DEEP WATER SUB-SEA BULK CUTTING MACHINING PROJECT FOR A MAJOR
INTERNATIONAL EXPLORATION COMPANY

In-Situ Machining Solutions (UK) Ltd. recently won a contract to on-site machine major components of a bulk cutting machine for use in excavating ore in up to 2 kilometre deep water in an effort to retrieve precious metals from the sea bed, in various parts of the world.

The huge mining machine took the form two components as far as In-Situ Machining were concerned, namely, the chassis and boom fabrications which had to machined in place to allow the fitting of a newly designed seal arrangement.

The chassis consisted of four eye pads, each internal face of the four pads had to be machined to remove 10mm,including cutting through the pre installed hardened bush 300mm in diameter by 25mm wall thickness.

A seal groove had to be produced 600mm in diameter by 76mm wide by 55mm deep into each face of the of the eye pad. Also to drill and tap a series of holes around the seal grooves for oil feed and securing purposes.

The boom fabrication consisted of two eye pads into which a seal groove 600mm in diameter by 76 wide by 40mm deep had to be machined into each side of the four faces. In addition to which a series of drilled and tapped holes around the seal grooves for oil feed and seal ring securing purposes.

One of In-Situ’s in line boring/facing machines 150mm diameter x 4000mm long, associated support bearings and tooling had to be modified to suit the dimensions of the chassis and boom fabrications.

Before the installation of the boring/facing machine into the fabrications, an alignment of the pad eye bores had to be carried out to verify the accuracy of the pre machined lines of bores using one of the company’s alignment systems. Once satisfied that the pad eye bores were in line, the boring/facing machine was threaded though the pad eye bores and located into the specifically produced bearing assemblies which were bolted to existing tapped holes in the pads. The boring/facing machine’s hydraulic drive system was installed, so too the facing and boring attachment.

An optimum rotational machining speed of between 75 and 100 metres per minute served to cover the varying needs of this machining project together with the special deep grooving tungsten carbide and diamond tipped tooling.

Due to the urgency of the project, the on-site machining team worked extended hours continuously for a five week period in order to meet the exacting programme demands.

In-Situ Machining Solutions customer complemented the machining team for their commitment, effort and expertise in completing the on-site work associated with this project and would not hesitate in using the company on other in-place machining work in the future.

The following photographs and video give an indication of the pad-eye work being undertaken.

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