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Automation, connectivity and combined machine power

Source:WFL Millturn Technologies     Date:2021-09-24
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At EMO 2021, WFL Millturn Technologies will be presenting the new M20 MILLTURN complete machining centre for the first time. Alongside gear skiving technology, there is clear trend toward automation and the integration of sensors. The latest solutions from WFL range from smart software to screw programming through to intelligent tools and clamping devices.


M20 MILLTURN – Achieving maximum flexibility and performance with smart machining.

The M20 MILLTURN will be celebrating its world première at EMO in October 2021. The Austrian company is positioning the M20 for applications that require a compact and powerful complete machining solution.

The aim when developing the M20 was to introduce a particularly robust machine with the highest possible long-term accuracy. The machine frame is made from spheroidal graphite iron, ensuring optimal stability plus outstanding damping properties. This also means heavy roughing cuts can be made without compromise.

The most ground-breaking aspect, however, is the machine’s new design. The continuous toughened-glass front features an integrated performance data display and a touch panel for conveniently operating the tool magazine from the front of the machine. The working area is perfectly illuminated thanks to ultra-efficient and bright LED lights. A clearly visible LED strip at the bottom of the sliding door displays the machine status.

The M20 is available with a tailstock or counter spindle and features dynamic and powerful drives. The turning-boring-milling unit with integrated spindle motor and a B-axis with torque motor are entirely new features. The turning output of up to 44kW means even hard-to-machine materials can be handled with ease. The milling spindle with up to 25kW and 20,000rpm is ideally equipped for all machining tasks. In terms of the tool system, there is the option of using HSK 63 or Capto C6.

The individual tool holder with B-axis on the lower slide is a real highlight. The upper and lower system can be used simultaneously, and both systems are supplied by a reliable and dynamic tool changer from a shared magazine. This allows even complex components to be machined with optimal efficiency.

The tool can be moved up to 100mm below the turning centre, so drill patterns with diameters of up to 200mm can be produced on the face with a high level of precision and without turning the C-axis.

Fully automated by intCELL

Another key benefit of the machine is the possibility of easily integrating a wide range of automation options. Depending on the customer’s requirements, articulated robots, gantry loaders or an integrated production cell with the associated peripheral equipment can be implemented. The newly integrated production cell ‘intCELL’ is fitted on the right-hand side of the machine and will also be presented to the public for the first time at EMO. The workpieces are supplied on a strip accumulator.

Furthermore, it is also possible to automatically switch the tool to the lower individual tool holder with B-axis. This makes it possible to set up the tools parallel to machining time and to automatically access the stock in the magazine. Stored tools can therefore be placed in the upper and lower tool holder. With the integrated loading concept, WFL has reduced the space requirement by 50% in comparison to a conventional production cell.

The M20’s integrated loading feature is designed for chuck parts with a diameter of up to 300mm and a workpiece weight of 15kg. For shaft parts, a workpiece diameter of 100mm and a workpiece length of 300mm is possible.

Trade fair visitors can experience live machining, which will involve the production of a highly complex chuck part with a length of 150mm and a diameter of 300mm. Technological highlights here include the gear skiving of internal and external gears, and high cutting speeds for fast production of gears. The machining demo will show the main and counter spindle in use at the same time. The demo will also show attendees the automatic tool change feature on the two individual tool holders.

Universal machining solutions with the M50-G MILLTURN

The new M50-G MILLTURN generation, with greater axis distance and improved performance, will be another highlight of the trade fair. The optional centre distance of 6000mm enables efficient machining of long shaft parts. When designing the M50, WFL implemented some of the features of the larger M80. The machine’s existing potential is fully utilised, particularly in terms of the increased drive power, combined with the HSK-A100 or Capto C8 tool accommodation. The turning diameter is available up to 670mm and the fully developed, proven machine concept of the M50 MILLTURN has also been given an attractive ergonomic finish. A separate pick-up magazine is also available for very long and/or heavy tools. Workpieces with a length of 1600mm can be automatically inserted and changed. The standard disc magazine can be expanded to up to 200 positions.

On this machine, trade fair visitors will be able to witness a turbine blade/screw being machined live. Components such as turbine blades or plasticising screws require both dynamic and stable machining concepts. A special clamp from the manufacturer Grasch can be used to clamp rectangular raw materials easily and securely, a fundamental requirement when machining turbine blades.

 Technologies known as ‘helical spiral milling’ and ‘helical longitudinal milling’ are used to machine the blade.

Smart tools: ICOtronic and ultrasound measuring

The ICOtronic tool, which is fitted with sensors, provides information on the machining process as close as possible to the cutting edge. This should not only optimise milling processes in the future, but also increase the machines’ productivity. The demo at EMO will give a small insight into WFL’s wide variety of development projects.

Ultrasound measuring will also be demonstrated live for the visitors to the trade fair. The automatically loading ultrasound measuring probe enables a fully automated measuring process. The large measuring range (1.5–30mm) offers further benefits. Ultrasound measuring is extremely well suited for calculating the hole run-out and diameter of very deep holes.

Easy screw programming with ScrewCAM

ScrewCAM will be used at EMO to demonstrate the latest and most innovative software for programming plasticising screws with complex geometries. The geometrical functions that can be manufactured include, among others, single or multi-threaded screws, variable depths, flexible pitch adjustment, wall shaping and wall incline. In addition, the entire NC programme will be checked for collisions and the correctness of the workpiece geometry produced, using a material removal simulation and geometrical verification against the 3D target geometry of the screw. The result is a verified NC programme with estimated machining time.

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