Cooperation with Mapal Dr. Kress KG
Mapal Dr. Kress KG, based in Aalen, East Württemberg, has a high level of process and product expertise in cutting tools. Precision, long tool life and above all process reliability are required here. Versatile high-performance tools and special tool holders are among the company’s strengths.
Together with a team from Mapal, August Wenzler Maschinenbau GmbH was able to successfully implement the requirements of a sports car manufacturer. Among other things, Mapal’s experience in the PCD sector was decisive in this.
The chassis subframe is a typical component in the automotive sector that functions as a rear axle beam in vehicles. The Wenzler VKM, which enables optimum automated loading and unloading, is ideally suited for machining. The working area, which is easily accessible from two opposite sides, ensures a safe spatial separation of the robot from the human workers. In addition, the unique machine design allows the finishing of such components in one clamping.
Thanks to the bundled expertise, the cycle time for machining the aluminium structural component was successfully reduced to 16 minutes. Wolfgang Wenzler, Managing Director of August Wenzler Maschinenbau GmbH, summarizes the advantages of the cooperation as follows: "It was noticeable that our two companies have a lot of experience in this area and that everything can be decided quickly".
Solution developed jointly with Heller
As part of our partnership with Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH, we have developed an additive manufacturing solution that can be integrated into our Wenzler VKM and VPM machining centers.
Economical process for prototypes and variant-rich small batches
In many cases, rapid production of prototypes and variant-rich small series is required, which previously could not be represented in a series process. Wire and Arc Additive-Manufacturing (WAAM) refers to an additive manufacturing technology that allows the workpieces to be machined completely in a single setup in the hybrid machining center, saving time and costs.
Hybrid machining of complex metal components
With the help of WAAM technology, we can realize three-dimensional buildup welding and machining in a hybrid machining center. Complex metal components are generated generatively by alternately depositing and removing material. In this way, the corresponding workpieces can be supplemented, modified and repaired. Keyword Industry 4.0: in keeping with the times, quality assurance is based on the recording and control of the collected process data.
The process at a glance using the battery frame as an example
When machining a battery frame for e-mobility, the WAAM process starts with joining the bar profiles by an integrated CMT welding process in the machining center. Then the extremities with any geometry, such as lugs and cylinders, are applied using an additive process. Now the weld seams can be leveled, and contours or functional surfaces can be machined in the same setup. In the next step, the desired surface quality can be produced by milling, brushing or grinding, depending on individual requirements. Holes and threads relevant for assembly can now be introduced. The process quality has also been confirmed by tensile tests and micrographs in cooperation with well-known OEMs.
Partnership with Honsel Umformtechnik
In cooperation with the company Honsel Umformtechnik GmbH in Fröndenberg/Ruhr, we have developed and tested a new machining concept. The concept of integrated coil assembly in the machining center ensures that the predicted overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is achieved.
Increasing real overall equipment effectiveness
Machining and assembly with automatic feeding in the machining center ensures faster, more cost-effective machining with fewer N.I.O. parts and thus increased effectiveness of the overall plant. In highly interlinked plants, the availability of each individual participant plays a very important role. However, attention must also be paid to the interfaces between the process steps, because these often form the bottleneck between the respective highly available plants. Only well-coordinated processes can achieve the previously predicted overall plant effectiveness.
Integrated machining and assembly of threaded inserts
Until now, wire thread inserts have been inserted after machining (drilling and thread forming) in the machining center by a separate handling system with setting devices. The position of the hole, the initial angle of the thread and many other factors have a considerable influence on process-reliable assembly. Therefore, we have also integrated coil assembly into the machining center. This allows the workpiece to be machined and assembled in a single clamping operation. Thus, tool parameters can influence assembly directly from the CNC machining.
Partnership with Römheld
Based on this idea, August Wenzler Maschinenbau GmbH has developed an innovative clamping concept in close cooperation with Römheld GmbH Friedrichshütte in Laubach, Hesse, Germany. It enables the measurement of various component states in the process. From loading to machining to unloading, the quality can be constantly monitored and seamlessly documented. The core of this innovation consists of the new clamping devices, the electrification as well as the digital data transmission from the clamping device. Römheld supplies the appropriate clamping technology for this, August Wenzler implements it and evaluates the data. We are very much looking forward to further successful cooperation in this field.
Focus on workpiece blank quality
It is crucial to monitor the quality of the blank and correct clamping. In this way, it is decided at an early stage whether further machining is possible and whether further machining is worthwhile. If a component is detected as defective, valuable resources can be saved: then the workpiece is rejected at an early stage and does not go through the entire process chain.