Affolter Technologies has unveiled the Gear AF 110 to complement its range of gear cutting centres towards the realisation of larger parts to diameters up to 40 mm with a module up to 1.0 mm. Why this evolution and with what objectives? To answer these questions we met with MM. Marc-Alain Affolter, general director and Sébastien Giran, marketing and sales office manager.
Gear cutting machines live the same revolution lived in high precision turning with the replacement of cam machines. Though there are two important differences. This evolution is being lived a few years later and machines dedicated to replace cam-controlled gear cutting machines are not only much more efficient in terms of possibilities, but also much more productive. The brakes to purchase high precision turners met; i.e. to find out an often slower solution, does not exist here.
The secret? Innovation
One of the strengths of the Affolter machines is the internally developed Leste NC. Interpolation functions are handled by a dedicated integrated circuit also developed within the company. Immediate gain, the reaction time of the NC is about 90 nanoseconds (transfer time in the integrated circuit). Compared with a classical NC which the calculation requires 200 micro-seconds at best, the Affolter control is incomparably faster. “We can produce parts more quickly; 8-axis interpolation machining is not slowed down by the numerical control” explains Mr. Affolter. He adds: “As our control can handle up to 12 axes, we can also easily control loading and unloading numeric axes to save time”. Development of Leste NC (the company markets today the third generation) represents to date about 30 years/man engineering.
Worldwide presence – Swiss quality
If Affolter historical markets are located in Europe, it is today an important part of its turnover that is carried out in Asia, to the extent that the company has a sales and service subsidiary in China. All machines that are sold in this region of the world are always built in Malleray (Switzerland). When questioned about it Mr. Affolter says: “Customers in these regions that carry out quality products are no different from here, they want to have high-tech production tools. Swiss Made is always a guarantee of quality and we strive to make our machines strengthen this aspect”. He adds: “Things evolve in these countries, wages increase and industrial logic are the same as here in Europe and production is automated to the maximum”.
We will detail this new machine and Affolter’s strengths more in our next issue (meanwhile you can download Affolter’s Flyer here).