When a case maker machine at a major aftermarket exhaust manufacturer reached the end of its operational life, the end user contacted KMT Machine Tools regarding a comprehensive machine refurbishment. Rather than specify total replacement, the customer relied on KMT’s machine tool expertise to ‘refresh’ the machine for a fraction of the cost, bringing the machine up-to-date and greatly extending its service life.
The machine, a lock seaming tool for producing muffler bodies for exhausts, required a number of updates which were all carried out in-house by KMT. The update process required the machine to be stripped and every component assessed by a KMT engineer; with the aim of highlighting systems and components that required repair or replacement. After this thorough analysis, KMT set about refreshing the existing machine to attain modern performance and safety standards.
The most urgent issues with the machine were the outdated control and safety systems. Consequently, the control system was upgraded to an Omron system, with intuitive buttons added to the control panel to access popular modes and processes easily. Furthermore, the original hard wired safety was removed from the machine and replaced with a PLC controlled system, which with control monitoring capability offered faster machine shut down in emergencies. Following these vital updates, the case making machine conformed to all the relevant safety regulations.
A thorough assessment of the machine’s mechanics showed that the large majority were suitable for refurbishment. The hydraulics system for example was in need of attention. New hydraulic valves were required for the machine as the originals had failed through extensive use, plus a re-bush and re-chrome of the hydraulic cylinders was necessary. Once this work was completed and KMT was happy with the results, the machine frame was stripped, blasted and re-painted to complete the transformation.
Adrian Degg, Engineering Director at KMT Machine Tools elaborated on the differences between refurbishment and replacement: ‘Typically a machine such as this case maker would cost around £175,000 new, with roughly a 20-24 week lead time before delivery. However refurbishment can offer the same results for a third of the price, with an expected 6-8 week lead time depending on the work required.’
A policy of either build-new or refurbishment allows KMT to be adaptive, with all work carried out based on the assessment of each individual machine requirements. Utilising years of combined experience in machine tools to create a complete bespoke solution allows KMT machines to be integrated perfectly into an end user’s process line.