At EMO 2009 in Milano EMAG will be introducing their new vertical turning machine platform 250. With this platform the machine tool manufacturer from Salach is presenting a new generation of vertical turning machines and manufacturing systems that sets the standard for ease of configurability.
EMAG: A clever platform concept offers greater customer benefits
10/01/2009 - Oliver Hagenlocher
Platform 250 consists of three basic machine types. The VL 5i in its standard execution is designed, primarily, for the sub-contractor and the turned parts manufacturer. The VSC 250 is – and always has been – designed to serve as a front-operated production tool that can be tailored to suit individual machining requirements. And there is the VLC 250, a cross-operated, vertical manufacturing system with the focus on universal application – making it ideal for the use of multiple technologies.
What is the secret behind Platform 250?
The most important innovation must surely be its basic layout. Platform 250 has not been designed to conform to just one particular machine type, but to represent the whole range of machines with a chuck diameter of 250 mm. EMAG’s design engineers have developed a standard that makes it possible to use the same technology modules on all three of the machine types covered. The idea behind the platform consistently follows the design right back to the basic machine. One example is the overhead slide, which is of the same design on all machines. Only its performance- and quality-defining components are tailored to suit the individual machining requirement. The technology modules include, among others, powerful disc-type turrets that can be equipped with live tools if required, milling spindles, grinding spindles for internal and external work, and even multi-technology modules with tool changer. The concept is complemented by a choice of four different work spindles: “universal”, “high-precision”, high-performance” and “multi-technology”. Furthermore, the Z-axis quill can be used in conjunction with either a hydrostatic or a recirculating roller guideway. All this offers EMAG customers an unprecedented opportunity to individually configure their vertical manufacturing systems, with the ultimate objective: to acquire a machine that is optimally suited to their particular production requirements.
Reconfigurability secures the future
Two of the challenges of future batch production must surely be the increasing number of component variants and the shorter product life cycles. Batch sizes are shrinking, as demands increase for ever more workpiece variants to be machined on the same manufacturing system. Moreover, product life cycles are often shorter than the life cycle of the machine tool. What it comes down to is that production tools must be reset more frequently, to accommodate the variety of components. And no less frequent changes of supplier compound this trend.
EMAG’s answer to this issue is reconfigurability. The new platform considerably improves the ability to adapt – over time – a manufacturing system to new machining requirements. In many cases standardisation will ensure that a simple change of tooling modules is all that is needed. The initial investment can therefore be kept as low as possible. A typical example is the subsequent incorporation into the vertical turning machine of an internal grinding spindle to satisfy increased demands for greater precision. In this particular case, the new platform allows – at very little cost – for the conversion of a mere turning machine into a combination machine capable of hard turning and grinding. The exceptionally high degree of modular diversity ensures that a great variety of configurations can be realised – at a justifiable cost – at a later stage. It is therefore fair to say that reconfigurability offers a high degree of investment protection.
Latest criteria in energy savings taken aboard
Energy efficiency plays an important factor. Full consideration has been given to this subject in the development of Platfrom 250. From power ratings of 0.5 kW upwards only energy-efficient eff1-motors with integrated energy recovery system are being used. Furthermore, Emag has also fitted low-wattage valves in their new machines. In fact, the requirement of these valves amounts to just 8 Watt, approximately 70% less than the rating of conventional valves. Moreover, the hydraulic pack contains an accumulator charging circuit that ensures the pump is only activated when the hydraulic pressure falls below a certain level. The electrical cabinet too contains some new features. All amplifiers are mounted using through-hole technology. This ensures that the waste heat dissipates into the workshop and the cabinet no longer needs to be air-conditioned. In fact, the electrical cabinets of the Platform 250 machines no longer feature heat exchangers.
The advantages of the EMAG Platform Concept
- A modular, configurable system that can be tailored to suit the relevant machining requirement.
- Maintenance- and service-friendly, as the basic modules are the same on all machines.
- Universal machine concept from a single source – from straightforward turning machine to complete manufacturing system.
- Investment protection and risk reduction, as the machines can be tailored to suit manufacturing requirements and production technologies.
- Supported by the extensive expertise of the EMAG Group, which covers the whole of the production chain.