Building a large machine is no picnic. Neither is selling one. But even when those two hurdles are cleared, you still have to be able to transport the behemoth, sometimes halfway across the globe. Tornos Gurutzpe S.A. has been in business for 52 years and specializes in large-capacity lathes. About 30 machines leave the Gurutzpe factory each year. The company sells to customers in the U.S., Europe, India and elsewhere. It supplies manufacturers of turbine parts for power plants, drill pipes for oil production, laminated and hydraulic cylinders. Its best-known customers include suppliers of Spanish oil company Repsol, railroad companies, and elevator companies, including ThyssenKrupp Elevators and Halliburton.
Guidelok holds a cable carrier’s upper and lower runs apart over long distances when they would normally glide on top of one another. This means metal debris cannot settle between the two runs and cause abrasion.
The company’s latest horizontal CNC-turning machine, the A-2000 4G CNC, is designed to be reliable, resilient and efficient: top requirements for lathe buyers all over the world. It required a cable-carrier solution that was suitable for unsupported long travels and hot metal chips.
The company’s focus is on the durability of each machine, according to sales manager Oscar Anitua.
“Even decades-old machines made by us are still operated by our customers,” he said.
An initial prototype of the new A-2000 4G CNC was delivered to a customer in the wind-energy sector equipped with two horizontal Guidelok systems from igus running side-by-side over a distance of 44 ft.
Joaquín Orbegozo, head of electrical engineering at Gurutzpe, is convinced of the advantages of Guidelok.
“The cable carriers are rugged, rigid and reliable,” Orbegozo said. “Sometimes [a customer] says, I would have liked this or that machine, but with a metal cable carrier.”
Then he explains the benefits of lighter, robust plastic cable carriers, demonstrating that they can easily tolerate the weight of a grown man. If another customer has a concern that, during the machining process, hot metal chips could eat through the plastic, Orbegozo takes a soldering iron and presses it onto the cable carrier in a few different places.
“When customers see that this cannot damage the cable carrier, they are convinced,” he said.
“Plastic cable carriers have many advantages compared to metal versions,” said Joe Ciringione, sales manager for Energy Chain Systems at igus North America. “Steel is more expensive, much heavier, and less resistant to corrosion. Plastic Energy Chains are also quicker and easier to mount.”
Gurutzpe specializes in special turning machine solutions for customers with specific requirements. Currently only two manufacturers worldwide offer prismatic-turning machines, for example. Gurutzpe also makes guide machines equipped with fixed or hydraulic steady rests and offering a great degree of flexibility.
The company has seen market demand increase when it comes to very large, long travel CNC-turning machines.
“Gurutzpe has already built turning machines 66-ft long,” said Anitua.
Safe cable guidance shouldn’t be an issue for these applications, as the modular Guidelok cable carrier systems can cope with distances up to 164 ft.
Filed Under: Automation components, Machine tool industry + subtractive manufacturing, Linear motion • slides, Mechanical, Motion control • motor controls