Scandinavia – Leading size reduction equipment manufacturer Rapid Granulator of Sweden is investing Euro 4.5 million (US$ 5.3 million) in three high-precision, highly-automated machining centres at its headquarters in Bredaryd – a move designed to provide ‘extra capacity to produce core components to very tight tolerances while improving overall process flow’.
A new ‘Done-in-One’ turning and milling machine was installed in April and is capable of producing major components like rotors in a single step. A horizontal machining centre followed in June and a third machine is scheduled to go into operation before the end of the year.
The three installations are fully integrated with an FMS (flexible manufacturing system) centre involving automatic rail-guided vehicles that can run without operator intervention. Components produced on the new equipment will be used in granulators that Rapid produces in Bredaryd and also at its US facility in Pittsburgh.
‘In the future, we will be able to produce tolerance-critical components in much bigger numbers and in larger sizes in-house than before,’ says Rapid’s ceo Bengt Rimark. The two very large horizontal machining centres each hold over 200 different tools and can carry out a wide range of tasks, including grinding, drilling and threading. ‘This provides us with 100% control over all tolerances,’ he points out.
In recent months, Rapid’s new owner Lifco has also financed a major expansion of test facilities in Bredaryd and has brought back in-house all production of Rapid’s granulators for the North American market in Pittsburgh.
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