Need an on-site flange repair machine? Consider these seven factors

Need an on-site flange repair machine? Consider these seven factors

BIC Magazine, May 2020: Because many flange management projects don’t flow according to schedule, having the right flange facer can make all the difference in getting the job done correctly and quickly and minimizing downtime expenses. Here are seven things to consider when choosing a flange facer.

      1. Flange facers designed for performance: One of the keys to precision flange machining is minimizing the deflection of the tool during cutting. Using machines designed with the ability to locate bearings closer to the cutting force shortens the distance from the cutting force to the load path, which increases the rigidity of the tool. Heavy-duty bearings will provide rigid performance and reliable results, even over bolt-hole patterns and weld overlays, compared to models that use linear bearings made from cheap suppliers that manufacture their tools or subassemblies in “low-cost labor” regions.
        Another way to minimize tool deflection is to use flange facers that pull the tool bit instead of pushing it. Most flange facers in the market are designed with a tool head placed in front of the tool arm. But when the tool head is pushed, the deflection goes right into the workpiece. It’s much better to use machines that drag the tool head to accommodate for metal deflection, ensuring a more consistent result.
      2. Flange facer range: A versatile tool will allow techs to expand the capabilities of the tool and make adjustments as needed with no delay. For example, the CLIMAX FF5300 has a range from 5.7 to 40 inches, which provides more flexibility. This also allows just one machine for a large range of applications that typically require two machines.
      3. Versatility: In industrial settings, flange systems come in many different shapes and sizes. Having one tool with the ability to repair or re-machine different flange types can drastically reduce downtime and repair expenses. Machines like the CLIMAX FF1200 are designed with a tool head and tool bit that rotates 360 degrees, which allows for machining at any angle.
      4. Safety features: User safety has to be the No. 1 priority when machining flanges on-site. “Hands-free” feed, safety interlocks, pinch-point protection, and remote-controlled operations are critical safety features to have. For example, the H&S TOOL SPEED FACER™ has an auto-feed system to keep operators’ hands safe from moving parts, a low-pressure safety interlock system to prevent unintended restarts, and an emergency stop for quick stops and controlled restarts.
      5. Easy to use and set up: Look for flange facers with intuitive designs that incorporate features to help technicians reduce setup time and give users the ability to perform more work in less time. For example, features like setup fingers and leveling feet allow for quick and easy alignment of the machine, reducing crane time. If the machine is lighter in weight and modular, it will be easier for one tech to set up, operate, and transport the machine.
      6. Flange facers that last and perform under demanding conditions: Many OEMs don’t use strong metals, high-grade bearings or gears, robust motors, or high-grade cutting bits or tooling. Many companies can make a machine that performs in a showroom, but performing in demanding conditions at the full advertised range is a different story. Choosing a machine built to last 20-plus years will provide users with a great return on investment.
      7. OEM reputation and support: There’s certainly value when you buy from an OEM that can meet all your before- and after-sale needs. This value includes:
        • Training and application support from OEM experts.
        • A local support network available 24/7.
        • Local access to rental machines.
        • Flange facers made in the U.S.
        • Machines made in an ISO 9001-certified factory.
        • The ability to make custom tools or parts.
        • A proven reputation for service, quality, and performance.

Since almost every on-site flange machining job will be different from the last, having the right flange facer available and ready can potentially save an operator millions of dollars in reduced downtime. Choose wisely.

For more information, visit www. climaxportable.com or call (225) 450-9950.



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