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Die & Mould Clamping devices take charge in machine shop

Nov 2, 2015

Rather than using conventional clamping devices, a modular system is the need of the hour. An application story on how Hainbuch’s modular clamping system help Mori Seiki NZ 2000 machines offering several adaptation possibilities for automation with right tools.

With a converted Mori Seiki NZ 2000 machine, HeBa Fertigungstechnik was reliant on an all-round, no-hassle clamping device. 3-jaw chucks were too big, and they could not be called set-up friendly. So, a different system was required that would be smaller, more flexible, and easier to set-up. The company ended up with the modular system and the many adaptation possibilities offered by Hainbuch. Jürgen Balting, CEO, HeBa, is extremely pleased and meanwhile has converted the complete shop to Hainbuch clamping devices.

Jürgen Balting, Plant Manager at Paul Henkel, says, “If you have a leased car and then you are asked if you want to buy, i.e. own, the car, then you know whether it had problems in the last three years and whether it would be worthwhile to take it over.” This was the starting signal for the new beginning. However, the company did need to be turned completely inside out and adapted to the requirements of the market. Balting progressively invested in new machines, new clamping devices, and new employees. Today, the firm has approximately 20 employees and a manageable, ultra-modern machine shop, consisting of eight turning centres and three machining centres. For a small manufacturer, this level of automation is extremely important, to counter high employment costs and to remain flexible. It requires the right tools and clamping devices.

Exploring various possibilities

Jürgen Balting ordered his first new machine in 2010, a Mori Seiki NZ 2000 DL T2, and had it specified to be totally flexible. A fully automated machine that can do everything, bar work, or robot loaded, in short a “jack of all trades”. The two spindles on the machine can work autonomously. This means that spindle one can make parts that are completely different than the parts made by spindle two; however, the two spindles can also work together. The machine is programmed, so that it can be quickly switched over depending on capacity and the part required. In April 2011, the machine was delivered, and due to the 80 large capacity on the main spindle, the company specified a 3-jaw chuck.

However, when the firm went into production, it turned out that the chucks were not ideal. “The chuck was too big for a lot of the tooling. Also set-up was difficult and time consuming,” according to Balting. The most important thing was that it was accurate and provided various adaptation possibilities. Also, there was not enough room in the machine to get a crane in. “So, we ended up at Hainbuch with its modular system and the different adaptations. The advantages were clear: clamping from outside, inside or in front of the chuck with the modular system elements, fast set-up, and easy handling. No other clamping device manufacturer had this amount of possibilities”, explained Balting.

By summer 2011, the machine was equipped with the size 100 hexagon Toplus collet style chuck on the main spindle and sub spindle, so that manufacturing could immediately take full advantage of the Toplus chuck, the Mando Adapt [mandrel] adaptations, as well as the clamping heads were purchased at the same time. For Balting, set-up with the clamping heads is easier than it was with the jaws. “Even if the jaws are cleanly serrated, you always have to re-machine when you remount the top jaws. And then, we also no longer had any problems with the interference contour, because the Toplus chuck has a far smaller profile than the large 3-jaw chuck. The only short coming with the clamping heads was that we could only clamp to diameter 100 mm, and we also had larger parts,” he opined.

We were also able to solve this problem with the jaw adapter, so there was no longer anything stopping us from unmanned machining. All machining steps, from milling the contour, inserting transverse bores, diagonal bores, to inner and outer turning and turning outer contours, the full program, was now possible without major workholding changes.

Achieving large throughput

All difficulties were eradicated with the Hainbuch clamping devices. The set-up time was significantly reduced, the interference contour was improved, and large throughput was achieved. Also, short-notice program changes are no longer a problem, thanks to the modular system, as changing from OD clamping to ID clamping is quick and simple. In addition, there is less scrap and the quality of the parts has improved. This was another challenge for the clamping device, because of different swarf from different material, from short chips, to stringy birds nest swarf. But, the clamping devices from Hainbuch also mastered this challenge. Balting added, “You can have the best machine and the best tools, however, if you have a bad clamping device, you can’t run. With the Mori machine, we had a top machine and the tools on it were not bad either, the 3-jaw chuck was the only issue. Now everything runs smoothly.”

Next generation – jaw module

The jaw adapter combined with the Toplus chuck has performed well for a long time, and was actually good enough. But when the new jaw module came out in 2013, it was clear, the jaw adapter would be superceeded. Why? The jaw module had crucial advantages a larger stroke, larger clamping range, clean radial clamping, hard jaws and standard serrations. With the old jaw adapter, there were no standard jaws. The new jaw module can also be more easily set-up. “We were happy that the next generation jaw module came on the market, thus, we could firmly run against it”, reported Balting. From now on, the Toplus chuck with the jaw adapter is on the main spindle, and the Toplus chuck with Mando Adapt is all that is required.

Other clamping devices out of the running

As Balting was absolutely happy with the Hainbuch clamping devices, and the service and support were handled in an outstanding manner, in 2012, all machines with bar work were successively equipped with size 65 Toplus chucks. Now, he saves 25 minutes set-up time, when swapping out a clamping head, and running-in the machine again goes real fast, five minutes maximum. The newly ordered Mori Seki NLX machine will also be fitted with a Toplus chuck size 100 on the main spindle and sub spindle. There is even a Toplus carbon on one machine.

However, this was purely coincidental. Hainbuch was having a promotion offering the carbon chuck at the same price as the steel chuck. Since all adaptations also fit here, the company thought, why not. All the Hainbuch chucks are pull-back chucks; there is not a single dead length chuck. This is because Balting wants to use the complete modular system on each spindle and this only functions with the pull-back effect. With dead length, this is only possible under certain conditions.

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  • With its modular system and the many adaptations, Hainbuch has succeeded in getting into the machine rooms of HeBa

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