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PTG Powerstir Dual Weld-Head FSW In High Demand For EV Manufacturing

PTG Powerstir Dual Weld-Head FSW In High Demand For EV Manufacturing

‘Tight weld-flatness tolerance’ secures multiple sales of PTG dual weld-head FSW machines to electric vehicle OEMs

Just two years after the launch of its range of Powerstir ‘dual weld-head’ Friction Stir Welding (FSW) machines, UK-based Precision Technologies Group (PTG) reports achieving double-digit sales of these specially developed FSW technologies for electric vehicle OEMs. Designed specifically for use in the volume production of automotive battery tray floor assemblies from extruded aluminium panels, the company’s dual weld-head process is aimed directly at manufacturers of skateboard chassis structures and ensures that a tight weld-flatness tolerance is achieved during battery tray floor construction.

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PTG Opens £1.6 Million Friction Stir Welding Research Centre

PTG Opens £1.6 Million Friction Stir Welding Research Centre

Precision Technologies Group (PTG) has announced the opening of a new £1.6 million friction stir welding research centre at its UK-based headquarters and machine tools manufacturing facility. Equipped with PTG Powerstir single-head gantry type and dual weld-head FSW machines, the new centre offers exciting opportunities for prototyping, product and child-part development, materials testing, production trials and low-volume production.

“Our FSW research centre has been established to assist manufacturers in developing new products and processes, as well as better understanding the immense capabilities that PTG Powerstir machines offer,” comments PTG regional sales director, Mark Curran. “By increasing their knowledge of the FSW process, we can also assist Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive supply chain businesses in becoming more confident and proficient in tendering for manufacturing projects they may not have previously considered.

“With governments around the world setting increasingly ambitious targets for the wholesale switch to electric vehicles,” he adds, “now could be a particularly good time for organisations who have yet to embrace the advantages of friction stir welding for the production of components such as vehicle panels, skateboard chassis and battery cell housings, to get in touch with us.”


Ensuring a tight weld-flatness tolerance

PTG Powerstir dual weld-head FSW machines provide a stable welding process, owing to its ‘matched’ dual-force control systems and balanced upper and lower head welding parameters. This, in turn, minimises post-weld distortion and equips each welded assembly with an improved flatness tolerance when compared to existing conventional single-side FSW techniques.


Reduced wall thickness

“In addition to providing a state-of-the-art means of joining metals and achieving extremely high-strength results, it is also important to consider that in many instances, the use of friction stir welding also allows for reduced wall thickness – an important aspect in reducing vehicle weight,” says Mark Curran. “As the friction stir welding process generates very little heat, the crystalline structure of the metal remains unchanged, retaining its original strength. There is no need for inert gas, no need for heat-treating post weld, and no requirement for additional surface finishing.”

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New Holroyd Gear Grinding Centre Offers Greater Levels Of Efficiency In Precision Gear

New Holroyd Gear Grinding Centre Offers Greater Levels Of Efficiency In Precision Gear

A brand-new gear grinding centre from Holroyd Precision promises to bring higher levels of intelligence and efficiency to the production of specialised gears and tooth forms. Called the GT350, this latest machine from the Precision Technologies Group (PTG) company has been developed for one-off and batch grinding of precision spur and helical gears, worms and screws of up to 350 mm in diameter. It can also be used to precision grind compressor rotors.

Replacing Holroyd’s GTG2 model, the GT350 achieves accuracies in the order of DIN 2 and features the high power required for deep grinding operations. A specially developed extended machine bed allows screws and worm shafts of up to one metre in length to be accommodated. Dedicated software compensates for helical twist, and full topological capability comes as standard.

It is the GT350’s data collection and transfer capability, however, that could be of greatest interest to users. IO-Link communication technology, for example, is available with all new GT350 machines. “We selected IO-Link for its data-handling capabilities and its ability to communicate at every level of the production process,” says Holroyd Regional Sales Director, Steven Benn.

Simplifying the most complex processes

Maintaining the Holroyd tradition of building machines that simplify even highly complex manufacturing processes, the GT350 combines extreme rigidity with high power for both CBN and conventional deep grinding operations. Setup is rapid for optimised productivity and customers have the choice of either Siemens’ 840D controller or Holroyd’s in-house CNC and HMI system. On-board features include: automatic coordinate adjustment, in-cycle wheel dressing, integrated profile management and coordinate measurement. Grinding cycles are included for: spur gears; helical gears; crowned helical and spur gears with root or tip relief; worm gears of the form ZK, ZI, ZN and ZA; dual lead (duplex) worm gears; splines.

The GT350 also features Holroyd’s Profile Management System (HPMS) for highly accurate profile grinding, while an advanced touch-screen interface allows the operator to enter design drawing coordinates directly into the machine. Additionally, all gear, worm and spline profiles can be verified using the integrated Renishaw probing system, enabling automatic on-machine corrections to be made if necessary.

Compensating for helical twist

Holroyd’s design engineers have ensured that the GT350 automatically corrects the problem of helical twist – a condition that occurs when helical gears are ‘lead crowned’ to improve meshing and to reduce noise and wear. This is achieved through the use of specially written, dedicated software that both calculates and controls additional motions of the grinding wheel during the grinding operation.


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