Leading bellows and machinery protection specialist Beakbane has invested in a £100,000 test suite. At the heart of the facility is a purpose-built CNC rig for testing protective machine tool covers. This features a moving column box construction with linear drives that exactly emulates the axis movements and duty cycles of a machining centre.

The rig will easily replicate machining centres currently on the market – which typically have axes capable of 60 metres per minute and 0.6 to 1g acceleration – and go on to test components for next generation machines at axis speeds of 120 metres per minute and accelerations of 2g.

At these speeds it is particularly important that the design of the protective cover keeps noise to a minimum and can cope with high dynamic loads. With the new rig, Beakbane will be able to stay ahead of the market and develop products for next generation high-speed machining centres and lathes.

For current generation machines, the facility will also be used to demonstrate the fitness for purpose and lifetime performance of Beakbane protective covers to machine tool manufacturers around the world

Beakbane’s protection products that will be tested on the machine include telescopic slideway covers, concertina covers and lamella covers. These, as well as armoured aprons, roller blinds, slideway wipers and other specialised protection components, can be custom-built to suit a customer’s specific needs.

The rig can test products in a vertical or horizontal plane and has a maximum stroke of 3 metres. It is designed to allow pairs of covers – left- and right hand – to be tested simultaneously. The rig can accommodate pairs of covers up to 2 metres wide or, alternatively, up to three pairs of smaller covers.

The rig is fully programmable for stroke, speed and number of cycles at specific speeds to simulate real duty cycles

The testing suite brings together Beakbane’s existing equipment with specially built equipment designed and manufactured using the company’s in-house skills to test all kinds of machine tool covers and flexible protective bellows. The company also has a separate chemical laboratory to test formulations and corrosion behaviour.

Beakbane’s managing director Barry Reeves said: “This investment in testing facilities is helping us to push out the boundaries of what we can do to support machine tool manufacturers in the drive for ever more productive machines. It keeps us in the forefront of cover design, positions us for the future and underlines our commitment to ensuring that quality and reliability are always to the fore on Beakbane products.”

Click here for further information on all Beakbane’s machinery protection products.

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This press release was featured in the following publications:-

Birmingham Post – November 2010
Beakbane invests £100,000 in training rig at Kidderminster

Machinery – November 2010
Beakbane, a bellows and machinery protection specialist, has invested in a £100,000 test suite.