non-ferrous metals and it can finish the various processes with only one installation of the work piece, thus ensuring the quality of products and production efficiency.”
“When the company wanted to find machine tools able to expand its precision machining capabilities for large workpieces, we looked for a machine with the structural rigidity that we knew would be needed. This machine has both high-rigidity and accuracy.”
“Large-part machining presents different challenges. You can define large-part machining as any component that is too heavy or bulky for a single human being to move the part to another location quickly, or too large to fit within the work zone of the most commonly available CNC machine tools. Parts such as these could apply to almost any industry, though aircraft, construction, power generation, mining and oil drilling are ready examples of industries that commonly have a need for very large machined parts. In large-part machining, much of the challenge has to do with performing as much of the work as possible in a single setup.”
Leadwell LTC-60 CNC lathe with 6 000mm between centres travel
“Arriving in August is our Leadwell LTC-60 CNC lathe. The turning center has a maximum turning diameter of 810mm, a swing of 920mm, an X axis travel of 400mm + 28mm and a 6 000mm maximum turning length. Equipped with a powerful 37kW/1 500rpm spindle, a bar capacity of 117mm, a hydraulic tailstock and a 12 station (24-position) turret, the Leadwell LTC-60 is a high-accuracy lathe that can take on a range of different machining operations and machine complex parts in one setup.”
“This new horizontal turning center investment takes us into another league for lathe work in South Africa. It is the biggest machine of its kind in the Leadwell brand to be installed locally by WD Hearn Machine Tools, who also installed our Sino SP2240, a gantry type CNC double column machining center.”
“It will open up doors for us in a range of industries, such as rail, oil and gas and general subcontracting that we have not been in before.”
Arriving in August is a Leadwell LTC-60 CNC lathe. The turning center has a maximum turning diameter of 810mm, a swing of 920mm, an X axis travel of 400mm + 28mm and a 6 000mm maximum turning length. Equipped with a powerful 37kW/1 500rpm spindle, a bar capacity of 117mm, a hydraulic tailstock and a 12 station (24-position) turret. It is the biggest machine of its kind in the Leadwell brand to be installed locally by WD Hearn Machine Tools
“Our Sunnen’s HTA tube hone is suited for a wide range of applications, including reconditioning of hydraulic cylinders, die casting shot tubes, plastics extruder barrels and gas flow meter tubes up to 4 000mm. Now we can perform any extra external machining operations on these tube-shaped components when required. But primarily we will be looking to do turning work on large shafts on the new machine.”
“These combinations of machine size, strength and automatic operation are helping us earn new business that we couldn’t even consider in the past. In other cases, the new technologies allow us to deliver large precision-machined parts to our customers much faster than ever before.”
“We made the strategic decision not just to increase our machining capacity – but to increase our capabilities too. Besides onsite repairs and overhauls within the heavy plant industry, we could carry out work in the marine, offshore, petrochemical and other heavy industrial sectors.”
With a well-equipped machine shop, U&L Engineering offer repairs and manufacture of buckets, H-frames, A-frames, dippers/booms, track tensioners, pins and bushes, final drive, wheel stations and any other components that they get requests for. The company also has the ability to repair, overhaul and remanufacture booms, sticks, track frames on dozers, front-end loaders, scrapper hitches, tractors, excavators, haul trucks and many others.
U&L Engineering carries over 400 service exchange cylinders, pins and bushes for all various equipment brands such as CAT, Hitachi, Komatsu and Volvo. The company is striving to become a complete ‘One-stop’ engineering repairs and manufacturing workshop.
For further details contact U&L Engineering on TEL: 011 968 9815 or 084 250 2248 or visit www.ulengineering.co.za