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Ensuring High Precision

Ensuring High Precision

Ingun Prüfmittelbau GmbH relies on the high-precion SwissNano technology to ensure success in the world of test and measurement. Article by Tornos.

Ernst Dietrich

Any company claiming to be the ‘market leader in test equipment manufacturing’ really has to perform excellently. Ingun Prüfmittelbau GmbH has become a synonym for permanent innovation and top-quality products boasting absolute precision. Among others, the company owes this prominent position to an intelligent manufacturing strategy and to machinery that has been selected with due care. And here, Tornos’ SwissNano machines play a key role.

In 1971, Ingun Prüfmittelbau opened its doors for business with the production of test probes and test fixtures with only only seven employees. Almost 50 years later, the staff has grown to more than 300 employees worldwide, and Ingun is now one of the leaders in test equipment manufacturing, offering a range of test probes and test fixtures used to test the electrical function of electronic components such as PCBs.

Generally, products such as harnesses used in cars, battery packs for bicycles or state-of-the-art smartphones, laptops and PCs are tested for correct operation with an Ingun product. As devices are getting smaller and smarter, it is inevitable that their PCBs are getting smaller whilst featuring more functions and closed-loop control circuits. Examining and testing PCBs are becoming more and more complex, and Ingun is making every effort to continue coping with these technical challenges as they evolve. Its spring-loaded test probes ensure reliable and consistent contact security for more than 25,000 different types. Both standardised and customised test fixtures as well as an extensive range of fixture accessories for individual upgrade are the company’s second mainstay. The company’s R&D department is working closely with the production and assembly departments to provide the customers with tailormade solutions.

Infinite Diversity

The diversity of the components to be tested requires an appropriate range of products, and Ingun takes pride in finding the adequate solution for each task. In addition to standard probes, the company also offers high-frequency and high-current test probes. The latter ensures the safe transmission of high currents with little heating as well as precise measurement thanks to minimum internal resistances.

The complexity of the test probes is not evident at first sight. They generally consist of a barrel, a spring, a plunger and a probe with gold-plated tip. It’s getting really interesting, though, when it comes to the sizes and the material to be machined. For Ingun, outer diameters smaller than 0.8mm are already large and the turning of 0.12mm cross holes and of 0.19mm studs are usual tasks. For the most part, brass as well as copper-beryllium alloys are machined. Most recently, the share of Teflon and other plastics has also been increasing as these materials have inherent insulation.

Since the time slots between engineering, prototype construction and test phase were becoming smaller and smaller, and external suppliers weren’t able to supply in short term, Ingun established its own turning shop in 2012. Even if Ingun is operating on a global scale today, the company is acting on the maxim to exclusively produce in Germany to ensure its high-quality standards.

At the Forefront of Technological Development

From the very beginning, Ingun’s turning shop has been planned as a high-end solution for the development of new technologies. In close collaboration with design engineers, innovative solutions are sought and exceptional technologies are experimented with. The standard just isn’t good enough for Ingun’s turning shop. Here, the benchmark is set. Only until a process is running steadily will it be outsourced to external local suppliers, who then will produce about 80 million turned parts per year.

The fact that the turning shop is now equipped with 15 machines proves that this concept worked out. These machines already include six SwissNano machines from Tornos and two machines of this type will follow by the end of this year. The first SwissNano was purchased in 2014, when the turning shop had to manufacture a most challenging, highly complex test probe with a crown on its face. The technical parameters perfectly matched. The machine is small, compact, easily accessible, stable and precise. But was it able to prove this in practice? It was. In the course of elaborate turning trials in Pforzheim, Germany, the machine showed what it had to offer. In this context, Ernst Dietrich’s team unanimously praise the support offered by Tornos. Together, they developed solutions for process optimisation.

With a shortened bar loader, the vibration could be further reduced. In this regard, the specific oil extraction system and the pick-off device directly mounted on the spindle are some very interesting features. Such details emphasise the high demands Ingun makes on its machines. The company does not content itself with the standards and is always looking for improvement. At the same time, Ingun has shifted to the in-house production of its entire parts series, thanks to the use of the SwissNano machines, which provide the company with additional flexibility.

A Close Partnership

The SwissNano convinced the responsible Ingun managers from the very beginning—and they have not been disappointed to date. The machine is amazingly fast, highly precise, and is easily accessible and easy to convert. With an annual ratio of two thirds set-up work and one third turning work, the latter is a decisive aspect. For Dietrich, the turning shop manager, the optimisation of the set-up times is essential. That’s why the workplaces and processes are optimised accordingly in special workshops. The possibility to change over in ‘next to no time’ between turning with or without guide bush and the resulting flexibility of the SwissNano are features that are appreciated as well in this context. This is extremely important for a company that rarely has to machine the same part again. Another aspect applauded by Dietrich is the TISIS software.

“My colleagues have felt at ease with it from the very beginning. The machine is easy to program; important features are already registered, and the simulation function provides reliable protection against interference and opens up possibilities to further optimize the program,” he says.

This passion to permanently push the envelope is typical for Ingun. The company promotes junior staff members and gives them the opportunity to prove themselves. So, the team being responsible for the Tornos machines is still very young, yet very competent and is fully committed to the tasks on hand. In addition, these young employees can benefit from the wealth of experience of their older colleagues. In this department, cycle times of just 15s for extremely complex test probes are the rule rather than the exception.

Based on these positive experiences, the SwissNano machine will remain the machine of choice for Ingun. This, however, does not mean that they will rest on their laurels. The company is even thinking about a strategic partnership with the Swiss manufacturer. In the coming years, Ingun will continue to grow at a tremendous pace and will thus need machines on which the requested micro-precision can be achieved in no time and at high flexibility. Tornos’ SwissNano provides Ingun with the ideal basis for this.


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Tornos Opens New Customer Center In Bangkok

Tornos Opens New Customer Center In Bangkok

Tornos Technologies Co. Ltd. officially opens its doors to its new Customer Center on August 28, 2019. The new Customer Center Bangkok is much larger than its predecessor, and its showroom perfectly accommodates the entire range of current Tornos products. The new customer center is designed as a venue for existing and potential customers to discover the Tornos universe in a new light.

Tornos Reaffirms Its Presence In Thailand

Tornos officially established itself with the opening of Tornos SA Thailand in Sukhumvit in 2007, providing support to customers in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia as well as India. The qualified team of engineers on-site has always worked to find appropriate solutions for the production of turned parts, and Tornos has established a reputation for providing adequate essential technical assistance and after-sales service.

Thailand’s economic contribution to the machine tool market may not be widely known, but it represents an important market. Thailand, as Southeast Asia’s largest vehicle producer, is an important hub for automotive manufacturers. Other industries that are well represented in Thailand are the Medical & Dental, Electronics, and Micromechanics.

Thailand: An Important Market

A number of companies produce components for the Automotive and Electronics industries in Thailand. Tornos provides them with Industry 4.0-ready solutions that they need on-site, especially when it comes to precision small part turning and micro-milling.

For Darren Way, Director of Tornos Technologies Thailand Co. Ltd, Thailand is a kind of barometer of the global economic situation. The markets are constantly evolving, and he has clearly recognised during his more than 20 years in Asia for Tornos, that it is necessary to not only to follow the markets’ evolution, but also to anticipate it.

Thanks to this new Customer Center Bangkok, Tornos reaffirms its presence in this important market and raises its visibility. By being able to demonstrate more machines on- site, Tornos becomes even closer to its customers, offering them the assistance and support they need—where they need it.


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Tornos To Hold Intelligent Manufacturing Conference

Tornos To Hold Intelligent Manufacturing Conference

Tornos—a leading provider of automatic lathes and multispindle machines—will be holding the Intelligent Manufacturing Conference (IMC), a conference that revolves around mobility, on June 27 at Kraftwerk in Rottweil, Germany.

The turned parts industry faces great challenges due to two main factors. On the one hand, the automotive industry is working hard on alternative drive and mobility concepts. On the other hand, the digital transformation is driving suppliers to rethink. Which strategies are suitable for turned parts manufacturers to master these challenges and to create opportunities? These topics form the core of the Intelligent Manufacturing Conference, which aims to assess whether new opportunities in mobility represent an opportunity or a risk for the lathe industry.

Keynote speeches, expert talks, dynamic workshops and the accompanying exhibition will give participants valuable firsthand know-how from research to application. At the all-day event, leading players from the entire value chain will provide insight into their solution competence.

The goal of the conference is to bring together developers and researchers as well as buyers of turned parts from the automotive industry with suppliers and to initiate an intensive exchange of experience. This will give participants a real advantage in terms of knowledge and enable them to anticipate changes at an early stage.

Tornos has invited four specialists to talk about mobility. Does new mobility need new suppliers? How can the pressure of the market be used to your advantage? These and many other interesting questions are to be answered—and views exchanged—under the direction of journalist and digital economist Katrin-Cécile Ziegler.

Prof. Dr. sc. techn. Thomas Koch, director of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and expert in the Transport and Digital Infrastructure Committee of the German Bundestag in the context of ‘air quality/technical retrofitting of diesel cars,’ will give a keynote address on ‘Emissions, Immissions, Future Potential: A Factual Assessment the Diesel Technology.’

Koch had previously worked as a mechanical engineer for 10 years in commercial vehicle engine development at Daimler AG in various positions. He presents the interesting, but certainly not uncontroversial, thesis that diesel technology itself is now only responsible for a very small part of the development of particulate matter.

For more information on the IMC, click here.



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Tornos Launches Customer Service Centre In Shanghai

Tornos Launches Customer Service Centre In Shanghai

Tornos Shanghai has officially opened its new customer centre in Shanghai’s Pudong Pilot Free-Trade Zone. This is in recognition of China’s status as the largest industrial market globally. The new centre will accommodate the company’s full range of machines and brings Swiss operational excellence to the doorsteps of customers in Greater China.

The inauguration of the new customer centre in Shanghai also underscores the power of three legendary entities—Tornos, Switzerland and Shanghai—Turning Together toward the future. Present for many years in China, Tornos inaugurated its first subsidiary in Shanghai in 2004. For both Tornos and Shanghai, the past 14 years have been an amazing journey and the Tornos’ customer centre in Shanghai will strengthen the company’s regional presence and fortify its standing as the partner of choice in machine tools.

Tornos, China And Switzerland: A History Of Collaboration

This year, Tornos also celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Tornos Xi’an plant. And with internationalisation as a top priority, Tornos is strengthening its flexibility and growing through innovation to enhance its operational excellence every day. With the opening of its customer centre in Shanghai, Tornos ramps up its offering of unique solutions for targeted market segments – an approach that has met success in Greater China.

And there is more to come: Tornos plans on increasing its visibility in this market region, and the customer centre in Shanghai will play a big part in this strategy. In fact, this centre is a clear sign of Tornos’ commitment to this market and to its customers.

The new centre is equipped with the latest technologies and will provide quality support to Chinese customers. With a surface area of more than 1,500 square meters, it includes a training center, showroom, metrology room and a stock of spare parts.

In terms of applications, the centre will make full use of Tornos’ know-how across a wide range of industrial segments—including automotive, micromechanics, electronics and medical & dental—with the goal providing turnkey machining solutions while being close to the market. The purpose of this technology center is to maximise support for Tornos’ customers in the production of parts in small or large quantities in China. This support ranges machine support and operator training to the supply of spare parts, technical assistance and programming advice, as well as expertise on the best choice of tools and clamping devices.

Close To Customers, Wherever They Are In The World

Thanks to its new center in Shanghai, Tornos will be faster, more efficient, more responsive to its local customers as this enables the company’s technicians to expedite machine set ups and partnerships with customers. An open house for the customer centre in Shanghai will occur on November 8.


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Tornos: SwissDeco 26 And SwissDeco 36

Tornos: SwissDeco 26 And SwissDeco 36

Tornos has launched a new range of SwissDeco machines, the SwissDeco 26 And SwissDeco 36. Designed to tackle demanding tasks in any application field, they contain identical main and back machining operations and feature liquid cooling.

Its bar diameter stretching furthest at 25.4 mm, SwissDeco 26 can reach a speed of 10,000rpm in a few tenths of a second. Featuring a clamping force of 14,000 N, the spindles achieve a torque of 27 Nm.

The SwissDeco 36’s bar diameter is 36mm, with a clamping force that can reach 25,000 N. Its maximum spindle speed is 8,000 rpm, enabling a maximum torque of 53Nm.

Both models come equipped with a guide bush with integrated synchronous motor and ceramic bearings.

Tornos: Swiss DT 26 Turning Centre

Tornos: Swiss DT 26 Turning Centre

The Tornos Swiss DT 26 turning centre has two C axes and five linear axes that can accommodate eight rotating tools and a maximum of 22 tools.

It has a liquid-cooled guide bushing with a built-in motor and the guide bush can be removed to give a maximum workpiece length of 45 mm on the machine, which takes 15 minutes to convert to a different direction.

The Tornos Swiss DT 26 Turning Centre machine has a 10.5 kW motor on both its front and rear spindles that delivers speeds of 10,000 rpm. It has a modular four-position counter operation station which can be used for main operations, enabling tasks such as polygon turning or thread-whirling processes.

Tornos Swiss DT 26 Turning Centre Designed to machine bars of up to 13 and 25.4 mm in diameter, these simple and easy-to-use machines allow you to achieve measurable production improvements. Thanks to advanced technical features and its efficient five-axis kinematics, the DT range is perfect for all your turning and milling tasks.


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