Software solutions

Latest automation and software solutions for efficient machining processes

WFL 2022 Technology Meeting
Latest automation and software solutions for efficient machining processes



Source: press release

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The WFL Technology Meeting took place in Linz, Austria from June 12-23, 2022. Live machining on all types of Millturn machines and the latest automation and software solutions were showcased. The program included expert discussions and presentations on pioneering trends and developments in the industry.

The first day of the WFL Technology Meeting started with a press conference. Norbert Jungreithmayr (CEO), Günther Mayr (Managing Director Sales, Technologies and Services), Reinhard Koll (Head of Application Technology) and Jürgen Schmid (Design Tech) provided information on new machines and technological innovations.

(Source: WFL Millturn Technologies)

After the WFL 2021 in-house exhibition was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, WFL was once again able to welcome approximately 1,000 guests to the industry event. Live machining of parts with a diameter of 100 mm to 1,180 mm and a length of 150 mm to 5,240 mm was demonstrated at the exhibition.

Visitors were able to discover heavy machining on a Millturn M150, bar turning on a Millturn M50 / 4500 mm and the presentation of the latest machine: the M20-G. Automation was the subject of many discussions: bin picking, scanning and picking of non-oriented parts, systems controlled by a host computer or interconnection of machines. A special highlight was the Mobile Cell in combination with the M65. The mobile cell is a robot on an AGV (automatic guided vehicle) that loads and unloads tools, fixtures and/or workpieces. With processing times between 30 and 60 minutes, the competitive advantage can be fully exploited with this solution and the customer retains all his degree of freedom. The system is also suitable for upgrading automations.

Another important topic was sustainability. According to WFL, it is not only important to have energy-efficient processes, but also to obtain the right classification, as more and more customers are evaluated according to ESG (Environmental Social Governance) criteria. WFL achieves these criteria thanks to the technology used (eg energy-efficient drives) and the extremely efficient complete machining process. An optimal degree of utilization as well as the reduction of space costs, intermediate storage costs and quality control costs, and much more, are guaranteed by the complete machining process.

Machinery and technology.

The modular system of the M150 Millturn has been expanded by revising the machine frame. Thanks to larger guide distances and dimensions and more powerful drives, the machine is ideal for workpieces weighing up to 25 tonnes. Full-point grinding and free-cutting, an effective process for machining hard surfaces, was demonstrated on a roll at a steel mill. A large gear with module 38 was milled at the right end of the part. The part did not have to be unloaded, but was measured directly in the machine. If necessary, a corresponding automatic correction is carried out for the programs and the tools before the final milling of the toothing.

An important part of AMB 2022: Digital Solutions in Metalworking.  (Source: Landesmesse Stuttgart)

The M50 is the second machine type that has been fundamentally expanded. The machine can now be equipped with a more powerful turn-bore-mill unit, larger tool system, larger tool magazines as well as longer tools with increased weight. The machine itself also achieved a maximum center distance of 6,000 mm. This means that there are virtually no configuration requests that WFL cannot satisfy.

The M50 also has a few aids on board: iJaw, a sensory clamping jaw from Röhm, ICO tronic, a sensory tool, and an automatically exchangeable ultrasonic probe measuring wall thickness at any point. This measuring probe automatically recognizes and compensates for deviations in the borehole. In addition, there is a brand new laser scanner which can also be replaced automatically and allows scanning of all shapes and geometries on the part as well as comparing the scanned surfaces with a target 3D model. A false color image shows how well the manufactured part matches the target model, and color variations indicate how much the component deviates from the target geometry. A very interesting solution with enormous potential.

WFL's latest solutions range from smart software for screw programming to smart tools and clamping devices.  (WFL)

Scanning minimizes interruptions

During machining operations, there are always interruptions requiring operator intervention, such as measurements and checks. It is important to minimize these interruptions to get the most out of machine uptime and productivity. This is ensured by software packages in the machine control as well as by additional intelligent clamping devices and tools that automate processes.

One of these tools is WFL iControl, the new process monitoring system. iControl directly processes signals from the machine or from external sensors, such as coolant flow, coolant pressure, vibration sensors in a boring bar or the clamping force of a jaw jaw. Tightening.

The machine states are saved with my Cockpit WFL. The program monitors the replacement positions and saves the program runtimes. This provides a constant overview of machine productivity and variability in program run times.

My WFL Energy continuously measures and records the energy and compressed air consumption of the machine. This consumption can also be broken down into individual tools or process steps, allowing comparisons to be made. Solution g allows the user to move spindles and axes by running an idle program at cyclic intervals. The program uses sensors to record forces and vibrations. The long-term evaluation shows, for example, whether there is an imminent change in the bearing or in one of the guidance systems. This helps avoid unplanned downtime and schedule machine maintenance in a timely manner.

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