(847) 934-4500

Contact us today:

Tag Archives: Motion Control

Beckwood Partners with Siemens to Produce Hydraulic Press, QDC Workcells

Machine builder develops fully automated die handling system with 15,000-pound capacity to load and unload presses with staging tables for continuous production; die change time reduced from two hours to ten minutes

 

beckwood press

Beckwood twin hydraulic presses, each 1400-ton plus Quick Die Change (QDC) assembly with 15,000-pound load capacity and T-table staging devices for fully automated workflow.

Beckwood Corporation in Fenton, Missouri (St. Louis) is a leading manufacturer of custom hydraulic presses, automation systems and the Triform line of precision forming equipment. While their machinery serves a variety of industries and applications, they excel at developing robust aerospace forming technologies engineered for accuracy and repeatability. In detailing the sophistication of their machine designs for this challenging market segment, their website includes something of a company mantra, “It IS rocket science.”

One customer, a metalform fabricator and producer of various components for the commercial and military aircraft sectors, brought Beckwood their challenge.  The company was seeking a turnkey package consisting of two 1400-ton hydraulic presses and two automated stamping die handling systems to load and unload the presses more efficiently than the conventional forklift and manual labor-intensive system this customer was currently utilizing. The presses and quick die change (QDC) workcells would be used to form a variety of parts in relatively low volumes, so the system to be designed needed a more automated die handling system.  In addition, a 42”-diameter deep draw sheet hydroforming press with staging table was needed.  Such a press would be the largest of its kind in the world, once produced.

beckwood press and siemens control

Siemens motion control and HMI are used on the entire system, with Safety Integrated features, allowing operators to remain outside the work envelope, in full machine process and monitoring mode.

A critical part of the challenge involved the need for a QDC system with 15,000-pound capacity to feed each 1400-ton press.  As Beckwood’s lead electrical engineer John Harte explains, “We conducted a thorough review with all our local die cart suppliers and all passed on the bid, citing too many obstacles on that large a load.  So, as we often do, we decided to design, engineer and build the system ourselves.”  The presses each had a footprint approximately 30’ square, and the QDC would need to service the presses with T-table staging devices, allowing the next die to be prepped and ready to insert upon completion of the previous run cycle.

With the degree of automation involved, Beckwood worked with the customer’s engineering staff to devise a workcell concept comprised of two 4-post presses, each with a QDC system including a cart, rack and T-table with 15,000-pound load capacity.  Each press would be over 33’ in height and positioned in a 10’ deep pit.

As the customer was a longtime user of Siemens motion control and HMI, they specified this supplier for the project.  Harte connected with Derek Eastep, his account manager for Siemens, and the product list for the project began to take shape.  Various drives, PLCs, displays and motion controllers were specified.  The latter was a critical component, as the motion controller was required to operate all press movements, as well as the motor starters, QDC integration, light curtains that protect the workcell and operators plus area scanners that maintain the integrated safety condition monitoring on the entire cell.

The system logic and data logging setup was to be done by the customer, who had considerable experience with Siemens controls, with the Beckwood team integrating the QDC and overall cell management.

The QDC operates in tandem with the two presses, using four 15HP motors to drive the lead screws on this massive die handling system.  They are electrically geared through the onboard Siemens PLC to move the ram and shuttle.  Additional motors and drives on the feed tables allow the next die to be positioned during press operation.  When a press cycle is completed, the air bags on the feed tables lift the next die for positioning onto the QDC, then a shuttle inserts the die inside the press, with all motion controlled by the PLC.  These T-tables and the QDC were designed, engineered, built and tested by Beckwood at their factory prior to shipment and installation at the customer’s facility.  Both Beckwood and Siemens personnel were active in the commissioning of the entire system.

beckwood press

Press/QDC workcell currently utilized by a metalform fabricator in the commercial and military aircraft industries.

The PLC is a Siemens S7-1515—a robust controller that integrates function control, safety and condition display in a single module with Profinet protocol for bus communication.  Through the TIA Portal and Step 7 software provided by Siemens, the end user can customize the operation of the devices remotely, integrating multiple part files and related safety commands in one controller.  This “library” feature allows the end user, as they run a variety of parts during a shift, for example, to use one software package to program quickly and more efficiently.  Likewise, the safety switches on the entire system are programmed through this secure and redundant safety back-up software through the TIA Portal.

All motor movements on the twin four-post presses are controlled with Siemens drive technology.  In operation, the Beckwood presses with the QDC systems are expected to reduce die setup and changeover from approximately two hours to ten minutes.

As Derek Eastep from Siemens notes, “Because the end user was a longtime customer, we performed the application engineering with Beckwood and their customer, fully confident that the system would be set up and running in a relatively short time, as all parties had good familiarity with our protocols.”  Harte adds, “We used the Selector, Sizer and Starter engineering tools from Siemens to spec and then commission the drives, which saved us a substantial amount of time.  It made our lives a lot easier,” he muses.

The two 1400-ton presses in the workcells are Beckwood’s robust four-post frame style with replaceable, graphite-impregnated bronze bushings and solid chrome-plated posts to ensure precision ram guidance. Designed to form parts with challenging geometries in low-volume, high-mix production environments, the 42” Triform deep draw sheet hydroforming press will be the largest press of its kind in the world.

Josh Dixon, director of sales & marketing at Beckwood, says in the company video, “We hate the word ‘no’.”  The success of this unique and first-of-kind press and QDC workcell, built by Beckwood with the help of its controls supplier Siemens, bears out that statement.

Due to the versatile nature of Beckwood’s “built to order” business model, their machines are engineered to serve a variety of industries. Beckwood’s extensive experience serving so many industries provides a unique vantage point that customers find incredibly valuable. They are often able to recommend process improvements that customers may have never known or considered, revolutionizing their manufacturing operations. Beyond metal forming, the company also manufactures presses used to form rubber, plastic, composites and other material substrates.  The business started in 1976 and is today led by company president Jeff Debus.

 


For more information on this story, please contact:

 

BECKWOOD CORPORATION
889 Horan Drive
Fenton, MO 63026-2405
Phone:  636-343-4100
www.beckwoodpress.com
or

Siemens Digital Factory
5300 Triangle Pkwy
Norcross, GA 30092
(678) 427-8319

 

About Siemens USA

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Continue reading

Siemens Introduces Nema 1 and Ul Type 1 Wall-Mounting Kits for Its G-Series Drive Platform

Low-cost kits allow easy-to-install, direct mounting of G120C Compact and G120 PM240-2 modular drive

Siemens announced today the availability of wall-mounting kits for its Sinamics G120C and G120 PM240-2 modular drives.  These low-cost kits allow easy, fast installation of the drives and conform to NEMA 1 and UL Type 1 standards for interior applications. These wall-mount kits are designed in accordance with UL 61800-5-1 standards for AC drives.

Available in power ranges from ½ to 200 hp and voltages from 230V to 690V, the kits offer streamlined, compact design for use with all drive frame sizes of the corresponding Siemens drive units.  Each kit provides best-in-class space-savings and direct access to the drive-mounted operator panel for simple commissioning, condition monitoring and even troubleshooting.

The new kits accommodate all G120C, PM240-2 and PM240P-2 power modules, control units and operator panels in the Sinamics drive family.  Standardized designs permit efficient side-by-side mounting with minimal clearance, while multiple conduit knockout holes allow separate power, motor, I/O and network cabling.

Seven kits are currently available to fit all drive units from AA to F frame sizes.

Siemens offers seven sizes of NEMA 1/UL Type 1 wall-mounting kits for its popular G120C and PM240-2 modular drives. The kits feature space-savings plus multiple knockouts for separate power, motor, I/O and network cabling.

 


For specific product information, please visit:  www.usa.siemens.com/sinamics-g120

Siemens Digital Factory (DF) offers a comprehensive portfolio of seamlessly integrated hardware, software and technology-based services in order to support manufacturing companies worldwide in enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of their manufacturing processes and reducing the time to market of their products. 

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 351,000 employees in 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $88.1 billion in fiscal 2016. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.4 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Continue reading

Upgraded Controls On ESCO Machine Help Reduce Urethane Cutting Production Time From 3½ Hours To 20 Minutes

Advanced motors, drives and rapid feedback controls make substantial improvements in machine performance at Grand Rapids supplier to poly foam insulation and padding industries

As Rick Hungerford, president and CEO of Edge-Sweets (ESCO) points out, think of the mattress that remembers, the steering wheel that saves lives or the bandage pad with built-in antibiotic.  All these products start from blocks of cast polyurethane foam in various densities, then get cut, profiled or shaped by special machinery.  ESCO is a leading manufacturer of such machinery, supplying the furniture, mattress, automotive, packaging, pipe insulation, healthcare and other industries with automated CNC profilers and horizontal cutting machines.  Production speeds up to 840 inches per minute (21.33 meters per minute) are achieved on flexible and rebonded polyurethane, latex and viscoelastic materials, when used as either stand-alone cutting machinery or in tandem with automated materials handling and packaging lines.   The ESCO end user base reaches into many industries in the global market.

On two recent developments in the company’s machinery line, an engineering evaluation of competing motor, drive and controls lines was conducted, under the direction of Hungerford, who notes, “On our PMIII-1530, a horizontal profile saw with a 1.5 meter x 3 meter block cutting capability, we worked with one of our most trusted local suppliers of automation components, Wes Morgan from Electro-Matic Products, who introduced us to the Siemens motion controller, servomotor, gearmotor and drive package. We were seeking a controls platform that would have global support and standards compliance, as more of our machines are utilized for production outside the U.S. today than at any time in the past.” Hungerford further noted that, while the axes of motion are relatively limited on his company’s machine lines, the high-tension maintained and the need for precise positioning of the cutting wire on this machine made it necessary to have the most accurate and durable motor and drive combinations available onboard.

Upgraded Controls On ESCO Machine Help Reduce Urethane Cutting Production Time From 3½ Hours To 20 Minutes | Siemens Machine Tool Systems

Rick Hungerford Jr., president and CEO of ESCO (left), inspects the drives cabinet with Wes Morgan of Electro-Matic, the local Grand Rapids supplier of the Siemens product line.

Incorporating the Simotion motion controller, Sinamics low-voltage drives and Simotics S-1FK7 servomotors from Siemens gave ESCO not only the performance levels desired, but also the global application engineering, technical support and parts inventory benefits of this international supplier. “Our machines are in use around the world,” states Hungerford, “and we needed great confidence in our control package supplier’s ability to support the machines and our sales team with parts and service, everywhere in the marketplace. In Siemens, we found such a partner. Plus, their local representative here in Grand Rapids, Electro-Matic, had established a solid relationship with our company and my team.”

Functionally, according to Hungerford, the Siemens package allowed a single, common DC bus without stand-alone drives plus the system provided by Siemens is scalable to allow the cutting machine being interfaced with additional mechanisms and loading/unloading devices as part of an overall automated production line for customers. The PMIII-1530 is operated by a single PC plus a remote operator pendant that allows free movement with full operation control of the machine during setup.

In selecting and programming the proper components for the ESCO machine, Siemens and Electro-Matic Products provided an optimized solution using the Sizer and Simotion Scout software provided by the component manufacturer. Once all the parts are in-house, construction of this machine is typically achieved in approximately 30 days, according to Hungerford, as ESCO does the bulk of the framework and final assembly onsite at the Grand Rapids factory.

Upgraded Controls On ESCO Machine Help Reduce Urethane Cutting Production Time From 3½ Hours To 20 Minutes | Siemens Machine Tool Systems

The Foamular® industrial pipe insulation produced on the PMIII-1530 is used in the oil and gas industry.

The operation of the machine (as shown in the photos) begins with the CAM programming software written by the ESCO engineering team, plus additional data programs made available through ASTM for pipe and tube configuration. Hungerford mused, “It’s sorta like Etch-A-Sketch, but hardly a toy. Our engineers can take the canned programs and quickly make the necessary adjustments to the cutting paths to suit the machine cutting capabilities and the workpieces our customers are producing.” The software program is vital in accomplishing both an effective cutting as well as optimum utilization of the raw materials, through the nesting of the parts in the master workpiece block, done by the computational algorithms in the program.

The workpiece is then loaded onto the vacuum table, the cutting head is positioned and the process begins. The material used by the ESCO customer, in this case, is Owens Corning Foamular®, a rigid polystyrene prepared in a tongue-and-groove configuration for industrial pipe insulation as the end product.

In operation, the motors, drives and feedback devices work in tandem to ensure a quick, smooth and efficient cutting of the material into the desired shapes.

The customer using the upgraded controls model of this ESCO machine is currently reporting a reduction in its cutting cycle times from 3½ hours to 20 minutes, according to Hungerford.

Commenting further about the drive performance, Wes Morgan of Electro-Matic noted that the Sinamics drive platform offered three distinct benefits. “The product line is consistent across a wide range of motor capacities, which is a real advantage for ESCO. Also, the regenerative feedback feature creates substantial energy savings for the end users, plus the Sinamics drives have a smaller footprint, owing to the dual motor modules and common DC bus system and this results in a more compact control cabinet.” He also noted the Simotion motion controller allows ESCO a single platform to perform simple axis to very complex integrated motion controls with a standard product, resulting in greater efficiencies in the design, programming and installation time for this builder and its customers.

Upgraded Controls On ESCO Machine Help Reduce Urethane Cutting Production Time From 3½ Hours To 20 Minutes | Siemens Machine Tool SystemsOn the second machine where ESCO implemented a controls upgrade, the HTX high-tension slitter/stacker incorporates a Simatic PLC, Sinamics variable frequency drives, Simotics servomotors, motor starters and contactors from Siemens. This machine, instead of a cutting wire, utilizes a tangential razor-like blade in a slit-and-retract motion, with the blade articulating on each pass through the material workpiece and then being automatically coated with silicone in the blade housing to maintain cut integrity.

The unit shown in the photographs here is the HTX 51-88 (indicating a 51” high x 88” wide x 132” long cutting zone), making ¼” thick cuts in a poly foam block. The machine is further capable of 1/8” cuts in production, as Hungerford noted. “This machine operates in tandem with other machinery we build, so the conveyor feed mechanism positions the workpiece for the cutting at the first station, then indexes it through the HTX to the next stations, where additional cuts and profilings are performed.

ESCO also produces vertical cutting machines, convoluters, roll splitters, contour cutting machines, metering and dispensing solutions for lab and production use, plus the company supplies fully integrated systems for polyurethane processing, including robots, curing ovens and mold designs to its worldwide customer base.

For more information on this story, please contact:

EDGE-SWEETS COMPANY
ESCO GROUP INC.
2887 Three Mile Road NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Phone: 616-453-5458
Web: www.edge-sweets.com
Email: info@edge-sweets.com
Attention: Rick Hungerford, Jr., President & CEO

or

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
DIGITAL FACTORY
GENERAL MOTION CONTROL
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595
Fax: 847-437-0784
Web: www.usa.siemens.com/lv-drives
Email: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com
Attention: John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communications

Watch videos of these machines in operation! https://youtu.be/4lpQ22d7niM

Continue reading

New Generation of Operator Panels For High-End CNC Applications

The Sinumerik blackline panels from the Siemens are a new generation of operator panels  for the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC system and offer new options for machine tool operation.

The Sinumerik blackline panels from the Siemens are a new generation of operator panels
for the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC system and offer new options for machine tool operation.

  • Robust and durable capacitive touchscreen operator panels
  • 40% energy savings compared to conventional neon lamps
  • Liquid and dust resistant, ideal for harsh conditions

The Sinumerik blackline panels OP 015 black and OP 019 black are a new generation of operator panels for the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC system and offer new options for machine operation. The inductive sensor technology enables rapid interaction with the user interface even when the operator is wearing gloves. Similarly, it prevents incorrect entries, for example caused by the heel of the operator‘s hand.

The 19-inch display of the OP 019 black can show all the entries made in widescreen format at a glance. The OP 015 black also features an alphanumerical keypad on the right that can be operated via touch control. This feature means that the 15-inch display is not restricted by the superimposed keypad during data entry, which ensures clear and efficient operation. Both blackline panels also have an integrated glass panel on the front side and are designed with IP65 (OP 019 black) and IP66 (OP 015 black) degrees of protection. They are resistant to liquids and dust and can be operated even under harsh industrial conditions. An integrated key lock helps safeguard against operating errors. The operator panel can provide a basic machine display, with three or four channels showing up to 13 axes.

The blackline panels also feature durable LED background lighting, providing 40 percent energy-savings compared to conventional neon lamps.

In combination with the Sinumerik 840D sl control, for use on high-end milling, turning, grinding and laser cutting machine tools, the blackline panels can be used as an operating and programming station for aerospace composite machining, power generation and medical part manufacturing, in addition to tool- and mold-making, rotary indexing machines and in shopfloor manufacturing.

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079
ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com

Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC

The Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly automation and drive technology, industrial software and technology-based services. The Sector’s comprehensive portfolio covers the entire industrial value chain, from product design, engineering and production to services. Siemens enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency, and flexibility in a wide variety of different industries. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Divisions Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services as well as the Business Unit Metals Technologies.

Continue reading

Powerful Control Hardware for Compact CNCs

Siemens has developed new control hardware with greater computing power for its panel-based Sinumerik 828D and Sinumerik 828D Basic compact CNCs for turning and milling applications.

Siemens has developed new control hardware with greater computing power for its panel-based Sinumerik 828D and Sinumerik 828D Basic compact CNCs for turning and milling applications.

  • New PPU2xx.3 hardware for Sinumerik 828D and Sinumerik 828D Basic
  • More computing power and operation — up to twice as fast
  • Ruggedly built for use in harsh industrial environments
  • For Sinumerik 828D Basic, there is now only one piece of hardware
    for turning and milling
  • Trouble-free conversion from the previous version to new hardware

Siemens has developed new control hardware with greater computing power for its panel-based Sinumerik 828D and Sinumerik 828D Basic compact CNCs for turning and milling. The new PPU2xx.3 panel processing units replace the previous PPU2xx.2 generation and are available for all six versions of the Siemens compact CNC.

The greater computing power has significantly accelerated the operating speed of the Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface during commissioning, programming and operation. For example, when changing operating areas, the screen forms are loaded almost twice as fast as before.

The new PPU2xx.3 hardware for Sinumerik 828D and Sinumerik 828D Basic has a more rugged design than the previous version so that it can be used in harsh industrial environments, and it is also better protected against wiring errors during installation in a control cabinet. Additionally, the Sinumerik 828D Basic can now also be used for turning and milling on one piece of hardware. This reduces costs, especially in regards to spare parts.

PPU2xx.3 has the same dimensions and connectors and is fully compatible with version PPU2xx.2. This ensures trouble-free conversion to the new hardware, which requires Sinumerik 828D V4.5 SP3 software or higher.

 

For more information about Siemens CNC solutions for the machine tool industry, visit our website: www.usa.siemens.com/cnc.

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com.

Follow us on Social Media:

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC

The Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly automation and drive technology, industrial software and technology-based services. The Sector’s comprehensive portfolio covers the entire industrial value chain, from product design, engineering and production to services. Siemens enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency, and flexibility in a wide variety of different industries. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Divisions Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services as well as the Business Unit Metals Technologies.

Continue reading

Siemens at IMTS 2014: New Trends with Servomotor Encoders and Cables

DATE: Thursday, September 11
TIME 3:15 PM – 4:10 PM
ROOM: W-193B

Abstract

With Motion Control being added to all areas and levels of machines, it is becoming common place to see more and more servos in the latest designs.  Increased cost position, both upfront and operational, along with the leapfrog in usability of servos, have been major drives in this adaption outside of the obvious productivity benefits.  In this session we will look at emerging trends revolving around cabling and encoders for servomotors that are leading this innovation.

We will first look at using field replaceable encoders for servomotors which have greatly improved the on-site serviceability.  Next, we will discuss benefits of using digital communications for encoder signals and built-in electronic type plate technology, which has provided plug-and-play commissioning for servo systems.  This discussion would not be complete without exploring the single cable approach for both encoder and motor power, and what this emerging trend will mean for future machine designs.

Click here to view the Conference Details on the IMTS Website.

Click here to add Siemens to your IMTS Show Planner! BOOTH E-5010

Speaker Biography

Craig Nelson is the product marketing manager for SINAMICS high performance servo and vector drives in the Motion Control Business of Siemens Industry, Inc. Craig has been with Siemens for over twenty years and, in previous roles, has held engineering positions in the field and in system design.  He has expert knowledge of AC and DC drives across various applications and is an avid promoter and presenter of new motor and drive technologies.

 

Please forward all inquiries to:

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES
MOTION CONTROL
MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595
Fax: 847-437-0784
Web:  www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
Email:  SiemensMTBUMarCom.sea@siemens.com
Attention:  John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communication

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.

 

Continue reading

MJC Builds Multi-Axis Rotary Forging Machine for Advanced Research in Aerospace… 90 Percent Material Savings Possible

See the MJC video HERE.

Custom machine tool builder in California contracts with research center at university in Glasgow, Scotland to design specialized equipment for forming new jet engine structures; machine completely controlled by Siemens CNC  

9

AFRC facility performs fundamental and applied research on the forming and forging of metals, primarily for aerospace applications. A full battery of materials and performance testing is conducted at AFRC by a team of materials and process experts

MJC Engineering is a custom machine tool builder, specializing in metalforming machines for such applications as spinning, flow forming, wheel spinning and rotary forging.  The company was recently contracted by the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland for a very unique application, namely, a cold-forming rotary forge press that works the material between two synchronized rotary dies.  The dies operate in angle from the parallel.  Typically, the angle is fixed but, on this custom designed machine from MJC, the angle is fully programmable.  This configuration allows compression in a concentrated area and provides a more efficient method for metal deformation, while producing superior mechanical properties in the finished section.  Up to 90 percent material savings can be achieved by the use of this revolutionary metalforming technology, in comparison to conventional machining from a solid blank.

Operator loads workpiece during test run-up on machine; very hard aerospace materials such as Hastelloy and Inconel are typically processed

Operator loads workpiece during test run-up on machine; very hard aerospace materials such as Hastelloy and Inconel are typically processed

The aim of this new CNC technology, according to MJC company president Carl Lorentzen, is to make the aerospace engineers rethink how they design their products, so that a maximum material savings on exotic and costly metals can be realized.

Rotary forging can be defined as a two-die forging process that deforms only a small portion of the workpiece at a time, in a continuous manner.  The reduced instantaneous area of tool and workpiece contact means lower forging forces are required to cause deformation in the material.  Typical components for rotary forge operations are round or cylindrical hollow parts that deploy expensive or exotic alloys, require extreme material property targets or involve very complex geometries.  At AFRC, the rotary forging machine provided by MJC is processing AerMet® 100, Inconel 718 and Allvac® 718Plus®, Ti-6Al-4V as well as the creep-resistant Ti6242 and some beta alloys.

New rotary forge press from MJC, built specially for the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Two independent and synchronized rotary dies are fully programmable on the Siemens CNC to affect 0-45º pitch angles

New rotary forge press from MJC, built specially for the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. Two independent and synchronized rotary dies are fully programmable on the Siemens CNC to affect 0-45º pitch angles

Onboard the machine, the bottom and top spindles pivot from 0-45º, operated by AC vector motors and drives, plus an overall motion control CNC, all provided by longtime supplier to the builder, Siemens.  The CNC is a Sinumerik 840D, which controls all the axis and spindle motion, hydro and servo positioning valves, plus the synchronization of up to four cylinders for the integrated motion of the rotary dies.  In the processing of the workpiece, the control is monitoring all machine conditions, while maintaining the synchronized angles of the twin rotary dies.

Siemens CNC controls the entire machine process

Siemens CNC controls the entire machine process

Programmed motion sequences on the machine must be maintained with high precision to avoid improper deformation of the materials during the cold-forming process.  In a manufacturing environment, where the high production output of parts is critical, this process must remain extremely well-regulated, documented and monitored.  The CNC has the capability to upload all data in real time.

The unique operation of this MJC rotary forging press involves the application of pressure on a small portion of material at a time, reducing stress and saving up to 90% in material, compared to subtractive machining from a solid blank

The unique operation of this MJC rotary forging press involves the application of pressure on a small portion of material at a time, reducing stress and saving up to 90% in material, compared to subtractive machining from a solid blank

Carl Lorentzen comments further on this MJC development, “Though the concept of the rotary die forge is certainly not new, the computer-controlled synchronized dual rotary dies on this machine offer a number of unique advantages in the cold-forming process of metals.  The idea originated in a somewhat different form in the automotive market with the development of a front wheel hub hollow shaft.  The cold-forming of metal around a bearing was combined with robot loading in production.  The concept, combined with the Siemens CNC and its ability to control all the motion so precisely, made the development of this machine more practical for us.”

MJC is a custom machine tool builder, with equipment currently serving in the military, aerospace, general metalforming and automotive after-market segments of industry.   The company is a member of PMA, NFTC and AMT.

The AFRC is jointly sponsored by the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and a variety of international aerospace manufacturers and engineering firms, including Boeing, Rolls Royce, TIMET, Aubert & Duval and Barnes Aerospace.  It has operated as a world-class facility, supporting fundamental and applied research into the forming and forging of metals, since 2009.  Having doubled in size recently, AFRC is expanding its market applications into the automotive, energy and marine markets.  The center can currently heat, shape, finish, measure, test and analyze all types of metal materials and components in-house.  The research done here comprises investigations into residual stress, die life, process characterization, materials characterization, heating and thermal processes, super-plastic forming, sheet forming and related technologies in automation, metallurgy and metrology.

The key challenge for AFRC, according to its website, is to take low maturity technology developed in a university environment and successfully deploy it into a manufacturing facility.

See the video of MJC @FabTech HERE.

For more information on this story, please contact:

MJC ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY, INC.
15701 Container Lane
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
Phone: 714-890-0618
Fax: 714-895-3561
Web: www.mjcengineering.com
Email: clorentzen@mjcengineering.com or carlson@mjcengineering.com
Attention: Carl Lorentzen, President or Per Carlson, VP

or

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES
MOTION CONTROL
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595
Web: www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
Email: SiemensMTBUMarcom.industry@siemens.com
Attention: John Meyer, Manager of Marketing Communications

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter: www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability.

Continue reading

Harmonics in Power Systems

Causes, effects and control

This whitepaper covers definitions, harmonic generation, effects of harmonics and control of harmonics. It also addresses general awareness of power system harmonics, their causes, effects and methods to control them especially when these harmonics are related to variable frequency (or adjustable speed) drives.

Click to view the whitepaper

For more information, please visit www.usa.siemens.com/motioncontrol

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.

Continue reading

Enhanced SINAMICS Control Unit for Variable Speed Drives

New CU250S-2 control unit now in stock; supplements existing Siemens G120 drive with universal vector control and encoder feedback  

sinamics_cu250s-2_open

Siemens Industry, Inc. announced today the availability of the new Sinamics CU250S-2 control unit for use with its popular Sinamics G120 variable speed drives.  The unit provides vector control with encoder feedback.  Additionally, the operation of single-axis applications with exact speed and torque control on induction motors, as well as positioning tasks with high demand on I/O, are supported, with different encoder interfaces provided on the module.  These new units complete the G120 product portfolio and replace the CU240S with encoder interface.

Typical applications for these new control units include single drives with a large number of I/O or those with high speed control requirements, including extruders, centrifuges, wire-drawing machines, basic fabric webs, conveyors, lifters and others in markets ranging from automotive assembly, textiles, printing and chemical processing to nearly all conveyors and material handling.

sinamics_cu250s-2_closed

The new Sinamics CU250S-2 control units can be combined with existing power modules to support all G120 drive applications, with or without encoder evaluation, for demanding applications requiring speed feedback.  Additionally, STO (Safe Torque Off), SBC (Safe Brake Control) and SS1 (Safe Stop 1) features are all integrated, enabling their application on basic safety requirements.  With the purchase of an optional software license, extended safety functions can be obtained, along with software for a single positioning function (EPos).

Comprehensive communications interfaces for general machine building are provided on this new Sinamics control from Siemens, including Profibus DP, Profinet (Ethernet I/P), RS485 (USS protocol, Modbus RTU) and CANopen, allowing convenient connection to other Siemens systems as well as external automation systems.  No external gateway is needed.

Other features include an integrated USB port, so users can simply go online to facilitate engineering set-up and maintenance, plus an integrated slot for an SD card to allow simple cloning and firmware updates or upgrades.

For more information about this line of Sinamics control units, please visit: www.usa.siemens.com/sinamics

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com.

Continue reading

Musical and Technical Masterpieces

The art of organ building at the highest level with modern CNC techniques…
Laukhuff relies on five-axis milling center from Spinner with Sinumerik 840D sl for small-series production

Walter Rhein, Manager of Cutting Applications at Laukhuff

Walter Rhein, Manager of Cutting Applications at Laukhuff

At Laukhuff in Weikersheim, Germany, tradition and modernity merge together in a way that can not merely be seen, but also heard. The family-run company, with almost 200 years of history, is the international leader in organ building – as a supplier to the best-known organ builders and a provider of its own complete instrument developments. The company operates on a global level with 150 employees, considering itself an artistic crafting enterprise rather than an industrial company. Company CEO Hans-Erich Laukhuff emphasizes, “In our carpenter’s workshop and when manufacturing organ pipes, we are hardly able to use any machines because 90 percent of the work must be done by hand. When it comes to cutting, however, this is a different matter. Here, we can use modern milling and turning machines with innovative CNC equipment, so that we can keep productivity levels as high as possible.”

Walter Rhein is very satisfied with the five-axis Spinner U5-620 with Sinumerik 840D sl

Walter Rhein is very satisfied with the five-axis Spinner U5-620 with Sinumerik 840D sl

If required, these masters of organ building will supply everything from a single source. Laukhff further explains, “If requested, we will take on all the tasks involved in the design, the manufacture of individual parts and the installation onsite. We even make the bench seat and the key lights ourselves, as there are no usable, satisfying solutions in the market today.”

The high level of perfection shown by this organ builder is reflected in the optics, in the haptics (touch and feel) and naturally in the sound of the instruments. It also has a positive effect on their reliability. After all – quite unusual in these fast-moving times – it is typically not necessary to plan the replacement of a Laukhuff organ for more than 100 years. However, a few spare parts will still be required.

Despite the fact their high quality is globally recognized, this family-run company is still facing constant cost pressure. To achieve a high throughput in cutting applications, the company uses five CNC turning machines and three CNC milling machines – together with their latest acquisition, a five-axis CNC center (3+2) from Spinner’s U-series, with a state-of-the-industry Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC onboard.

Impressive price-performance ratio

With the Sinumerik-controlled Spinner U5-620, Laukhuff uses new options for the more productive manufacturing of organ components, such as chimes

With the Sinumerik-controlled Spinner U5-620, Laukhuff uses new options for the more productive manufacturing of organ components, such as chimes

Company owner and CEO Hans-Erich Laukhuff and Production Manager Walter Rhein already had positive experiences with the CNC. However, since mid-2009, they have been relying on the Spinner machine tool factory in Sauerlach, Germany for the first time and using the U5. According to the production manager, this decision was based on the price-performance ratio and the small space required by the machine in contrast to comparable machines from other manufacturers. The U5-620 only needs 2000 x 2400 millimeters of surface area, but achieves travel distances of 620/520/460 millimeters in the X/Y/Z-axis direction.

The new Spinner machining center has high-quality individual components, including 32 tools as standard, a double arm for rapid tool changes and linear axes on roller bearing guides. Michael Schulz, Spinner sales representative at Hollenbach GmbH, confirmed, “This enables us to achieve rapid feed speeds of 48 meters per minute in all directions. Even in terms of accuracy and surface quality, our U-series sets a very high standard.”

In terms of the productivity and quality increases that can be achieved, as well, the organ builder expects the acquisition of the Spinner machine to be amortized within a relatively short period of time. Ultimately, an organ builder will often manage without time-consuming retooling, as Rhein noted, “In the cutting applications for our organ pipe tuners, we previously had to retool three times and needed around 13 minutes just for clamping – which doesn’t even take into account the downtime while retooling. The five axes mean that production is now possible in a single clamping, within about eight minutes per piece. All in all, we are at least twice as fast as a result.”

Graphically-animated user interface

Like many medium-sized contract manufacturers, this organ builder’s employees also program directly at the machine. CNC specialist Kurt Stüdlein is totally convinced about the Sinumerik 840D sl because, “…it is powerful, safe to operate, user-friendly and reliable. But the CNC user interface, tailored to shopfloor programming, also scores highly, being graphically-animated and logically-structured. ShopMill, the resident software suite, is great, particularly for beginners. Production Manager Rhein further explains, “Even a fitter who has only just finished his training, without any extensive programming experience, can work with it, after some brief instructions.”

CNC professional Stüdlein adds, “Even on complex components using the 3+2 axis machining, I can create lots of programming steps with ShopMill. If I reach the limits when entering certain contours, or if I am quicker with DIN, then I can switch from the graphic to the text-oriented DIN interface at the touch of a button.” For additional employee safety, the Safety Integrated software solution is also built into the control. This means that it is possible for the user to safely track his program’s production process in setup mode with the machine doors open.

Laukhuff is certain, based on the experience gained, that he has made the right decision with the Spinner-Siemens CNC combination. The technology and the continuously fast service from both companies have convinced him, “If there is a problem, we are helped very quickly – which is not always a given with other manufacturers in this particular industry.”

For more information on Siemens SINUMERIK CNC, visit www.usa.siemens.com/cnc.

For specific product information and inquiries, call (800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications or send an e-mail to: SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com.

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability.

Continue reading