Machine is stateside bound

North America's largest direct drive rotary friction welding sub-contractor has picked a Thompson machine to boost its capacity. American Friction Welding, based in Brookfield, Wisconsin, will shortly take delivery of the 50 ton model, which will be used to join a wide variety of components up to 8ft in length.
The single-ended machine, which features Thompson's latest software and HMI, new controls and hydraulics, will extend AFW's capabilities for friction welding products typically used in the semi-conductor, defence, electrical and aerospace industries.
New machine features include a self-centring clamp, manual positional backstop, part orientation and an adaptive forge function for accurate length control. A single tool, two-axis flash removal system has also been added for detaching upset from more complex geometries.
This latest machine will bring the number of Thompson friction welders in use at AFW's facility to nine, underlining a relationship which now spans more than 25 years.
"As a quality and technology-driven company, it's important to maintain a competitive edge by having the most up-to-date equipment that not only increases capacity, but also shortens lead times for customers," explained John Fischer, AFW's president. "Thanks to an ongoing commitment to innovative technology and proven reliability at the sale and after the sale, Thompson remains an invaluable supplier," he added.

New sales team appointment

KUKA Systems UK has signalled its growth ambitions with the appointment of an experienced automation specialist to its sales team.
Alan Edmonds has joined the automated systems supplier as a projects and technical sales engineer with responsibility for developing new business in a range of sectors from automotive and plastics to food processing and electronics.
He has more than 40 years' experience of working in the manufacturing industry, in particular, in areas such as automation assembly, material handling and robotic applications.
Alan, from Halesowen, has undertaken a variety of sales roles in the last 20 years and was previously a production manager at an automation company. He has a City & Guilds qualification in machining and fitting processes."I'm delighted to welcome Alan, whose strong technical knowledge and extensive sales experience, will be a valuable asset to the team," commented Neal Owen, KUKA Systems UK operations manager.

Rods task for Thompson machine

A Thompson friction welding machine has been chosen by a Scandinavian manufacturer to produce hydraulic cylinder rods for mining and construction equipment. Hydroline, based in Vuorela, Finland, whose customers include John Deere and SMC, are using a Thompson PR5 model to join rods ranging from 38-120mm in diameter and up to 4m in length.

The machine is equipped with a number of features including a new, easy-adjust manual backstop, two-jaw chuck with load orientation and centring clamp. A single tool, dual axis flash removal system and a flash removal conveyor have been added as well as an enhanced HMI remote access function and quick change, non-marking tooling.


World Nuclear Exhibition success

Automated systems developed for handling nuclear waste materials in the UK by KUKA have attracted huge interest from utility companies in Europe.

Visitors to the KUKA Systems UK stand at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris were impressed by the solutions on show at the event. On display was KUKA's unique joystick control unit, which turns a standard robot into an intelligent manipulator capable of automatic routines, manually guided motion or a combination of the two.

Designed to work up to 100m away from a processing cell, the unit offers improved flexibility and better operational efficiency. It is already widely used by operators in the UK's nuclear decommissioning industry. "We took a lot of enquiries at the show, in particular, from a number of utility companies keen to learn more about our innovative solutions," explained John Dilworth, KSUK's nuclear decommissioning sales and projects manager.

The company also recently took part in an international forum and exhibition in Japan where it showcased its robotic systems to organisations involved in the clean up at the Fukishima nuclear plant. KUKA Systems UK, part of KUKA Industries, is the preferred automated systems supplier to a major nuclear decommissioning engineering, procurement and construction company and is currently involved in many major clean up projects. Its base in Halesowen is KUKA's global nuclear decommissioning centre of excellence.