€1m investment in new taping equipment extends capabilities and halves delivery time.
Quartzelec, a leading UK based independent electrical engineering group, has invested in excess of a million Euros in its Rugby based Quartzcoil manufacturing business, enabling it to further meet growing global demand for coils and bars that support new manufacture as well as the refurbishment of AC/DC motors and generators.
Building on the back of a €1.5m (£1.25m) investment in state-of-the-art electrical loop winder and coil forming equipment completed in 2014, a key element of this latest investment tranche was the acquisition of a customised insulation application machine.
The new specialist machine, from Swiss producer Micamation, uniquely combines an MI‑363 coil taping and an MI-258 bar taping machine. Designed to automatically apply insulation tape to closed coils, turbo and hydro generator bars, its intuitive ‘touch-screen’ controlled operation means a variety of insulating parameters like tape tension, tape angle, overlapping, and taping head revolution, can all individually be programmed in various segments and effortlessly applied.
Its six motion controlled axes design means that almost the complete coil can be insulated including the non-connection nose, if desired, in a single uninterrupted passage from one end to the other. In addition, all insulating parameters on the machine can be set freely and either resin rich or VPI tapes can be applied.
The new machine was installed and commissioned in just two weeks, followed by an intense training period for the initial operators. A further week of training has just been delivered to bring additional members of the skilled Quartzcoil team up to speed.
Put into immediate use, the first full manufacturing project has already been completed and saw a total of 171 coils processed for a high profile customer project on a tight delivery schedule. A single operator, working normal day shifts, took just nine working days to complete the coil set, whilst also able to carry out some of the final taping. Previously it would have taken two operators, using the old production process, a similar amount of time to complete the same operation.
“Not only is the MI-258 highly flexible and consistent in its manufacturing speed but the quality of the tape application is also superior,” explained Stephen Densley, General Manager for Quartzcoil. “It would also not have been possible to achieve the same solution and speed of application if we’d had to rely on the existing manual taping heads.”
In addition to the completed order for 171 coils, Quartzcoil has just received its first bar insulation order for the new equipment from Engie in Australia and initial production trials for this are underway. The technical lead for Integrated Power Services (USA) also recently visited the Rugby factory, describing this new machine as ‘the most technically advanced coil manufacturing equipment’ he had ever seen and subsequently placed a £300,000 order for the manufacture of coils, which is the largest order Quartzcoil has directly received from the USA to date.
The earlier installation of the loop winding and coil/bar forming centre back in 2014, manufactured to order by French company Vincent Industrie, means Quartzelec has total control of the production process, and enabled it to offer higher service levels and become Europe’s premier independent coil producer.
Stephen Densley concluded: “Acquiring this new technology enables us to further reduce costs and increase market penetration by providing clients with higher volumes and faster delivery times. It is already helping us secure new contracts and increase our international business as we can now manufacture turbo and stator bars plus closed coils, specifically for the power generation and hydro electricity markets, and both automatically and consistently apply resin rich or VPI insulation systems.”