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Why CMMs Are Manufacturing’s Evolutionary Winners

Why CMMs Are Manufacturing’s Evolutionary Winners

The advent of new, high-performance measuring technologies could have posed an existential threat; but instead, the CMM has proven its resilience and remains key to metalworking manufacturers’ long-term strategies. Article by Sea Chia Hui, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence.

The DEA TORO CMMs can be employed as metrology stations in the development and engineering departments for supporting industrial design of complex contoured shapes, as well as flexible gages for process control in a shop environment.

For more than 40 years, the accuracy of coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) has guaranteed them a central role in metalworking companies’ quality control processes. The advent of new, high-performance measuring technologies could have posed an existential threat. But instead, the CMM has proven its resilience and remains key to metalworking manufacturers’ long-term strategies. This is because rather than replacing CMMs, new measuring technologies are complementing their strengths as quality control capabilities expand across the production cycle.

Adapting to Accelerated Evolution

A whole gamut of machines from smartphones and cars through to PCs have benefited from rapid technology advances that include lower cost of processing, higher performance software, and faster network connectivity. CMMs are no exception. But what makes CMMs different is their unique robustness and adaptability. A sizeable number of CMMs in use today have been in operation in excess of 20 years, kept up to date by retrofitting software and sensor systems.

At the heart of the CMM’s longevity are its unparalleled accuracy and durability, combined with an ability to be upgraded for new applications and working methods. Unlike many other machines, there is no need to replace a CMM in order to gain access to new functionalities. Manufacturers simply change a CMM’s controllers, software or sensors, while keeping their principal investment intact for years.

Increased Versatility and Cost-Effectiveness

Recent advances in measuring software, sensors and data analysis systems have played a crucial role in transforming the ease-of-use of CMMs, opening them up to new applications while increasing their measurement throughput.

One of the consistent benefits of a CMM has been its ability to provide 2-D touch probe-based measurement of unparalleled accuracy, precision and repeatability. But today’s metalworking companies often want to combine the accuracy of a 2-D probe sensor with the fast 3-D data capture offered by optical sensors.

Contactless measurement, for example, makes sense for sheet metal parts where throughput and speed of measurement are of the essence, or for metal parts on which a probe would leave an undesired mark. And because laser scanners can be used to create solid models from surface profiles, they are the ideal tool for reverse engineering and rapid prototyping.

Improvements in multisensor systems mean CMMs are ideally placed to support both tactile and 3D non-contact measurement. Crucially, manufacturers are able to opt for CMM software and machine controllers that enable seamless transfers between different non-contact or tactile sensors within a single inspection program. This enables a CMM to automatically switch between different sensors to capture a full metrological report even for complex parts.

And because software systems can be programmed to instruct the CMM to automatically change over sensors, multisensor systems can be left to run untended, whether they’re using touch trigger, optical, chromatic white light, laser point, or laser line sensors. The supporting software also makes it easy to create a graphical analysis of the captured CMM measuring data and overlay it on three-dimensional CAD models to compare the real data with the nominal data. This visual representation makes anomalies easy to identify, allowing operators to take decisions quickly on the shop floor.

And since the advent of intuitive software systems and greater levels of automation have made CMMs simpler to operate accurately, their use has been opened up to a wider range of employee skill sets and levels of experience.

Dealing with the Task in Hand

Not every application will need the same software package—much will depend on parts to be inspected and the complexity of their geometry, and the extent to which manufacturers want to analyse captured data and use it to inform their design, engineering, and production processes.

Similar factors shape the choice of a CMM, which is determined by the volumes of the workpieces to be measured, the tolerances required, and the desired throughput speed. Gantry CMMs, for example, continue to be a popular choice in the automotive, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries, because they are designed to accommodate the measurement of very large sheet metal parts. And they can be adapted to meet different accuracy and productivity requirements.

Parts such as aeroblades or car powertrain gears, for example, need to attain very tight tolerances, which requires the use of high precision CMMs. In contrast, the manufacturers of car bodies or aircraft fuselage are likely to seek a CMM optimised for throughput rather than precision.

When it comes to smaller parts, manufacturers in the metalworking industry have a choice of bridge CMMs that again provide differing levels of throughput, accuracy and flexibility, depending on the application need. Manufacturers can also consider gaining productivity benefits by installing CMMs on the shop floor.

As we have seen, the CMM’s versatility is at the root of its ongoing success, offering manufacturers the possibility to closely match a CMM’s measuring capabilities with their application needs. Whether a manufacturer is looking for an entry-level CMM or the most accurate measuring machine on the market, with the right supplier they can be confident of deploying a cost-effective CMM solution that future proofs their business for years to come.

 

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Gripping And Clamping Solutions For Process Automation

Gripping and Clamping Solutions for Process Automation

In this interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Vincent Teo, general manager of Schunk, talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Schunk is one of the leading providers of clamping technology and gripping systems worldwide. Founded in 1945 by Friedrich Schunk as a mechanical workshop, the company has grown to become what it is today under the leadership of his son, Heinz-Dieter Schunk. The company is now under the leadership of siblings Henrik A. Schunk and Kristina I. Schunk, the company founder’s grandchildren.

Schunk has more than 3,500 employees in nine production facilities and 34 subsidiaries as well as distribution partners in more than 50 countries. With more than 11,000 standard components, the company offers the world’s largest range of clamping technology and gripping systems from a single source. In particular, Schunk has 2,550 grippers—the broadest range of standard gripper components on the market—and its portfolio comprises more than 4,000 components.

Based in Singapore, Vincent Teo is the general manager of Schunk, where he is responsible for the Southeast Asia market, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam. In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Teo talks about the challenges that their customers are facing, and how they are helping them address these issues. He also talks about the trends shaping the clamping and gripping market, and his outlook for the industry.

APMEN: What is your company’s ‘sweet spot’?

Vincent Teo: Schunk understands the needs of manufacturing companies, which have assembly, handling and machining processes. Our products can apply in multiple manufacturing sectors.

APMEN: What sort of challenges are your customers facing?

Teo: Today, businesses face the challenge of getting skilled workers—and staff retention for many industries is becoming a struggle. This is even more severe for countries such as Singapore, which depends on foreign workers. If automation can help reduce these problems and improve work conditions, then more high-value jobs can be created.

APMEN: How is your company helping your customers address their problems?

Teo: We work together closely with our partners such as robot manufacturers and system integrators, and we aim to reach out to more customers to help them see the benefits of automation.

APMEN: What forces do you see driving the industry?

Teo: Collaborative robots, or cobots, have revolutionized many applications that were impossible to think of over a century ago. Less complicated programming equates to less man-hour training, making it cheaper for businesses to adopt robotics. This is game changer, and Schunk is working with the major players in this new era of robotics.

APMEN: What opportunities you are seeing in the Asia market for robotic clamping industry?

Teo: The trend towards automated loading on machining by robots is picking up in recent years. The company is well-positioned to support this growing demand with immediate solutions.

APMEN: What about the challenges in the region? How do you see the trade war between China and the US affecting the manufacturing industry?

Teo: There has been increased investments towards Asia. This is a good problem, where we see customers valuing more our solutions to help them to increase their productivity and capture more businesses.

APMEN: What are the latest developments in robotic clamping/gripping?

Teo: We constantly develop new products in anticipation of the needs of our customers. One example is our latest product, the VERO S NSE3 clamping module, which improves set-up time and has a repeatability accuracy of <0.005mm.

APMEN: How do you position yourself in this industry? What sets you and your solutions apart from the competition?

Teo: Schunk is a unique company, having clamping technology (CT) and gripping systems (GS) solutions. With more than 11,000 standard products, no other company has a comparable scale and size across the range of products. With integrated solutions for both, we provide our customers the best opportunity to automate their processes.

APMEN: What advice would you give your customers when it comes to choosing the correct robot clamping/gripping solution?

Teo: For the machining industry, some customers often invested in clamping solutions and realized later that they need to automate their processes. When they started to review, they will realize that their investments may not be future proof. This may further discourage them towards the automation idea. Our comprehensive CT products allow our customers to later upgrade with our GS products, as both offers seamless integration.

APMEN: The trend is toward smarter factories now, with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, etc. Where does Schunk come in in this environment?

Teo: Schunk sees the need to embrace new technologies. iTENDO, our intelligent hydraulic expansion toolholder for real-time process control, records the process directly on the tool, and transmits the data wirelessly to a receiving unit in the machine room for constant evaluation within the closed control loop. With iTENDO—the first intelligent toolholder on the market—Schunk is setting a milestone when it comes to digitalization in the metal cutting industry.

APMEN: What is your outlook for the robotic clamping/gripping industry in the next 12 to 18 months?

Teo: We understands our partners’ and customers’ needs. For gripping, we have come out recently with new products to address the growing demand for collaborative robot (cobots). For clamping, our latest NSE-A3 138 is specifically designed for automated machine loading. It has a pull down force up to 28kN with integrated bluff off function and media transfer units.

 

 

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How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity

How Industrial Robots Increase Sawing Productivity

More and more metalworking companies are now relying on integrated automation in their production. And the same thing is happening when it comes to sawing technology. Article by KASTO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.

More and more metalworking companies are now relying on integrated automation in their production. And the same thing is happening when it comes to sawing technology. The use of industrial robots offers great potential for handling the sawn sections: The mechanical helpers can take on numerous tasks, from picking to deburring, weighing, centring and marking to sorting and stacking. This provides more flexibility and performance in production, better working conditions and significantly lower operating costs.

Across all sectors, the demands placed on metalworking companies are steadily increasing: They must have a high production flexibility from batch size one to large-scale production, process more and more different materials and dimensions—in excellent quality and at the lowest possible cost. Those who want to be permanently successful in the ever tougher international competition must organise all their production processes in a variable and efficient, but also efficient way.

Countless Uses for Robots

Sawing technology plays a key role in metal processing and offers many opportunities for optimisation. More and more operators of sawing systems are intelligently linking their work processes and automating them with robot support. The benefits are obvious: Industrial robots are fast, reliable and precise, and if necessary, they can work 24 hours a day without human intervention. They don’t get tired or fall ill, and they can handle a wide range of tasks when equipped with the necessary tools. “Our robots help us with a number of handling and conveying tasks and efficiently perform many machining steps,” says Volker Bühler, group manager for robotics at the sawing and storage technology specialist KASTO.

Automation starts right with material feeding. The material to be cut is conveyed to the machine by means of suitable equipment, for example roller conveyors or magazines, thus sparing workers the effort of lifting and carrying, and reducing the risk of injuries. Depending on how it is equipped, the sawing machine itself can also run attended. Material is fed to it automatically, and an intelligent machine control system sets all parameters, such as cutting length and cutting speed, based on the job data. State-of-the-art production saws can thus carry out a variety of jobs in sequence, with different materials and diameters, and operate autonomously for long periods.

Removal, Machining, Stacking—Automatic from Start to Finish

Industrial robots also have considerable potential when it comes to handling and processing finished cut parts. For example, they can remove them from the machine, thus relieving workers of this repetitive task. When equipped with appropriate tools, robots can also perform tasks like deburring, chamfering, marking, centring or measuring workpieces. Cut parts can be weighed, sorted by size or job, and stacked on pallets or placed in containers. The parts can also be transferred directly to a driverless transport system. “For complex processes involving various work steps, we also use combinations of different robots and clamping devices,” explains Bühler.

When large quantities of material are sawed with only a few different component geometries, it is relatively easy to automate the downstream processes. The situation is different with custom sawing involving diverse materials and dimensions.

“The greater the variety, the harder it is to cover all the possibilities,” says Bühler. The choice of robot tools is an important factor. A robot must be able to deal with all the objects it encounters while using as few aids as possible. This reduces procurement costs, minimises idle times and increases productivity. Users have a choice of mechanical, magnetic or vacuum-operated grippers. The grippers should be as compact as possible to give the robot easy access to the cut parts.

Sawing Technology on Course to Industry 4.0

With the help of the right components, sawing can be combined with other automated operations to create complex, highly integrated systems that are seamlessly connected in a continuous material flow. This includes upstream storage as well as downstream handling and processing. For example, KASTO implements combined storage and sawing systems for its customers in which all storage, handling, sawing, marking, palletising and bundling processes are completely automated—from storage of the raw material to retrieval of the cut parts. The control software can be linked to existing ERP systems like SAP for greater transparency and efficiency. Sawing can be integrated with other processes like turning or milling in digitised, self-configured production systems such as envisioned in Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative.

Automated sawing technology offers significant advantages to users. Many processes can run unattended and much faster, which increases productivity and reduces the need for personnel. It is easier to make up the difference when employees are ill, and robots can keep working even during breaks or after shifts. The result is lower personnel costs and greater flexibility in terms of capacity utilisation.

Companies can react more easily to order peaks and dramatically reduce idle times. This can make a big difference economically.

“We’ve calculated that, depending on the shift model, an investment in an industrial robot with a machine like our KASTOvariospeed saw pays for itself in less than a year,” says Bühler. “When you consider that systems like this are used for more than ten years on average, users can reduce their operating costs for a very long time.”

Benefits for Both Users and Customers

Robot technology also helps to improve working conditions. It relieves employees of heavy, tiring and monotonous tasks. The risk of accidents and injuries is reduced. Moreover, the cut parts are of better quality, because robots machine them with equal precision, sort them reliably and stack them neatly. This provides benefits not only for operators of automatic sawing facilities, but also for their customers.

 

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The Perfect Combination For  Structural Parts—Faster, Better, Lower Cutting Forces

The Perfect Combination for Structural Parts—Faster, Better, Lower Cutting Forces

The optimum machine tool combined with the optimum tool results in a perfect combination. And that makes cost-effective processes and impressive machining results possible. Article contributed by MAPAL.

 

Figure 1: Dietmar Maichel (left), project manager 3D milling at MAPAL, and Steffen Nüssle, sales director export and head of applications engineering at Zimmermann, in front of the FZH horizontal machining center (HMC).

The optimum machine tool combined with the optimum tool results in a perfect combination. And that makes cost-effective processes and impressive machining results possible. One good example of this is the cooperation between machine manufacturer F. Zimmermann GmbH and MAPAL.

F. Zimmermann developed its first horizontal machining centre (HMC) especially for the machining of structural parts for the aerospace industry. The aluminium structural parts, such as wing parts and frame ribs, are generally milled from solid material—with up to 95 percent material removal.

Fault-free machining with respect to dimensional accuracy and surface finish is crucial here. And the component structure that becomes more and more delicate with increasing material removal represents an additional challenge.

In order to make the milling process as efficient as possible even in these areas, Zimmermann has developed the FZH machining centre that offers maximum rigidity and features a robust, water-cooled travelling column. Whereas conventional machine concepts suffer from lever-related deviations with increasing slide, the guide carriage distance of the FZH increases with increasing plunging depth into the material.

In order to achieve maximum efficiency, Zimmermann employs its own patented M3ABC three-axis milling head in the machining centre, especially in the pocket corners of a workpiece. This milling head has to perform only very small swivel movements, allowing the feed rate to be kept constant and hence, the machining time to be significantly shortened.

The Beginning

At an open house in June 2017, Zimmermann demonstrated its machining centre with tools from competitors. These tools failed to meet the expectations, however, and were unable to exploit the performance of the machine.

“Why not test the performance of the MAPAL tools?” thought the project managers at Zimmermann, as MAPAL was presenting its milling cutters for high-volume machining at the event. A short time later, representatives of the two companies carried out extensive milling trials with different tools together.

Figure 2: MAPAL tools used at Zimmermann (from left to right): SPM-Rough ISO shoulder milling cutter with indexable inserts as roughing solution for diametre ranges above 25mm; SPM-Rough solid carbide milling cutter with wave profile as roughing solution for diametre ranges up to 25mm; OptiMill-SPM solid carbide milling cutter for multi-stepped semi-finishing of thin-walled structures; and SPM-Finish solid carbide milling cutter for finishing of deep pockets and delicate structures in a single pass.

The Milling Cutters

“Our goal was to choose the optimum tools from our portfolio for the machining operations on the Zimmermann machine,” explains Dietmar Maichel, project manager 3D milling at MAPAL. The tool manufacturer’s portfolio contains different milling cutters for the different tasks during the high-volume machining of aluminium structural parts. The tools are perfectly designed for use on such high-performance machines as the Zimmermann machine.

In particular, the SPM milling cutters, which are available in a solid carbide design and with PCD and ISO inserts, are being used today—a total of four tools, to be exact—at Zimmermann for the different demands of the roughing and finishing operations.

The Interaction

“The perfect combination of the machine, the three-axis milling head and the tools from MAPAL give the user a real performance boost,” says Steffen Nüssle, sales director export and head of applications engineering at Zimmermann, immediately after the first tests. “With the SPM-Rough ISO shoulder milling cutter, we achieved the best results that we have ever achieved with a tool with indexable inserts.”

The ISO tools with polished indexable inserts are the latest addition to the MAPAL SPM product range. The SPM-Rough with wave profile also surpassed the expectations for material removal with excellent smooth running.

“The complete machining of a 190x190x40 mm pocket is now effectively possible in less than a minute,” explains Nüssle.

The Present

The experts at F. Zimmermann are convinced by the MAPAL tools. “The use of the SPM milling cutters has given us a quantum leap forward in the aluminium machining. And it shows us what the perfect combination of tool and machine means in terms of performance,” says Nüssle. The tools are the first choice when it comes to machine acceptance tests or demonstrations for customers from the aerospace industry at Zimmermann.

The Future

The Zimmermann machines are suitable not only for the machining of metals. “Many of our customers manufacture parts of composite materials,” says Nüssle.

Zimmermann, therefore, also wants to mill trial parts of these materials using MAPAL tools.

“We are optimistic that with the MAPAL milling cutters for composite machining, we will also find a new secret weapon to exploit the performance of our machines even better,” says Nüssle. The corresponding plans are already in hand.

 

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Choosing The Best Machining Centre For Your Application

Choosing the Best Machining Centre for Your Application

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Michael Cope, product technical specialist at Hurco Companies Inc. talks about HMCs and VMCs, and which machining centre to use for your specific applications. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Hurco Companies Inc. manufactures computer numeric control (CNC) machine tools for the metal cutting and metal forming industry. Two of the company’s brands of machine tools, Hurco and Milltronics, are equipped with interactive controls that include software that is proprietary to each respective brand. Hurco designs these controls and develops the software. The third brand of CNC machine tools, Takumi, is equipped with third-party industrial controls, allowing customers to decide the type of control they need.

Hurco’s products are used by independent job shops, short-run manufacturing operations within large corporations, and manufacturers with production-oriented operations. Its customers are manufacturers of precision parts, tools, dies, and moulds for industries such as aerospace, defence, medical equipment, energy, transportation, and computer equipment. Based in Indiana, USA, Hurco has manufacturing operations in Taiwan, Italy, the US, and China. It also has sales, application engineering support, and service subsidiaries in England, France, India, Singapore, and Taiwan, to name a few.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN), Michael Cope, product technical specialist at Hurco, speaks about the latest technology developments in machining centres, in particular, horizontal machining centres (HMCs) and vertical machining centres (VMCs), and discusses whether one is better than the other. He also explains their applications, the latest customer requirements, and how machine manufacturers are keeping up to meet those demands.

 

Figure 1: Powered by its proprietary WinMax software, Hurco’s CNC control is the key to making job shops more profitable because it is designed to make small-batch/high-mix production efficient by reducing setup time and programming time.

Q: What is your company’s ‘sweet spot’?

Michael Cope: Hurco’s ‘sweet spot’ lies in our proprietary CNC controller. Powered by WinMax software, our CNC control is the key to making job shops more profitable because it is designed to make small-batch/high-mix production efficient by reducing setup time and programming time. In fact, 65 percent of our customers answered in a recent survey that ‘The Control’ is what they most like about Hurco.

 

Q: What are the biggest process challenges that your customers are facing and how are you helping them address such issues?

MC: Customers are getting jobs with increasing complexity in terms of geometries and number of set-ups, but at the same time lack the machinist and programmers with the necessary knowledge and experience to execute these jobs. We help them assess their new jobs and discuss practical ways to machine their parts. It may involve a new investment with addition capabilities such as 5-axis or HMC, or simply adding a rotary (fourth axis) or trunnion table (fourth and fifth axis) to their existing Hurco machines. There are also cases where the customer utilizes our showroom demo machine to run their first article with the assistance of our applications engineer.

 

Q: What opportunities do you see for your company in the coming years in Asia?

MC: The recent trade disputes between the US and China, and the impending review of the cross-border tariffs in various jurisdictions have affected overall market sentiments. Global manufacturers will re-evaluate their supply chain and would likely change their investment strategies, that is, new plants and sourcing territories. We see imminent growth potential in the ASEAN region as global manufacturers realign their strategies. We will continue our investment in Southeast Asia with our partners/distributors so that our technology will help bridge the knowledge gap faced by end users in these emerging economies.

 

Q: How would you differentiate HMC from VMC, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

MC: HMCs typically cost more than a standard VMC, but can provide lots of benefits to the customer: better chip and coolant control, almost always are equipped with a fourth axis rotary table, and can allow the operator to utilize multi-sided tombstone type fixturing that will facilitate a larger number of parts in a single setup. HMCs are also usually equipped with a pallet changer, which allows the operator to be loading parts while the machine is running—therefore reducing the down time necessary between cycles.

VMCs are the more traditional type of machine configuration and are found in almost every shop. For everyday job-shops, where they are running small to medium lot sizes, the required amount of machine setups necessary in a single week (or even in a single day) might make a HMC less attractive. Although they are very good at machining lots of parts—even multi-sided work—HMCs typically are not as quick and easy to setup as a VMC, and therefore might not be the best choice for a shop with a high mix of low-volume work.

In high production scenarios, a HMC can really shine. Again, the ability to fixture a larger number of parts in one setup on a multi-sided tombstone fixture, and the ability to reach at least three sides of each part, can help tremendously when running a production run with large volumes. Also, when running large volumes, with lots of cutting, a large amount of chips will be produced. The HMC is designed to assist with the efficient removal of these chips.

 

Q: What are the latest technology developments in HMCs and VMCs?

MC: One area of technology that comes to mind is speed and motion control. Modern machines are getting faster—both in programmable feedrates, as well as rapid traverse feedrates—and the motion control systems are getting faster, too. This increased speed not only allows shops to get work done faster, but they are also producing better parts. Surface finishes, part accuracies, and overall machine longevity are all things that are benefiting from these technology advancements, and are helping shops become more productive and more efficient.

 

Figure 2: The VCX600i cantilever 5-axis machine is equipped with CTS and linear scales, a 12k spindle, and B-axis travel of +40/-110 deg.

Q: Tell us more about your latest machining centres.

MC: We have launched our second-generation Performance cantilever style 5-axis machining centre, the VCX600i, designed for high speed cutting. The VCX600i features a motorized spindle with spindle speed up to 18,000rpm, a torque table with absolute rotary encoders, and several tool change options. Coupled with our new 3D Solid Model Import software, programming of a multi-sided part can be easily completed via Hurco conversational programming with literally just a few clicks.

We have also delivered our first two HM1700Ri HMCs in Asia to the oil and gas industry. The HM1700Ri features BT50 Motorized Spindle and an 800mm diameter rotary torque table that is embedded within a 1,650x840mm worktable. This unique table set-up provides the end user the flexibility to work on parts larger than the rotary table using its X, Y, Z travels.

 

Q: What advice would you give your customers when it comes to their machining processes and choosing their machining solutions?

MC: If a customer has a machine that is performing well in their shop, then they should use that machine as long as it keeps making them money—especially if it is paid for! However, we see too any shops that fall into the trap of buying used equipment when they need to add a machine to their shop. They think they are saving money by spending less on the purchase, but truthfully—with all the advancements in today’s controls and machine technology as a whole—they are probably losing money. The time it will take to see a return on that additional investment will be short, and the benefit they will reap from the new technology will be quick and the impact will be substantial over time.

 

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Modular Power Package For Demanding Benders

Modular Power Package For Demanding Benders

With the Xpert Pro, Bystronic presents a high-end press brake that sheet metal processing companies can adapt to their requirements on a modular basis. The new model in the Xpert series of machines meets the highest demands in terms of process speed and flexibility.

Modular design has long since established itself in the automotive industry. Manufacturers offer a model in various editions and in addition to the standard specifications, customers can choose from a wide range of optional features. Bystronic was inspired by this principle when developing the new Xpert Pro: Customers can choose between three editions and customise them with optional extras.

The three editions of the Xpert Pro will appeal to a wide variety of users: The Classic Edition is ideal for job shops with small batch sizes or for prototype builders. With the Performance Edition, medium-sized companies can produce larger series quickly and reliably. And the Dynamic Edition with bending speeds of up to 20 millimeters per second is ideal for companies that need even more speed to efficiently handle batch sizes of 1000 pieces and more.

Maximum Flexibility

The Xpert Pro’s press capacity can also be adapted to a wide range of requirements. The spectrum ranges from 100 to 320 tons. This enables sheets up to a thickness of 15 millimeters to be bent effortlessly. In terms of bending length, there is a choice of three or four meters. Companies that require even more flexibility can connect two machines together to process extra-long parts.

The modular concept enables the press brake to be adapted very specifically to the requirements of the production environment – and in this respect Bystronic goes one step further than the car manufacturers: If the requirements change, the configuration can be flexibly adapted. The exchange of individual modules, for example of the backgauge, is straightforward and all optional equipment can be easily retrofitted.

The Xpert Pro is also flexible with regard to the use of bending tools, because this press brake eliminates the usual compatibility problems. The developers designed the tool clamping system to be so open that, in addition to the large selection of Bystronic equipment, tools from other suppliers can also be used. This provides users with more freedom for the bending of a wide variety of parts.

Precise And Convenient Bending

Precision is the most important performance factor of every production environment. Thanks to the tried-and-tested dynamic crowning, the Xpert Pro achieves precise and consistent bending results from the very first part. Bystronic’s patented compensation system automatically adjusts the curvature of the lower beam during the bending process. For even higher process reliability, the LAMS angle measuring system is available as an option. In addition to sheet thickness fluctuations, this system also compensates for springback and rolling direction variations.

Thus, the Xpert Pro reduces the need for tedious manual corrections while also reducing the operators’ workload during programming: The ByVision Bending software solution determines the ideal bending process for every material thickness and bending angle. Thus, the high-end press brake leaves nothing to be desired in terms of convenience. Bending has never been faster and more precise than with the new Xpert Pro from Bystronic.

 

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New High-Definition Feature Scanner For Automated Inspection

New High-Definition Feature Scanner For Automated Inspection

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched the APODIUS Absolute Camera AAC, a camera-based sensor designed for the fine analysis of large numbers of small repetitive features such as the drill-hole formations often found in large aerospace components. The sensor is specifically intended for integration within an automated robotic inspection system controlled by a Leica Absolute Tracker AT960, and can also be integrated directly within a production machine.

The AAC offers feature analysis at a finer level of detail than other non-contact measurement solutions. Accuracy is to within just 10 microns for diameter measurements, even on holes with sub-millimetre diameters – alternative non-contact measurement options available for automated integration typical struggle with holes less than 18 millimetres in diameter. And with a measurement speed of 10 Hertz, the AAC can keep up with robot movement of 100 millimetres per second, allowing it to cover a square-metre area densely populated with small features in less than five minutes.

“We’ve seen many requests from aerospace users for a solution like this,” said Jonathan Roberz, Managing Director of APODIUS at Hexagon. “Small holes can be extremely challenging to measure quickly and accurately – some customers are still using pin gauges because of a lack of better solutions, while others have to move their part onto a nearby CMM and give up many of the productivity benefits of an otherwise automated system. This new sensor offers the opportunity to finally remove such manual processes from otherwise modern automated inspection by finally delivering a system that has the accuracy these applications require in an fully automatable form.”

Within a Laser Tracker Automated Solution, the AAC can become a key part of a complete automated inspection system. It is fully compatible with a tool changer system, allowing it to be used alongside a dynamic surface scanner such as the Leica T-Scan 5 to provide automated inspection of every aspect of large components with no compromising on feature accuracy.

 

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Tungaloy’s -01 Geometry For High Precision Finish Turning On Swiss Lathes

Tungaloy’s -01 Geometry For High Precision Finish Turning On Swiss Lathes

Tungaloy enhances its ISO positive turning inserts in “-01” geometry to include a 0.4 mm (.0157″) nose radius prepared in a minus tolerance specifically for precision finishing in Swiss turning applications.

The new -01 geometry is designed to deliver consistent chip control at extremely light cutting depths of 0.5 mm (.020″) or smaller. The introduction of a 0.4 mm nose radius insert is implemented due to the increased demands in the Swiss turning market where workpieces with 0.4 mm corner radius requirements are as popular as workpieces with 0.2 mm radii. In addition, these corner radii are often required to be finished equal to or smaller than the required radius dimensions in order to minimise the impact on dimensional accuracy. Therefore, the insert nose radii of the -01 geometry are all designed and constructed in a minus tolerance to the nominal nose radii, and not exceeding it.

Combined with the existing -JS geometry, the first-choice for small part turning, the enhanced lineup of the -01 geometry provides customers with optimal chipbreaker options for various cutting depths and feed rates in Swiss turning operations.

The -01 geometry is optimised for cutting depths of 0.5 mm (.020″) or less, while -JS geometries are effective for depths of cut ranging from 0.5 mm to 3.0 mm (.020″ to .118″).

 

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HEIDENHAIN Presents Controls And Measuring Technology For Efficient Production

HEIDENHAIN Presents Controls And Measuring Technology For Efficient Production

Having command of highly complex procedures is a clear competitive advantage when it comes to milling and turning. HEIDENHAIN will be presenting their controls, encoders, and drive technologies for machine tools at EMO 2019.

In order to manufacture products that satisfy the highest demands regarding accuracy and quality in a reliable, economic, and efficient process, many different building blocks all around the machine tool must fit and interact perfectly. At EMO 2019, HEIDENHAIN will use presentations and live demonstrations to show very different combinations and possible solutions for process optimisation.

New Options, Features, And Hardware For TNC Controls

Even starting with a lot size of just one piece, HEIDENHAIN controls offers process reliability, accuracy, and productivity. Furthermore, they facilitate the simple and reliable digital integration of the machine into the process chain. Packages of functions including Dynamic Precision, Dynamic Efficiency, and Connected Machining as well as numerous additional options ensure this.

Thanks to its split screen, the new TNC 640 with a 24-inch widescreen and Extended Workspace Compact can offer two work areas: the user can have other applications be displayed alongside the control screen. This way he has an especially user-friendly workstation in order to organise jobs completely digitally directly on the control.

An Encoder Solution For Every Rotary Axis

The company’s encoders for determining the position of linear and rotary axes are the industrial standard for Closed Loop control, where the dimensionally accurate production of contours is not affected by thermally induced changes to the feed mechanism. At EMO 2019, HEIDENHAIN will particularly focus on angle encoders, and together with AMO will present solutions for every rotary axis. For example, the RCN 2001 optical angle encoders with integral bearing and integrated stator coupling have been fundamentally redesigned. The RCN 2001 angle encoders accomplish this by transmitting not only the temperature values of the integrated temperature sensor over a digital interface, but also other sensor data, particularly the temperature of the torque motor.

Innovative Setup And Measuring

Touch probes and the numerous probing cycles of the controls increase the dimensional accuracy of finished workpieces. Setup and measurement of workpieces and tools, as well as calibration of the machine kinematics, are all performed quickly and easily before machining or during operation. The touch probes are optimally tuned to the TNC cycles.

Greater Performance And Process Reliability Through New Generations Of Drive Systems

Motors and control technology from ETEL and HEIDENHAIN significantly contribute to the dynamic and highly accurate motion control of machine tools. The new GEN 3 generation of drives which will debut at EMO, ensures maximum performance and offers intelligent transmission technology, powerful diagnostics, and simple mounting and connection technology.

 

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TRUMPF Is Expanding The Scope Of 3D Printing

TRUMPF Is Expanding The Scope Of 3D Printing

With global interest in additive manufacturing technologies on the rise, TRUMPF presents its new 3D printing applications that can drive advances in various industrial sectors.

Additive manufacturing processes enable the creation of unprecedented complex shapes that are both light and stable. With the benefit of digital connectivity, they fit seamlessly into state-of-the-art manufacturing systems in use today. The 3D printer is a key tool for many manufacturing processes ranging from mass customisation to one-off builds. It can print anything from bespoke facial implants to special parts for cars or airplanes. Able to print components in one piece, these systems often spare vendors the effort of multiple manufacturing steps.

“Interest in additive manufacturing technologies remains high because the process’s benefits are proving their merits in more and more practical applications. This applies as much to conventional metalworking companies as it does to future products in the aerospace industry,” said Thomas Fehn, general manager at TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing.

Three examples of TRUMPF 3D printing in industrial manufacturing:

  1. Personalised Craniomaxillofacial Implants

Russian medical device manufacturer CONMET has been using a TRUMPF 3D printer to produce craniomaxillofacial implants since early 2018. 3D printed implants are ready for insertion, precisely fitted and cleaned, before the procedure begins. This enhances patient safety while cutting costs and speeding up surgery. Furthermore, it can print parts that are sturdy and durable while still cushioning against blows. The implant’s porous structures facilitate the ingrowth of healthy tissue. CONMET has managed to reduce the cost of manufacturing craniomaxillofacial implants by around 40 percent.

  1. A Lightweight Mounting Bracket For Communication Satellites

TRUMPF has been commissioned by the space company Tesat-Spaceroom to produce a 3D-printed mounting structure for Germany’s Heinrich Hertz communications satellite, which will be used to test the space-worthiness of new communication technologies. In collaboration with the company AMendate, TRUMPF engineers succeeded in optimising the geometry of the mounting structure and reducing its weight by 55 percent. This optimised mount is both lighter and more robust. During the launch of the satellite the new mounting structure will withstand the same high forces and will hold its shape better.

“This is just one example of how we can use additive processes in satellite construction to reduce weight and increase payload capacity,” says Matthias Müller, industry manager for aerospace and energy at TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing.

  1. Easy-To-Make Sewer Cleaning Nozzles

TRUMPF joined forces with USB Düsen and Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences to demonstrate the benefits of 3D printing in the fabrication of cleaning nozzles for sewers.

The 3D-printed variant eliminates the need for milling and gluing. The component can be printed without any supporting structures, so there is no finishing work to be done afterwards. The software-driven process is far more accurate than manual gluing. Measurements have shown that printing cuts production time by 53 percent. For the first time, this will allow up to 10,000 parts to be manufactured per year. Another benefit is a smoother flowing jet of water. TRUMPF engineers expect the new nozzles to reduce water consumption and boost cleaning performance.

 

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