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Technical Revolution In Automatic Turning

Technical Revolution In Automatic Turning

igus develops energy supply solution for rotational and linear motion for DMG Mori.

For installation of the harnessed cables in the energy supply chains and the metal guides, the technicians in Cologne need approximately 2.5 days. (Source: igus GmbH)

After only two years of development time, DMG Mori ushers in a new era of automatic turning machines with the release of the Multisprint series, which support multiple spindles. But, behind its development is igus, which provided a special energy supply solution for both rotational and linear motion.

The readychain

The ‘readychain’ harnessed energy supply system from igus and the spindle drum were first brought together in April 2017, when many processes and manual procedures were not yet routine and demanded maximum attention from the people involved. Does the 750 kg and almost 2 m wide energy chain system from igus fit into the housing of the machine? Everything was put together in a way that is an absolute innovation in production technology for DMG Mori subsidiary, Gildemeister Italiana.

Upon installation of the readychain and its connection to the spindle drum, the engineers and technicians continued working for a further three months until midsummer 2017 to assemble the machine completely, test it and send it on its travels. Destination: EMO Hannover. Here, the Multisprint was presented as a revolution in mechanical engineering. After all, it is the first machine to combine a multi-spindle automatic lathe with SWISSTYPE technology. And all this with a Y-axis on each spindle position.

Maximum Flexibility Due to New Technology

Due to globalisation and market dynamics, customer requirements for modern turning machines have changed and now demand the following: shortened processing and tooling times, reduced amount of effort needed for process development and integration, and the ability to handle the increasing degree of complexity. Multisprint meets all these challenging requirements. Nozzles for fluid power equipment, implants for dentistry, and shafts for motor vehicle manufacturing are just three examples of complex components that can be made on the high-tech machine. The result is a manufacturing solution for scalable requirements from initial series production to the high-volume production of complex workpieces.

The combination of three types of machine technology enables the customer to engage in completely new forms of production, providing them maximum flexibility for the mass production of components with diameters up to 50 mm.

Heavy Drum Turns with Extreme Precision and Maximum Speed

The heart of the machine is the spindle drum with six spindles for simultaneous machining of several workpieces. The main spindles in the drum have a travel of up to 180 millimetres. The drum moves the workpieces to the tools quickly and very precisely—taking only 0.65 seconds for one of the six spindles to travel to the next position.

For spindles to return to the starting position after machining has been completed in the six stations, the drum must turn 300 deg in reverse. For this, the unit, which weighs over three metric tons, only needs one second. The rods are pushed out of the loader through the drum to get into position for machining. 

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ANCA Motion’s New Tubular Linear Motor LinX M Series

ANCA Motion’s New Tubular Linear Motor LinX M Series

The latest addition to the LinX range continues to support demanding automation applications whilst increasing efficiency in a compact footprint. The LinX M-series linear motor features an integrated position sensor with 10 um of resolution, eliminating the need of an external encoder, simplifying the system design and reducing the overall cost. Modular design of the heatsink and end-caps enables flexibility in system integration. The motor produces a continuous force range of 90 N to 160 and a peak force range of up to 1,200 N.

The series is designed to deliver superior performance for high dynamic applications: velocity up to 10 m/s and maximum acceleration of higher than 30 G. With integrated position feedback and pneumatics compatible mounting design, the M-Series motor range is an ideal replacement to pneumatic cylinders also simplifying system integration, commission and maintenance. When compared with a pneumatic system the LinX motor offers a reduction in operating costs due to reduced energy consumption and maintenance.

Naveen Nadesan, Global Marketing Manager said: “With a fully potted motor body and sealed stainless steel shaft, IP67 protection level can be achieved by the motor, making it ideal for food and beverage packaging applications. Automation is advancing at a dramatic pace and that is good news for manufacturers. The buzz of Smart Factories and Industry 4.0 isn’t just noise as automation drives efficiencies, reduces cost and improves quality. This latest product by ANCA Motion has been designed to offer manufacturers a better solution than what was previously available and our linear motor technology has proven success in the market place with customers raving about the improved performance of their machines.”

“For example, an Australian customer Sutton Tools reported a 10 percent improvement on its surface finish on their tools after moving to a machine using the linear motor. This change was achieved by moving away from the traditional ball-screw movement on machines to a linear motor and we have taken this technology and extended its capabilities so that more manufacturers can benefit,” Naveen concluded.

Jeff Boyd, Export Manager at Sutton Tools said: “By really focusing on how we could improve the surface finish, and with the added capabilities of the linear motor, we have created a product that is delivering significant productivity gains for our customers. The team are now consistently achieving a longer tool life and faster cycle times in the machining of the higher strength materials such as titanium and inconels which is a great result.”

The LinX motor design itself improves machine life and reduces wear on guide ways or rails, eliminating the downforce associated with flatbed motors due to the zero net attractive forces.  The magnets contained within the LinX motor stainless steel cylinder allow machine builders to align the motor with much more ease, meaning machines can be built faster and safer.

LinX M-series Linear Motor has been designed in a variety of different sizes to allow for application-specific solutions.


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Better Surface Finish With Linear Technology

Better Surface Finish With Linear Technology

To gain traction in the aerospace industry, Australian manufacturer of rotary shank cutting tools, Sutton Tools, has been using linear motor technology. Article by Anca.

Jeff Boyd, export manager at Sutton Tools said, “By really focusing on how we could improve the surface finish, and with the added capabilities of the linear motor, we have created a product that is delivering significant productivity gains for our customers. The team is now consistently achieving a longer tool life and faster cycle times in some of the higher strength materials such as titanium.”

Mr Boyd added that improvements in the surface finish of the cutting tools have been achieved by moving away from the traditional ball-screw movement on machines to a linear motor. The company also conducted a direct comparison and experimented with different grinding wheel grades and grinding parameters for the best finish.

“A better surface finish has also mean we get better adhesion of the coating and stable performance to the cutting tool which is important for our customers. Tool stability is important because it means our customers can confidently forecast their production schedules and reduce machine down time,” said Mr Boyd.

In order to validate their grinding methods, an optical 3D scanning technique is used to measure the area surface roughness on the rake face and the cutting rake on the tools.

Anca has combined linear motion motor technology from its sister company Anca Motion to its own rigid grinding machines. The LinX cylindrical linear motors prevent loss of preload or rigidity when grinding tools and reversal errors are eliminated and higher contouring accuracy can be maintained due to a unique control algorithm.

Global Linear Motion Systems

According to Market Research Future, the global linear motion systems market is expected to touch a whopping US$8.76 billion mark at a staggering CAGR of 7.8 percent during the assessment period (2017-2023). Various technological advents across the industrial spectrum have given rise to the need for a linear motion system (LMS) to enhance the operational process by having a continuous transfer of products.

With industrialisation on the rise and people having more disposable income in their hand than before, segments such as automotive, food & beverage, packaging, healthcare, manufacturing and others are getting an unprecedented boost. Seamless processing, agility, efficiency in handling shock load condition, and safeguarding against contamination and moisture have made it the foremost procedure for several industrial verticals.

Automotive industry demands an operational technology which can deliver round-the-clock service of the highest level of accuracy without any variance. LMS fits the bill perfectly. Furthermore, advantages such as low maintenance cost and cost-effective production capability have helped it emerge as peerless industrial technology. Its compact size and load capacity help it attain versatility where it gets involved in productions of specialized vehicles such as ambulance, professional vehicles, fire trucks, telescoping trailers, and vehicles for disabled people.

However, lack of product variance can impede the growth rate during the forecast period. Market competitors are offering LMS at an affordable price, but the option remains very limited for the consumers.

Industry Trends

Minimal errors and accurate positioning of equipment have made LMS a market rage in the healthcare sector. Its easy maintenance has been accepted widely across verticals. Features accounting for its high demand are hygiene standards, high performance, and durability of devices.

The market leaders are trying to customize it according to the needs of the industry. Thomson Industries, Inc., has recently introduced T-Cas Linear Race Shafting that provides various benefits to automation manufacturers and can be considered exemplary.

LMS is currently penetrating other markets such as wastewater management, shale gas exploration, and aerospace & defence. An exponential rise in the use of LMS can be seen in these sectors.


The global market of LMS can be segmented based on type and application. Type-wise segmentation includes single-axis linear motion system and multi-axis linear motion system. Multi-axis linear motion system is leading the market and expects to grow at a rapid CAGR of 8.5 percent to reach a staggering US$5.70 billion mark during the prognosis period. Compared to single-axis, multi-axis is cost effective and can perform in diverse industrial platforms.

Application-based segmentation comprises packaging, machine tools, palletising, robotics, material handling equipment and others. Machine tools dominate the market and are expected to do so during the assessment period with the fastest CAGR of 7.7 percent. The segment stands out owing to its requirement of high accuracy control. LMS also betters the efficiency of machine tools by implementing innovations and solutions. In doing so, LMS has become the favourite of the machine tools segment.

Regional Analysis

APAC dominates the market and generates the maximum market revenue. China leads the region by making US$807.4 million in 2017 and is projected to grow with an impressive 11.1 percent CAGR during the forecast period. Japan and India follow the line. The presence of major sectors has boosted the semiconductor demand in the region owing to which the market is witnessing such growth.



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