The larger the series of parts to be produced, the more important cycle times and tool costs are. And the properties of both the machine tool and the tool itself need to be optimally suited to each other—and to the chosen manufacturing process. This article discusses the benefits of having a collaborative development partnership between a machine manufacturer and a tool manufacturer. Article by MAPAL.
“We have a unique approach when we receive customer inquiries,” says Meinolf Wolke, Sales Team Leader at Elha-Maschinenbau Liemke KG in Hövelhof. The special machine construction company places the workpiece and its machining at the centre of development and devises an optimal solution perfectly designed for the process sequence.
“In doing so, we take all the technical and economic requirements into account,” clarifies Wolke. Only then do those responsible decide whether an existing machining concept can be used for the process or whether an individual, application-specific construction is required. Wolke explains, “As well as providing the machine, we offer services that stretch from process development and the construction of fixtures all the way through to complete, ready-to-operate solutions with automation and production support.”
Special Tools for Low Total Costs
“The machining tasks are often as unique as the parts themselves – including in terms of the workpiece materials,” adds Alexander Wiesner, Technical Advisor at MAPAL. “Of course, a lot of machining work on complex parts can be achieved with standard tools. But that often comes with significant drawbacks in terms of cycle times, quality, and cost-effectiveness, particularly when large quantities are being produced.” In these cases, special tools that are precisely calibrated by MAPAL for the machining task in question are preferred.
“During the tool design phase, it’s essential to determine the necessary parameters for the machining process,” says Wiesner, “particularly in the case of challenging geometries.” In order to design the process in the best possible way, MAPAL often makes prototype tools. These are then used to carry out extensive tests with the part to be machined.
“That, in turn, helps the equipment manufacturers design the machine with the values identified during testing,” continues Wiesner. He says that MAPAL has had a long-standing partnership with ELHA in this area. The following three examples demonstrate the resulting benefits to customers:
Solid Drills for the Machining of Suspension Arms
“We were dissatisfied with the solution that we had been using for drilling from solid in aluminium when machining a suspension arm, which included creating a fitting,” remembers ELHA Project Leader Friedhelm Dresmann.
At the time, the company was using tools with brazed PCD cutting edges. In order to keep the machining time as low as possible, these drills were being used with very high feed rates. The disadvantages of this solution were the high drive power required and the insufficient durability of the PCD cutting edges on the solid drill step.
For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.
Check these articles out:
WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!