Installation of new machining centre gets underway at Kent Introl
It’s a dynamic environment at the best of times, but last month was notable for its high level of activity, even by KKI standards. One of the main reasons for this was the commencement of the installation phase for the company’s brand new machining centre in the Factory 1 building. The order for the machinery had been placed over 12 months ago, and, having been manufactured in Germany by Dorries Scharmann Technologie GmBH, it was now ready for delivery.
The groundwork had – literally – been laid for its arrival in the preceding months, as the factory floor had been reconfigured to make space for the new arrival. With the footings prepared, the way was clear for installation to begin.
So, on a rainy morning in June, there was much excitement as the Dorries Scharmann engineers arrived on-site, followed by a fleet of wagons, delivering the first parts of the machinery to site.
Work will continue for the forthcoming weeks and months as the machine centre is assembled, tested and calibrated before being officially handed over to Lynn Mowbray, Operations Director at KKI. On- and off-site training for operatives will then begin, with full production expected to commence in September 2012.
The machining centre will transform the way in which valves are manufactured at Koso Kent Introl. For a start, it is able to combine turning and drilling functions, and can accommodate much larger valves than previous machines. Most importantly, it will allow for much more efficient production techniques, enabling more flexible manpower planning and therefore delivering significant productivity gains.
These operational benefits will add to those already being enjoyed as a result of the installation of another new machine in 2011. The Mazak Integrex 200-4T is already proving its worth, reducing set-up and tooling time, and creating greater capacity and contingency.
Commenting on the benefits that the new machines will bring, Lynn Mowbray said:
“They are going to make a huge difference to our operational capability; especially for some of our high profile forthcoming projects for key customers. They will help us with our aim to keep all our production in-house, thus maintaining absolute standards of quality.
“In the context of the company’s ongoing continuous improvement programme, this will help us to be at the forefront of manufacturing and engineering in our industry. We’re aiming for world-class practices in every aspect of what we do. It’s a very exciting time, and we’re looking forward to reaping the benefits.”
Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 22
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