Here’s how a 5-axis universal machine revolutionised the production processes at Polar-Form Werkzeugbau GmbH. Article by GROB.
Permanent bottlenecks in the milling area and high time and cost pressures in production have, over the years, convinced POLAR-FORM Werkzeugbau GmbH to purchase a 5-axis universal machining centre with automation. An internal technical committee with all decision-makers and machine operators determined what the new machine was capable of or, better still, what existing problems it had to solve. This included issues such as deep hole drilling, milling, high payload weight, large additional tool magazine, large working memory, enormous data volume, limited space, pronounced reliability, and perfect automation.
After intensive market research, three machines were finally selected. The final decision was made in favour of a 5-axis universal machine from GROB, which is equipped with a circular pallet storage system and additional tool magazine.
“We never had any doubts about our decision, but what this machine can really do only gradually became clear to us,” says Polar-Form Production Manager Dietmar Klötzle.
Optimal Configuration – Perfect Training
The detailed work began once it was certain that a machine from GROB would be purchased. Despite the limited space available, the GROB layouts and installation plans enabled the perfect location to be found quickly.
The training of the employees took place on-site at POLAR-FORM. Even in the initial phase, the trainees practiced on a range of parts that are actually produced at POLAR-FORM.
“The idea behind this was to have the machine demonstrated on POLAR-FORM parts and not just on any sample parts,” says Klötzle. Since the programming of the machine was also carried out on-site using a CAM program, all the employees concerned could be called in and thus were trained from the very beginning. This way, all of the basic settings were quickly covered via testing and the horizontal spindle concept of the new GROB machine could be illustrated very clearly.
Machine programming was also very simple, since it was possible to load the programs much more elegantly than before via the programming station, and this no longer had to be done directly at the machine. “It soon became apparent just how well the CAM system communicates with the G550 and Heidenhain control system,” recalls Michael Gür, team leader for rough cutting at POLAR-FORM. Now the cycles can be transferred one-to-one to the G550—a procedure that was not possible with the previous machines.
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