Motor efficiency upgrades – is it Win-Win or Win-Lose?

A seminal piece of legislation mandating minimum electric motor efficiency levels is scheduled to come into force across the EU in June 2011. It has enormous implications for machinery OEMs, with potentially serious consequences to sales and market share if attention is not paid immediately, says Baldor. The situation is made even more problematic by the USA’s EISA minimum efficiency regulations, which came into force in December 2010.

From feedback at exhibitions and from calls and visits Baldor believes that as much as a third of the EU’s OEMs are still either wholly or partially unaware that new general-purpose AC motors installed from June must meet a minimum efficiency of IE2. IE2 is equivalent to the previous CEMEP ‘EFF1’ standard.
Most OEMs currently use lower-efficiency EFF3- or EFF2- grade AC motors. Transitioning equipment designs with higher efficiency motors can involve physical and mechanical interface changes, changes to rotational speeds, and changes to thermal issues and starting behavior. These issues can have a big impact for equipment OEMs, and they might need weeks or even three months or more to make the upgrade.

“We’re sending an SOS message to European OEMs that if they do not start considering the impact of motor efficiency regulations immediately, then there could be negative implications for their sales and market share,” says Robin Cowley, Industrial Marketing Manager for Baldor in the EU. “And when OEMs think about the upgrade to IE2 efficiency levels, we are also suggesting that they consider their strategy for the IE3 efficiency level that’s coming down the track because if they don’t, their competitors might – and steal a march.”

Energy costs: A main concern
Most end users of automation are becoming seriously worried about their energy costs. Many are also currently putting strong environmental care plans into place. Given this market situation, Robin Cowley thinks that OEMs who start to offer the best efficiency levels available – IE3 – could see their market share grow at the expense of those who merely offer the minimum required.

A worldwide topic
This situation is complicated by the USA’s recent Energy Independence Security Act (EISA) which came into force in December 2010. EISA mandates a minimum efficiency level of ‘NEMA Premium’ for motors imported into the USA.
NEMA Premium is equivalent to IE3, which is not due to come into force in the EU until 2015. Robin Cowley expects that some USA OEMs could be adopting NEMA Premium as their standard offering for international sales as well. This means that much imported equipment could offer end users a significantly faster payback in terms of reduced energy consumption than equipment sourced from the EU.

Ecological and marketing arguments
“For some simple items of equipment such as pumps or fans, the motor is a significant proportion of the bill of materials and US competitors might offer a lower-spec IE2 alternative in the EU,” adds Baldor’s Robin Cowley. “However, where a motor is only a small proportion of some larger equipment – on a conveyor system for example – US competitors have the opportunity to offer premium efficiency as standard. This potentially puts them in a position to gain market share here in Europe.”

Baldor UK Ltd
Mint Motion Centre
6 Bristol Distribution Park,
Hawkley Drive
Bristol BS32 OBF, UK
Phone +44 (0)1454 850000;
[email protected]

LPKF Expands in Japan and China

LPKF Laser & Electronics AG expects a growth in business figures for 2010 with turnover most likely up 56 percent. The success of the German-based laser specialist is attributed to its booming export business.

LPKF CEO Dr. Ingo Bretthauer (left), Matthias Hu (center, managing director LPKF Tianjin) and Gene Feng, head of the new office in Shanghai.

LPKF Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors Dr. Ingo Bretthauer opened two new sales and service branches in Asia in January. LPKF already had a broad presence in China, and has now added a seventh branch office with its new sales and marketing office in Shanghai. “It is essential for LPKF to have a dense sales and service network, and therefore be close to its clients in our most important market,” says Bretthauer.

Close to markets…
The Japanese market is renowned in the electronics sector for its very high standards. The Japanese electronics industry maintains its leading position by manufacturing the critical components in its own country. This is why it is particularly important for Bretthauer that LPKF now has its own subsidiary in Japan. LPKF Japan K.K. in Yokohama will not only strengthen the group’s sales and service presence in Japan, but also provide LPKF with important feedback on the latest electronic trends.
In addition, LPKF has transferred its stake in the French subsidiary to the local management, which will focus its future on selling Rapid Prototyping equipment. LPKF Germany will take over the sale and marketing of laser systems in France and the Benelux countries.

…in every field
LPKF Laser & Electronics AG produces machines and laser systems used in electronics production, medical technology, the automotive industry, and the production of solar panels. Around 20 percent of the workforce is involved in research and development.

Laser & Electronics AG
Osteriede 7
D-30827 Garbsen
Malte Borges
[email protected]
Tel. +49 (0)5131 7095-327
Fax +49 (0)5131 7095-90

These are tools for Gloor…

This phrase is often heard on the market as soon as it comes to buying special millers and summarizes well the position of the Swiss company. Renowned for its ability to develop special tools “no one else can do”, Gloor has based its organization on the willingness to find solutions for its customers.

Gloor is for instance a pioneer in thread whirling with more than 20 years of experience in the field.

Listening to the market
If Gloor is specialized in the realization of custom shaped tools, the company also offers a wide range of standard tools. Mr Fred Gloor, CEO says: “Our goal is to give our customers solutions to work more efficiently”. This materializes in the form of tools enabling them to gain in productivity or quality but also in the form of actual price per finished part (faster cutting or avoiding secondary operations). He adds: “Another aspect of this efficiency is our ability to provide a whole product range (custom and standard) as well as services to strengthen their performance in their respective markets”.

Global solution…
And to achieve the production of extraordinary tools, the company works seamlessly with customers. If someone wishes to order a special tool and simply sends a drawing, he will probably miss many potential benefits! Why?
Simply because since 51 years, the know-how acquired by Gloor in machining process is very broad. Mr Gloor says: “We always prefer to work from scratch, namely the piece to machine. We have thousands of references cases and we offer our customers this experience” . This broad expertise is shared with customers, but what about confidentiality? Mr  Gloor is very clear on this point: “We’re renowned for our expertise and our skills, but also for our ethics.  We work for instance with all the big names of the medical field and they know that one dedicated solution is not sold to others. Justified customer confidence is also an important element that characterizes our company”.

…and exceptional tools
Gloor is leader in the manufacture of special shaped tools with logarithmic relief grinding and form end mills (straight and spiral fluted). Thanks to the special production process it is possible for Gloor to produce tools with more teeth to make form milling cutters with a minimal concave corner radius of 0.02 mm.
We will go into details of the product range and capacities of the Gloor tools in our next issue of eurotec.

Next opportunity to meet Gloor on an exhibition: Medtec Stuttgart from March 22 to 24, 2011, booth 6289, Hall 6.

Friedrich Gloor AG
P.o. box 236
CH-2543 Lengnau
Tel. ++ 41 (0) 32 653 21 61
Fax ++ 41 (0) 32 653 02 01
E-Mail: [email protected]

Fundamental mechanics of micro-machining

The program of the MAM continues and again yesterday afternoon high value conferences took places. Prof. J. Rhett Mayor, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) presented the results of their studies on micromachining (just one conference that I decided to highlight).

Obviously we all know the cutting edge of inserts or tools, but when we come to machine very small parts, it appears that the cutting edge isn’t that sharp… in fact we cut with a round cutting edge. What happens really on a micro scale? Results of the studies are amazing.

Not every tooth is cutting
The chip is generated by an intermittent process, each tooth pushes the material a little bit and suddenly the chip is generated. The feed rate must be calculated very precisely because we actually do want to remove chip and not only push material.

New way to generate tool paths
In micromachining the second trouble is that the tool is often too big compared to the part to machine and the algorithms used to calculate the tool paths are not thought to machine micro parts, then some very small sections don’t exactly show the right path.
The Georgia Institute of Technology developed variable feed rate and intelligent segmentation of tool path in order to address these troubles.

There are many challenges to face, machining with HS spindles with tools the size of a few hairs or less isn’t an exact easy game, but there are a lot to win.
The shape of the tool must also be thought, by the fact the chips are removed “step by step” the tool is subject to hits that make it react… and obviously at that scale, a few microns are already too much.

The results show already very impressive figures. With a new algorithm, the realization of a small micro milled part needed 8.69 sec instead of 18.89 sec.

For those who are working in micro machining, this study is really full of promises…. And people who are here at MAM had the opportunity to get in touch with M. Mayor directly.

Being present in MAM seems to be more and more an asset.

There is more to come…

Micronarc Alpine Meeting just started

The first morning is even not finished and I can tell you, absents miss a lot of interesting clues in Microproduction. The spectrum is quite wide in equipment for microproduction and this morning there were mainly to conferences targeted to Eurotec. In this post, the first one.

About 60 people are reunited in the beautiful venue of Villars-sur-Olon under the MAM flag. Again Micronarc and Mancef have organized a high level event for people interested in today’s and tomorrow’s challenging in manufacturing MEM’s. Let’s have a look on the first presentation that was more targeted for Eurotec’s readers (it doesn’t mean the rest was less interesting, it is actually highly interesting)…and there is more to come.

From concept to high production volume
Comax Medtec is building machines to change good ideas into mass production possibilities. Erik Poulsen, Sales and Marketing director explained what the steps to achieve this are:

  • Description of the device (URS)
  • Set up the manufacturing strategy
  • Processes identification
  • Products and process analysis (by the way, think robust)
  • Cost
  • Deadlines

One of the main troubles met is that often people having a good idea can work well till the prototype… but there are many other constraints to overcome if we want to mass produce at high speed and reliability.

The most important information for me in that presentation was: If the manufacturing strategy is thought from the start, i.e. when designing the product, everything will be simpler and quicker later because all will have been taken into account from the start! (That sounds logical and simple…nevertheless rarely the case).

…more to come, stay tuned.


Delcam supports GKN Aerospace ice protection project for Boeing Dreamliner

Delcam has played a major part in a GKN Aerospace project to supply new electro-thermal ice protection technology for the wings of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The project represents the first application of this technology to a major wing environment.

The Huron KX 200 at Delcam’s Birmingham headquarters was used to manufacture demonstration parts and the initial production samples.

The Delcam contribution involved both Delcam Professional Services, which developed a novel manufacturing process for the leading edge of the wing, and the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Facility, which manufactured demonstration parts and the initial production samples.  The process is based on Delcam’s adaptive machining technology that uses a combination of the company’s machining and inspection software to manufacture complex components to high levels of accuracy on a consistent basis.

Electro-thermal ice protection
The complete Wing Ice Protection System for the Boeing Dreamliner is a joint project between GKN Aerospace and Ultra Electronics, which provides the System controller.  The System will provide electro-thermal ice protection to the leading edge slats of the aircraft wing.  Electro-thermal systems remove the need to bleed hot air from the engine, which has been the traditional approach to wing ice protection.  An electro-thermal system is more fuel efficient and avoids the problems associated with channelling hot-gas tubing through complex wing and fuselage structures.  As a result, the performance efficiency of the aircraft engine is increased, whilst maintenance requirements are reduced.

Great success and technology transfer
Following the successful completion of the initial production samples at Delcam, the process was transferred to GKN’s Luton site for the move into full-scale manufacture.  Furthermore, the staff at GKN were so impressed with the results from the Delcam software that they subsequently purchased both the PowerMILL CAM system and the On-Machine Verification version of the PowerINSPECT inspection software.

For further information on Delcam’s aerospace software and services, please contact:
Peter Dickin, Marketing Manager
Direct phone: 44 (0)121 683 1081
e-mail: [email protected]

Delcam plc
Small Heath Business Park,
Birmingham, B10 0HJ, UK

The problem-solving insert

In the bar turning industry, countersinking and turning operations with a single tool are routine. Unfortunately, depending on the material, traditional X-geometry inserts (Parisian cut) are not always ideal for dealing with long and bulky swarf fragments. Applitec now presents a new family of inserts combining the machinability benefits of X inserts with the ‘chip rolling’ capability of ISO inserts: The Top-Line range of ZX geometry inserts.

Applitec is a company that listens to its customers and during Pascal Kohler’s (technical manager) many visits to customers’ premises he was regularly being asked about the possibility of a countersinking/turning insert that could effectively deal with swarf. Although it is fairly easy to produce inserts with a Parisian cut by grinding, the limitations of the process itself mean that they cannot be equipped with chip rollers. Therefore, there was no real solution without a compromise.

New technology
To be able to offer its new range of ZX inserts, the company implemented a state-of-the-art production process allowing it to create chip rollers on cutting edges of any shape. Thus began the production of a new generation of countersinking/turning bits. This technology also enables Applitec to offer custom cutting inserts for these operations.

Are they suitable for lead-free copper alloys?
“We are learning every day” explains Pascal Kohler. He adds: “During one of my recent visits, a customer showed me the results of using the new inserts on lead-free brass. Rather than ordinary brass, this was one of these new alloys with specific properties and it was causing problems in production, in particular long pieces of swarf. The users were very positive”.

Advantages of the new ZX range

  • Particularly well suited to difficult materials
  • Longer tool service life
  • Better swarf management
  • Reduced machine downtime
  • Reinforced cutting edge
  • Custom production of chip breakers

Asked about the price, Pascal Kohler explained: “We offer standard ZX inserts at a similar price to the “basic” inserts available on the market. Our aim is to enable our customers to adopt this new technology without increasing their costs”.

An already comprehensive range
The new ZX range is available in all the usual sizes: 740-760 for clockwise rotation machines and 730-750 for anticlockwise rotation machines, and the insert holders are available in cross sections from 7×7 to 20×20. The 760 family also offers a rear turner equipped with this technology. A brochure presenting the range is available from the address given at the end of this article.

Custom shapes to order
Applitec can produce ZX inserts to order, with specific shapes including cutting angles and chip rollers adapted to suit particular machining and material constraints. Pascal Kohler: “We have a lot of experience in cutting and our customers often rely on us to offer them the solution that best suits their needs. The technology we use for ZX inserts even allows us to offer our customers different variants, enabling them to carry out tests and choose the most efficient solution possible”.

If you would like more information, please contact Pascal Kohler at the address below:

Applitec Moutier S.A.
Ch. Nicolas-Junker 2
CH-2740 Moutier
Tel. +41 32 494 60 20
Fax +41 32 493 42 60
[email protected]