Freedom in production

Prospects of complete machining in machining centres

In machining which involves chip creation, coplanar workpieces with turning contours present particular challenges. Complete machining operations can mostly only be performed through clamping changeovers or the use of special procedural solutions involving the machines or the tools themselves. Using mechatronic tooling systems, such as the KOMET KomTronic® U-axes, new freedoms are now created in machining production on flexible machining centres.

The wide variety of components with complex geometries such as cylinder heads, axle casings, wheel mounts or turbochargers, etc. seem to be constantly increasing. The contours of these components usually require a range of different machining processes in shape forming, from milling to drilling, threading, etc. through to lathe turning. As a result of this alone, kinematically different types of machine are also required. Provided that components of this sort are manufactured in large series production quantities, interlinked systems with specialised machining stations are an adequate solution. They allow machining to be performed in one clamping operation, save on changeover costs and offer benefi ts where quality is concerned. As batch sizes become smaller, the wide variety of variants increases and product life cycles become shorter; however, other aspects emerge which draw the benefi ts of such systems into question from the point of view of cost-effectiveness, and determine the trend towards standard machines or flexible machining centres. However, due to the different types of processes involved, complete machining operations in one clamping arrangement present a great challenge in this regard. Even when components such as those mentioned above have contours which represent turning profiles, they are, as a whole, not suitable for mill-turn centres. In such cases, machining such components which are rotationally not symmetrical is dependent on the contours and, if at all, is only feasible subject to considerable balancing requirements, which in addition leads to an increase in dynamic loads. Lathes can therefore only be used to a limited extent for this range of components.