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Machining Long Aluminum Profiles

Aluminum profiles are produced in all shapes and sizes.

Often, these profiles can be very difficult to machine, because of the various shapes, sizes, number of operations required and cycle times needed. When a profile shape will not allow the holes to be punched and cycle time makes producing the parts on machining centers impractical, Suhner, with its modular design and broad assortment of spindle options, can now offer processors an ideal solution to their machining needs.

Suhner’s line of spindles for Profile Machining includes the popular MONOmaster Electric Driven, Pneumatic Feed Units, ranging in size from the smallest BEM-3 unit, capable of drilling up to a 3mm hole in mild steel, up to the BEM-28 unit, capable of drilling up to 28mm in mild steel and having 200mm of controlled stroke.  Many of the units in the MONOmaster line are available with other options, such as inline, direct drive units for the BEM-6 and 12S, as well as 1:4 speed increasers for the BEM-6 &6D units capable of speeds up to 14,400 RPMs @ 60 Hz.  With the larger BEM12 & 12D units, the option of 4:1, or 16:1 gear reduction is available, giving RPM speeds as slow as 40 RPMs @ 60 Hz.

Suhner on Profile cutting and drilling machine

Suhner on Profile cutting and drilling machine

Suhner MULTImaster Drive System

Suhner MULTImaster Drive System

Suhner also offers the MULTImaster line of flexible shaft driven units, a feature not currently offered by any other spindle manufacturer.  These units are driven by Suhner flexible shafts and are ideal in areas where spacing is a critical concern.  The smaller BEW-3 unit allows spacing as close as 48mm center to center.  The BEW-6 unit, as close as 55mm center to center and the larger BEW-12 unit, as close as 75mm center to center, are also available.  Using these units with Suhner’s VG System, users can drive up to (8) spindles with a single motor. 

For high precision, tough applications, Suhner offers the POWERmaster line of spindles.  This includes the BEX-15 & BEX-35 machining units, capable of running at speeds up to 23,000 RPM’s.  These are block units, capable of milling, drilling and sawing operations.  Suhner also offers a complete line of slide products to provide the feed movement for the block spindles. These slides are available in pneumatic or ball screw feed design, for either servo or gear motors. 

Also very popular in the machining of aluminum profiles is Suhner’s line of adjustable and fixed spindle multi-heads for drilling special hole patterns or hole spacing where spindles are too large to fit into the required spacing for the center to center distances needed.  Suhner’s line of special fixed spindle multi-heads is built in Rome, Georgia and often can be built to spec in less than six weeks. 

Suhner Roof Racks - 2015 Ford Escape

Suhner Roof Racks – 2015 Ford Escape

A typical machine used by a major automotive roof rack manufacturer incorporates many of these Suhner items to produce the long bars for a Ford Escape roof rack. 

This machine uses Suhner BEW-6 units to drill 6mm holes from the front and back side of the part, where electric spindles will not fit.  BEM-12 motorized units, with special fixed spindle multi-heads are being used to produce 8mm diameter holes that are too close for even the smallest spindles to produce, when mounted side by side.  Suhner’s BEX-35 PowerMaster units are used at each end of the part to saw the part to length (Under Yellow Covers).  All these operations are ongoing at the same time to produce complete machined parts in seconds, a feat impossible to do on any conventional CNC machining center.  

Suhner 2 Spindle MH Head

Suhner 2 Spindle MH Head

Suhner 3 Spindle MHF Head

Suhner 3 Spindle MHF Head

With Suhner’s modular spindle design and machining capabilities, most every need of the aluminum profile industry can be met in every market segment, whether automotive, industrial, solar, aerospace, military or commercial aviation.


Hwy 411 S./Suhner Drive
P.O. Box 1234
Rome, GA 30162
Phone: 706-235-8046
Fax: 706-235-8045
Attention: Lee Coleman, Automation Division

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American Wera Changes Name to German Machine Tools of America (GMTA)

New name to better reflect the scope of the machinery now represented throughout North America by the company  

Ann Arbor, Michigan –Effective June 11, 2012, American Wera is now officially renamed German Machine Tools Of America (GMTA) and continues to represent various top-quality German metalworking machine builders, including Profilator, Pittler, Praewema, WMZ and MAE.  These machines are sold for gear and spline production, vertical turning, flexible machining solutions (blank to finish part solutions), as well as bar, pipe and tube straightening plus wheelset pressing.  The company’s target markets include automotive, off-highway, OCTG, rail, wind energy, aerospace and other heavy equipment manufacturing.

This announcement was made jointly by GMTA President Walter Friedrich and Vice President of Sales Scott Knoy.

“The reason for the name change is simply that the parent company wished to use a name that is more representative of all the lines we handle in North America,” said Knoy.

Originally formed as the North American subsidiary for Wera in Germany, GMTA today provides application engineering, sales and service for a broad range of machine tools and metal fabricating equipment.  GMTA has representatives throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Other key company individuals include Claudia Hambleton, Treasurer; Doug VanDeven, Service/Parts Manager and Shawn Wilkin, Senior Service Engineer.  Joseph Kemple remains the dedicated Product Manager for the MAE line of straightening and wheelset presses.

For more information on this announcement, please contact:

GMTA (German Machine Tools of America)
4630 Freedom Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:  734-973-7800
Fax:  734-973-3053
Web:  www.gmtamerica.com
Email:  sales@gmtamerica.com
Attention:  Scott Knoy, VP
Facebook: GMTA
Twitter: @GMTA_US

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New Waterjet Deburring/Cleaning/Rust Inhibiting System Saves Space and Capital

Bertsche iJet waterjet deburring system built for Linamar combines waterjet deburring with part cleaning for one inline system.

Canadian automotive part supplier realizes significant gains with Bertsche-designed multi-function system in its plant

With factory floor space at a premium and capital equipment funds scarce, Linamar, a Tier One Canadian automotive part supplier, turned to Bertsche Engineering recently for an all-in-one part deburring, final rinse and drying solution.

Typically, complex machined automotive parts with multiple intersecting holes require feature-specific part deburring to insure that parts are burr-free.  After deburring, parts also need a final cleaning/washing to insure removal of microscopic particles that might adversely affect performance. They are then preserved with a rust or oxidation inhibitor and dried for shipment (transport) to be assembled. Usually, this involves separate pieces of equipment linked by conveyors or robots to transport parts to each machine.

To solve the problem of densely filled factory floor space, Bertsche Engineering developed a machine that handles all these processes in one machine, in one deburring cycle.  The machine takes oil and chip contaminated parts, previously machined on CNC milling centers and mill/turn machines, then selectively deburrs critical features using high pressure water, blasting chips out of internal cavities, knocking off all feather-edge burrs and fan washing the outside of the part, using a CNC for full cycle control.

Close-up shows parts infeed and outfeed station, where considerable space savings were realized by the customer, Linamar, a major Canadian Tier One automotive parts supplier.

This process is accomplished by a series of rotating lance nozzles that probe small diameter internal holes in order to blast feather edge burrs clean at intersection points and wash chips out of dead-end passages.  External features are then blasted with a series of direct nozzles that release up to 10,000 psi of water at the burr while tracing the part edges. The part is then washed with high-pressure rotating fan nozzles.  Note: When required, additional mechanical wire and filament brush tooled deburring stations can be incorporated into the Bertsche system to mechanically remove burrs.

The same machine moves the deburred part to an agitated wash and rinse station, where the part is rinsed, cleaned and preserved with an aqueous rust inhibitor (providing up to 24-day protection) and is finally dried. The part is then ready for final assembly.

Close-up shows parts being indexed over high-pressure (10,000 psi) waterjet nozzles for full wash cycle and rust-inhibiting aqueous coating process

For more information on this application, please contact:


PR agency contact: Tim Daro Bernard & Company  www.bernardandcompany.com


Date:  December 28, 2009

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