Decommissioning legacy nuclear waste silos on the former UK power generating site at Sellafield requires a large number of bins to be machined to close geometrical tolerances to ensure they can be stacked safely. They are three-metre-cube, double-walled, box fabrications that are highly resonant and, to make their production even more difficult, they are made from 6mm thick Duplex stainless steel plate that tends to induce vibrations when it is milled. One of the firms leading the Sellafield decommissioning work, Stillington-based Darchem Engineering, had been taking delivery of machined bins from contract machinists BEL Engineering in Newcastle-upon-Tyne since 2017. The problem was, in the words of CEO Jonathan Lamb (pictured): “We wanted to increase productivity but realised that further improvements to the machining process were impossible using conventional machinery and fixturing.
Machinery Market 19th Feb 2021 read more »