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15.3 million automobiles will be sold in the USA in 2013 alone. Even higher sales figures are anticipated for 2014. Manufacturers primarily want to meet the increased demand, including for automobiles with alternative drive systems such as hybrid drives and electric motors, by increasing their productivity. With its successful machine-tool concepts, EMAG has frequently demonstrated that productivity can be boosted above all by using state-of-the-art machine tools and the company wants to continue to do this on the market in the USA, a market that has been important traditionally. The EMAG branch in Farmington Hills in Michigan that has been successful for many years now offers an absolute guarantee of EMAG reliability and presence in America. This EMAG plant supplies a wide variety of customers throughout North America and thus makes a small but important contribution to boosting productivity in the USA. Let us convince you of the quality of our machines and the possibility of boosting production at WESTEC which is to be held in Los Angeles between October 15 and 17. You will find EMAG in the Convention Center at Stand 2820.
VT 2-4 vertical turning machine – shaft production for maximum productivity
Shafts are central components in an automobile’s powertrain. Thus, boosting productivity for this manufacturing process also has a clear effect on overall productivity. The vertical, 4-axis pick-up-turning machine VT 2-4 allows machining of shafts with a length of up to 400 mm and a diameter of up to 100 mm. Our consistent demand for maximum productivity is demonstrated by integration of the automation solution whereby the machine loads itself with raw parts using workpiece grippers. It takes approximately 6 seconds to change the workpieces and this thus leads to short idle times and, consequently, lower component costs. The actual turning process for which two tool turrets, each with twelve tool positions, are available (fitted with turning tools or driven tools) is performed at a speed of 6,000 rpm in extremely short cycles. The integrated automation system, combined with the compact vertical machine structure, allows you to configure production lines with a very small footprint. The VT 2-4 vertical turning machine is consequently ideally suited to integrating shaft production in existing manufacturing systems.
VL 2 – pick-up turning machine for small chuck parts
Besides the shafts, it is mainly chuck shafts which are involved in the production of automobiles. The fact that small chuck components need to be machined to an increasing extent in order to implement more compact and, thus, more lightweight parts is primarily due to the further developments in the field of boosting energy efficiency.
The VL 2 is designed to machine chuck parts with a maximum diameter of up to 100 mm and a length up to 150 mm. At the same time, the VL 2 offers a whole range of clever design details and hi-tech components which allow high productivity. These include the pick-up spindle which loads itself with raw parts from the integrated conveyor and the tool turret equipped with 12 tool positions which allows diverse machining scenarios. To date, there has not been such a compact manufacturing solution for machining hard or soft chuck parts. The machine concept is supplemented by a machine base made of MINERALIT® polymer concrete that ensures high strength and excellent vibration damping.
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TD Convention Center, Booth 701
Forecasted growth rates of 6.3% in sales of automobiles in the USA clearly demonstrate one thing: that the USA is and will remain one of the most important trading partners for Germany and German industry. The USA is traditionally an important market for EMAG, a leading machine tool builder in Germany. This is emphasized by the fact that EMAG has been present in Farmington Hills, Michigan, for many years now. Thanks to the deep roots that EMAG has in the USA, it is not only an important employer in the region near the “Motor City” of Detroit, but it is also a reliable business partner for numerous companies throughout North America. See the quality and reliability of our products for yourself at this year’s South-Tec show in Greenville, South Carolina. EMAG will showcase its machines in the TD Convention Center at Stand 701 at the trade fair to be held between October 29 and 31, 2013.
VL 2-P – productivity thanks to pendulum technology
When the aim is to shorten idle times, there are very few machines which can rival the EMAG VL 2-P. Workpieces up to 100 mm in diameter can be machined on the VL 2-P with unbeatably short cycle times. While there is a pause on other machines to allow the workpiece to be changed, the next workpiece is directly ready to machine on the VL 2-P. The key is that 2 spindles are used and these load themselves alternately while the tool turret swings between the machining positions. When machining is completed on one spindle, the tool slide moves to the second spindle to start a new machining process. Loading and unloading of the spindles which now occur in parallel with machining are virtually eliminated from the machining process and reduce idle times to an absolute minimum.
VT 2-4 – top-quality shaft machining
The vertical, 4-axis pick-up-turning machine VT 2-4 allows machining of shafts with a length of up to 400 mm and a diameter of up to 100 mm. Our consistent demand for maximum productivity is demonstrated by integration of the automation solution whereby the machine loads itself with raw parts using workpiece grippers. It takes approximately 6 seconds to change the workpieces and this thus leads to short idle times and, consequently, lower component costs. The actual turning process for which two tool turrets, each with eleven tool positions, are available (fitted with turning tools or driven tools) is performed at a speed of 6,000 rpm in extremely short cycles.
VL 2 – pick-up turning machine for small chuck parts
The VL 2 vertical pick-up turning machine is just the right choice for machining chuck parts with a maximum diameter of up to 100 mm and a length of up to 150 mm. At the same time, the VL 2 offers a whole range of clever design details and hi-tech components. These include the pick-up spindle which loads itself with raw parts from the integrated conveyor belt and the tool turret equipped with 12 tool positions which allows diverse machining scenarios. The machine body made of MINERALIT® polymer concrete ensures high strength and excellent vibration damping which is indispensable particularly when machining small chuck components.
VL 5i – flexible and efficient
Be it small or large series production, the EMAG VL 5i is the ideal manufacturing solution for turned parts up to 250 mm. The VL 5i is an interesting manufacturing solution above all for small- and medium-sized component producers, thanks to its excellent characteristics (e.g. short retooling times and fast programming). An automation system functioning on the basis of the drag-frame principle is integrated to round off the equipment features. This automation system, combined with the pick-up technology from EMAG, is the basis for the high productivity of the VL 5i. The workpieces are conveyed to the inside of the machine via the revolving automation system. The pick-up spindle loads itself there and it also deposits the finished workpiece back on the conveyor after machining. The advantages are obvious: the revolving automation system allows simple and very reliable loading and unloading of the parts, while the self-loading spindle ensures maximum machining reliability since clamping errors are virtually completely eliminated.
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The advantages for the user are obvious. In the past, it was necessary to decide in favour of one of the three technologies. Now, with the VTC 315 DS, it is possible to choose the technology that best suits individual applications. Dr. Guido Hegener, the executive responsible for grinding technology at EMAG Salach Maschinenfabrik GmbH, comments on the diverse applications: “We are consistently following the path of combination machining. As a rule, our customers manufacture different workpieces on the machine. We intend to offer them the best technology for every application.” The VTC 315 DS is of interest to those engaged in the manufacture of medium and large batches of high-quality components such as gear shafts, rotor shafts, pump shafts, motor shafts or cardan shafts. The machining technology is chosen accordingly. Sturdy workpieces are machined using the scroll-free turning technology. The grinding technology is preferred for smaller, less stable components. “This makes us more flexible and allows us to choose the right technology for every individual requirement”, explains Dr. Guido Hegener the advantages. The machine can be used as a fully-fledged grinding machine, or a fully-fledged turning machine, or a combination of both. When choosing a technology one should take a closer look at the cycle time and, in particular, at the tooling cost. Unit production costs are usually higher with hard turning and scroll-free turning than with grinding, although CBN grinding wheels – in absolute terms – are rather expensive. It is for this very reason that the user has to decide on a case by case which manufacturing technology to use.
Different technology modules for different workpieces
The developers of the VTC were also considering the machine as an investment in the future. Should production requirements change, the machine can be equipped – at very little expense and effort – with different technology modules that make it suitable for machining of the new workpiece. At present, the technology modules available are:
This guarantees flexibility in the use of the machine and opens up a wide range of applications, especially as all the technologies can be applied also in combination.
VTC production lines
The VTC 315 DS is ideally suited for complex manufacturing processes. Whether the job includes the high metal removal rates of turning and milling or the gentler grinding process – the VTC series of machines offers the possibility to integrate most of the metal cutting processes. This allows for the creation of complete VTC production lines for soft and hard machining. Turning, milling, drilling, grinding and gear hobbing have already been modularised for this particular machine platform. It provides the VTC with an extensive field of application. “We have already installed complete production lines of VTC machines for the soft machining of crankshafts. Almost all of the operations could be accommodated on machines from the VTC series”, this is how Markus Woitsch, chief of the production team for shaft machines, explains the production line concept of the VTC. Naturally, subjects like spare part stocks and unified machine operation also play a decisive role in the eye of the customer. With a production line that interlinks a number of different VTC machines and utilises different manufacturing technologies, spare part stocks can be drastically reduced, as 80% of the VTC machine components are the same. Only the technology modules change, when a VTC has to be adapted for a new machining requirement.
Complete-machining through technology combination
The VTC 315 DS accommodates turning as well as grinding technologies. For example, the turret carries out all turning operations, while the second station is used for the grinding work. This way, shafts can be complete-machined: the cylindrical bearing seats, the shoulders and the grooves – all machined in a single set-up. “Clamping errors play a particularly important part when it comes to high-performance components. Radial runout can be much reduced when a workpiece does not have to be re-clamped several few times”, elucidates Dr. Guido Hegener on the quality of the machine. To keep downtimes caused by tool changes to a minimum, sister tooling is provided for all turning operations. And the tool life of grinding wheels is so high that the time taken up by a wheel change is of no consequence.
The VTC 315 DS design
A distinguishing feature of the VTC 315 DS is its sturdiness and rigidity. At its heart is the machine base in Mineralit® (polymer granite). The damping properties of this material is 8 times that of grey cast iron, which makes it particularly well suited for hard machining operations like grinding or hard turning. The results are improved tool life and a better surface finish. The vertical design also aids unhindered chip flow. Manual removal of chips is hardly ever necessary. This is particularly important in soft machining, as it often involves volume-intensive chipping operations. The vertical construction is also of advantage where the footprint is concerned. Machines with horizontal spindle and tailstock take up a lot of space width-ways. That raises floor space requirements and costs money. Vertical machines develop upwards, and that – as we know – costs nothing. Automation on the VC 315 DS lies in the turret. A gripper, housed in the turret, collects the raw-part from its storage section and transfers it to the clamping position. Once the workpiece is machined, it is transferred out of the machine the same way. And thus the machine automates itself. The generously dimensioned machine assemblies, such as the work spindle with 330 Nm constant torque, and the grinding spindle with a power rating of 30 kW, have so much reserve capacity that even heavy metal removal work can be carried out on the machine. The control system used is a Siemens 840 D with EMAG grinding software that simplifies programming and operation.
The advantages of the VTC 315 DS:
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Attention: Peter Loetzner