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PRODUCTS & EQUIPMENT


Cutting off of the finished tube


totally eliminated since the switch to the 4-RUNNER,” says Rob Crane, Production Engineer, Worcester, Bosch Group. “We are finding that bend quality and repeatability are superior across the spread of parts that we are producing, when you then add in a typical cycle time saving of 30 per cent, we are seeing a night and day difference in the technology with the 4-RUNNER massively ahead of its predecessor.” From a shopfloor perspective the environmental gains of switching from hydraulic to all-electric are also winning approval at Worcester, Bosch Group. Production Leader, Adam Timms adds: “The total lack of hydraulic oil makes it much easier to maintain the quality of the working environment. The cleaner working environment also makes it much easier to maintain our Five S, total productive maintenance (TPM) and planned maintenance initiatives (PMI).” The step up from the previous machine and control technology was significant as there was about a 20 year gap in control technology alone. “It took us a short while to get to grips with the new control system, but we quickly realised that we had to forget all that we knew from the old system and embrace the user- friendliness of the new control. In addition, the machine design makes setting much easier, for


example, we have all of the tooling we need to process 13 mm tube in a single set-up and, as we become more familiar with the machine, and setting will be quicker than before.” Another area in which BLM has


improved the tube processing capabilities is the cutting off module of the 4-RUNNER. This setting is now controlled via the CNC on the 4-RUNNER with any of the setter/ operators able to quickly set up the cut off cycle. This is proving to be a major time saver. “The success of the BLM 4-RUNNER here at our Worcester manufacturing plant, both in terms of productivity and energy efficiency has resulted in that same machine being installed at other Bosch Plants across Europe. The philosophy of specifying machines that are not just more productive, but also more energy efficient is completely in-line with our group thinking and is what we aim to deliver to our customers,” says Chris Packer. In addition to the 4-RUNNER


Worcester has also taken delivery of a BLM Tube-Form ELE end forming machine. Again, this is a fully electric machine with an extremely low environmental impact. With a ram capable of applying 8 tonne of pressure this machine is allowing Worcester, Bosch Group to produce more complex forms, with up to


The BLM Tube-Form ELE is able to form larger diameter tube


six punches available and also on larger diameter tube than could previously be achieved. As with the 4-RUNNER, the purchase of the Tube-Form ELE was dictated by its


Worcester, Bosch Group


Worcester has been manufacturing domestic heating and hot water appliances since 1962 and became a member of the Worldwide Bosch Group in 1996. It is currently the UK market leader in domestic boilers producing around 250,000 units per year mainly for the UK domestic market, which is the largest in Europe. In addition to gas and oil fired central heating boilers the company’s range also includes hot water cylinders and renewable technologies such as heat pumps and solar water heating systems, plus an associated range of controls and accessories. For the past six years its boiler range has been the recipient of the Which Best Buy Award. It is also a market leader in respect of service and quality, much of which can be attributed to the quality of manufacture at its Worcester (gas products) and Clay Cross (oil products) manufacturing facilities.


www.internationalmetaltube.com IMT March 2017 15


eco-friendly credentials, having no hydraulic systems, and also as part of Worcester’s replacement policy where older technology is being phased out.


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