Lincoln Crankshaft purchase one of largest grinding machines in the world

Date Posted: 10/04/2023

Lincoln Crankshaft & Machine (LC&M) has recently added an impressive Broadbent Stanley "Orbigrind" to their Lincoln manufacturing facility. This state-of-the-art CNC orbital shaft and crankshaft grinding machine has a colossal 11 metre capacity, making it one of the largest machines of its kind in the world.

Conventional CNC machines use recirculating ballscrew drives that are driven by AC motors. However, the constant reversing of the crosslide/wheelhead assembly, which weighs up to 8 tonnes, leads to excessive wear in the ballscrew/drive, resulting in inaccuracies. The Orbigrind, on the other hand, uses linear motor technology that provides micron accuracy and eliminates the need for conventional drives, making it a superior option despite being more expensive.

LC&M has already experienced significant savings in both set-up and machining times with the Orbigrind. The control software eliminates the need to individually clock each bearing or pin diameter, enabling all adjustments to be made within the software. Mick Harwood, managing director of LC&M, stated that they anticipate a reduction of up to 60% in setting times alone once they are fully proficient with the machine. This increase in efficiency will lead to better throughput, a reduction in lead time, and greater competitiveness in the marketplace.

Founded 20 years ago, LC&M specialises in the bespoke production of crankshafts, now up to 11 m in length. In their first year of trading, the company achieved a turnover of £150,000, which rose to nearly £9 million last year and the addition of the Orbigrind machine can only strengthen their manufacturing reputation further.