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Laser Scanner for the Heat Transfer Industry

 

Over the past few years Quickmill has been developing a new laser scanning system called QUICKSCAN. The product was first developed for the Heat Transfer Industry for manufacturers of header boxes in air cooled exchangers.

 A standard header box is a plate weldment that can range from 6 inches square x 8 feet long and  up to 1 foot x 3 foot rectangle by 12 feet long. The header box has a top and bottom side that has a variety of holes drilled into it for tubes and access holes for welding or expanding of the tubes. 

Side # 1 has many precision drilled tube holes with grooves machined in them for expansion of the tubes to seal them. These tubes may be welded in for sealing purposes. Side # 2 has the same number of holes that are in the same location, relative to each side. These holes are drilled and tapped with a precise depth machined counterbore for a sealing washer and plug to thread in.

In the past the process for production of a header box was as follows :  

Process # 1 (Manual Radial Drill) 

1 – Manually layout each hole position using  a template. 

2 – Stack drill two plates together with an undersized drill. 

3 – Take the plates to a fixture and weld the plates into a box structure with nozzle holes on each side. (Weldment may Need to be straightened in a press at this time) 

4 – Take the weldment back to the radial drill and finish each side by reaming, grooving,  chamfering, spot facing and threading the finished holes.

5 – The part is then sent to clean up and all the chips are painstakingly removed from the inside of the box. This is a hard job as chips are long, stringy and quite hard to remove through the nozzle holes.   

Process # 2 (CNC Machine With Probe) 

1 - Stack plates are setup on a cnc machine and drilled with an undersize drill. 

2 - Take the plates to a fixture and weld the plates into a  box structure with nozzle holes on each side. (Weldment may need to be straightened in a press at this time) 

3 – Take the header box back to the cnc machine and probe all holes to find the X, Y & Z axis surface to accurately record the hole position and surface of each hole. 

4 – Finish machining this side of the box on side # 1, Then flip the header box and use the probe once again to obtain the X, Y & Z positions. The box machining can then be completed. 

5 – The header box is then sent to clean up. The cleaning of the box is much easier as chips are of a smaller size. No long chips or bird nesting occurs. This process is faster than a radial drill and produces a higher quality header box, The probing is a bottleneck as it can take 45 min to 1.5 hours per side depending on the number of holes.

Process # 3 (Quickmill  CNC Machine With QUICKSCAN ) 

1 - Stack plates are setup on a Quickmill cnc machine and drilled with an undersize drill. 

2 - Take the plates to a fixture and weld the plates into a box structure with nozzle holes on each side. (Weldment may need to be straightened in a press at this time) 

3 – Take the header box back to the cnc machine and QUICKSCAN all holes to find the X, Y & Z axis surface to accurately record the hole position and surface of each hole. 

4 – Finish machining this side of the box on side # 1, Then flip the header box and use the QUICKSCAN once again to record the X, Y & Z positions. The box machining can then be completed. 

5 – The header box is then sent to clean up. The cleaning of the box is much easier as chips are of a smaller size. No long chips or bird nesting occurs. 

 QUICKSCAN Summary 

Using the QUICKSCAN system will drastically reduce your header box processing time. Moving your header box machining from the Radial Arm Drill to a computer controlled Quickmill machine will eliminate all previously required layout work. Holes now can be machined with precise accuracy and improved quality.

When comparing the QUICKSCAN system to an automated probing system, hole locating time can be reduced buy almost 3 hours per part. All this is possible from Quickmill, The Worlds Holemaking Specialists !

 

 

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