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6 major considerations before buying a line boring machine


Regardless of the industry sector, if a company’s equipment has moving parts, there’s a good chance there’s bores that must be in line for the equipment to operate properly. Even when industrial equipment is maintained properly, bores will eventually wear out from years of operation. Maintenance of this type is carried out by in-situ machining service companies, or by in-house engineers in larger companies.

So how should an on-site service company decide upon the equipment needed to fix their customer’s problems? - In this article we look at the important decisions needed before you commit to the purchase of your next line boring machine.

The 6 major considerations are:

1. Project Types

The most fundamental and obvious question is: What projects do you want the machine to carry out? You might just want to limit yourself to a small line boring machine that stands you in good stead for small refurb jobs on construction vehicles. But widening your scope of different projects to win is possible when you take more time out to make the right decision. A good line boring machine manufacturer will offer an array of options and help you configure the perfect machine for your needs.

Typical line boring projects by sector type include:

  • Refurbishment of construction vehicles: Concentric bore repair of holes on backhoes, bulldozers, end loaders, tractors, excavators. buckets, excavator booms.
  • Power Generation:Turbine casings, bearing seats/mounts, pump bodies, wicket gate repairs on dams and turbines, turbine couplings, stator frames.
  • Shipbuilding: Main & auxiliary engines and gearboxes, stern tubes, ’A’ brackets and rudder bores.
  • Vehicle & vessel engines: Engine block repairs, housings for gearboxes and camshafts.

2. Physical size of projects

If you want to concentrate on small bore work (such as refurbishment of construction vehicles), something from the MLB610 Line Boring Machine range will be ideal. This range also includes a selection of tooling heads capable of reaching diameters up to 24”.
Consider the bar length, tooling hole diameters and the tooling you will need.

If you want to get well equipped for larger projects, for example, in the power generation or shipbuilding sectors, you’ll need a machine that incorporates a boring bar with a larger diameter (eg. 100, 150, or 300mm). These larger diameter bars achieve greater rigidity over longer lengths. When boring arm attachments are fixed to the larger machines it becomes possible to bore diameters up to 4m. A typical example of one of these machines is the Mirage LB150 Line Boring Machine.

3. Easy machine set-up

Consider set up cones which help align the machine into the bore, and the mounts which allow the assembly to be either tack welded or bolted to the job. These may be the single or double arm types, or the universal kind.
Extra features helping towards a faster and easier set up include self-aligning spherical bearings (in the drive and feed units), and hollow boring bars that make laser alignment possible.

4. Drive type

Line boring machines are available with the option of hydraulic or pneumatic drives, plus the option of an electric motor on some of the smaller machines.

5. Accessories and options

If repairing construction vehicles is on your radar, the likelihood is you’ll need to add a collar to the misshapen bore. This allows you to machine back to the required diameter. These are often welded to the job but alternatives methods include shrink fitting or mechanical fasteners. You should also check the kit you buy or hire includes a facing head, micro-bore heads, tooling heads, and collets to allow the machine to be used with different bar diameters.

6. Manufacturer technical support available

Selecting the right product is crucial and hopefully you will have many years of trouble free use. But what happens if you need assistance? This is where it makes sense to buy from a large reputable company. Check the warranty offered, the process for ordering spares and whether there is any regional technical support available.

Do you need equipment for an on-site machining project? Visit our resources section to download our buyers guides or get in touch with your regional contact here

Download line boring buyers guide

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