Nowadays, everywhere you turn in an industrial production environment you encounter the expression „downsizing“ – whereby the term describes infinitely more than just the scaling down of the passenger car engine and its displacement. There is a change too in the direction the production of electric motors and pumps for the energy industry and for general mechanical engineering is taking, with constituent components getting smaller and smaller.
However, the trend towards downsizing increases demands for greater precision; and that makes the manufacture of small components a real challenge. “Shrinking” components and new smaller components present a particularly complex task for the mechanical engineering companies that manufacture them. What kind of machine is used to master the task is shown by the turning specialists at EMAG – with their VL 2. This vertical turning machine stands for automated, high-precision production processes and low component costs in the manufacture of small chucked components.
This machine opens up new opportunities for the machining of a wide range of small chucked components. Small gearwheels, planetary gears, sliding sleeves, pump components, synchroniser rings, chain gears or flange components – with a maximum diameter of 100 mm and a length of up to 150 mm – are machined on the vertical pick-up lathe with great efficiency. The machine design focusses on providing for the application of a variety of manufacturing technologies for soft and hard machining and a complete automation system at a very favourable price-performance ratio. When developing the VL 2, EMAG had – right from the start – its eyes fixed firmly on the investment costs for the user and the fact that they should be kept as low as possible.
Productivity increases noticeably
This comparatively small, space-saving manufacturing solution also includes a number of details and high-tech components that guarantee fast processing:
- The pick-up spindle ensures that the machine loads itself. It picks up the raw parts from the integral conveyor belt (which accommodates up to 24 workpieces) and later returns the finish machined component to it.
- The 12-station tool turret is known for its very short indexing times. For drilling and milling operations it can also be equipped with driven tools in all 12 stations.
- All service units are quickly and freely accessible. The distance between operator and turret does, for instance, not exceed 400 mm.
- The machine base in polymer concrete MINERALIT® ensures great stability and has outstanding damping qualities, a direct source for exceptional surface finishes.
Stable processing guaranteed
When talking about component quality one needs to consider another central and very typical EMAG design factor besides the sturdy machine base: the alignment of all process-related components inside the machine. Workspindle and workpiece are located above the tools. This guarantees the optimal flow of chips and prevents the formation of clusters, offering a maximum of consistent process integrity – also an important factor where a link-up of VL 2s is envisaged. The automation equipment is compiled to suit user requirements, an optimal precondition for the use of the machine in production lines.
„The VL 2 is designed for flexibility“, says Guido Hegener. “The technology – from automation to interfaces and control system – can be chosen to suit on-site conditions.”
It is, for instance, possible to include an optional Y-axis or measuring probe. Where, on the basic machine, the workspindle is mounted on a compound slide that moves in
X and Z, the VL 2 can also be equipped with an optional Y-axis in the turret. This allows for the efficient machining of highly complex geometries.
Well established in the market place
Low component costs, stable processes, high component quality and an optimal price-performance ratio – it should not come as a surprise that with such a background the turning specialists at EMAG are predicting an exceptional market opportunity for their new machine platform. “We are convinced that this solution will be well received and used for a number of different applications in different market places. The machine represents a complete, highly efficient manufacturing solution that is displaying its strengths both at new production facilities in the emerging Asian markets as well as at existing production facilities in Europe and the USA.
The technology allows us to pinpoint, optimise and expand the machining of small chucked components, as required. And those advantages are sure to prevail in the market place.“, says Guido Hegener.
The advantages offered by the VL 2
- Simple automation concept = high rate of availability
- Integrated automation, automated workpiece changeover
- Short loading and machining travels, resulting in shortest possible cycle times
- Great stability and exceptional damping qualities owing to the polymer concrete MINERALIT® machine base
- Ideal chip flow conditions
- Small footprint
- Exceptionally easy access to all service units
- Tool changes made easy
- Integrated measuring (optional)
- Optional Y-axis