High-performing transfer machine

The TFL 400 rotary transfer machine has been designed for a large production volume.

The TFL 400 features a three-position revolving tool change system, is equipped with a HSK 63 taper and can also be equipped to house facing heads as well. It is described as highly reliable and capable of changing the tool without chip or coolant contamination from adjacent machining units. Available with six to twelve work stations, whereby one or two of them can be used to load and unload workpieces, the transfer machine features a rotary table that ranges from 2,000 to 2,400 mm in diameter according to the number of stations. It is fitted with a rotating clamping fixture for each station, with an innovative rotation system that ensures faster rotation times than the direct-drive solution. In addition, as the Italian exhibitors point out, maximum positioning accuracy and stiffness during machining is effectively ensured through a triple Hirth coupling. Its excellent reliability and performance is said to make the TFL 400 a technologically more advanced machine in comparison to the competition available during recent years.


CECIMO announces its International Conference on Additive Manufacturing during EMO Hannover

The additive manufacturing (AM) industry is thriving. The global value of the AM market is expected to triple between 2004 and 2018, and hit 17.9 bn EUR by 2021.

Applications in the aerospace and medical sectors have reached already industrial series production, while industries like the automotive are moving beyond prototyping functionalities. Innovation is spanning across the entire value chain, as new developments characterize materials supply, machine manufacturing, software equipment and services provision.

The International Conference on Additive Manufacturing organized by CECIMO at EMO Hannover 2017 aims to highlight some of the most relevant innovations. Taking place on 21 September 2017 from 09:45 to 12:30, the event will showcase the ambitious objective of initiatives such as KRAKEN, an EU project aiming to create a multi-material, hybrid and automated machine for a fast and cost-effective production of components up to 20 meters long. The conference will also give insights into new machine manufacturers’ initiatives to boost knowledge and confidence in AM technology among end-users, as well as new solutions in the CAM environment for hybrid manufacturing.

Confirmed speakers at the conference are Güngör Kara (Director of Global Application and Consulting at EOS GmbH), Steve Youngs (Development Director at VERO Software Ltd), Marc Saunders (Director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw plc), José Antonio Dieste (Head of the Mechatronic Department at AITIIP and Senior Mechanical Engineer) and Coen De Graaf (Project Leader Vanguard Initiative, South-Netherlands). More information and the link to registration can be found on the event page:


Complex 3D components with powder nozzle or in a powder bed

DMG Mori will be highlighting key generative production processes. The company sees itself as a complete supplier both for the additive manufacturing of metal components and in post-processing.

With the Lasertec 3D and Lasertec SLM series, DMG Mori is setting  itself up as a full-line provider in the additive manufacturing. DMG Mori points out that it is successful on the market in additive manufacturing with laser deposition welding using a powder nozzle. Selective laser melting in a powder bed is now expanding the product portfolio. As the company explains, it is demonstrating its integral competence by bringing together the key generative manufacturing processes under one roof and sees itself as a full-line provider in both the additive manufacturing of metallic components and in post-processing. The Lasertec 3D and SLM series are considered the cornerstones of the strategic orientation in this future technology. Whereas the Lasertec 3D hybrid successfully combines laser deposition welding by means of powder nozzle and five-axis milling, the Lasertec SLM series stands for selective laser melting in a powder bed. Both technologies are said to complement each other ideally in the product range. According to the manufacturers, they attach particular importance to the powder bed process, which has a market share of 80 percent where the additive manufacturing of metallic components is concerned. The latest innovation stages of the two processes will be presented at EMO Hannover 2017, integrated in continuous process chains.


Powerful solution for three- to five-axis precision machining

With the Picomax 75, Fehlmann announces a powerful solution for three- to five-axis machining. The machine construction, the Z-axis travel, the geometry and the control unit are designed for five-axis operation with the company’s dividing and swiveling units.

The robust Picomax 75 is designed to increase efficiency wherever the highest precision and highest machining performance are called for.

Up to five axes are fully integrated in the control system. This combination is said to ensure optimum access and precision in five-, four- and three-axis machining. The Picomax 75 can also be ordered as a pure three-axis milling machine, whereby fourth and fifth axes can be retrofitted if required at any time. As is pointed out, the machine is easily accessible from the front, also in combination with the optionally available automatic parts handling.

At EMO Hannover 2017 the exhibit will be equipped with a six-axis articulated-arm robot to enable the handling of blanks without pallets. Thanks to the automatic, flexible re-clamping of parts by the robot, an all-over machining of workpieces is possible without operator intervention. Workpieces can be produced with fully automated manufacturing and emerge completely finished from the machining process.


Tornos continues to perform well

The Tornos Group performed very well in the first half of 2017. After a somewhat sluggish start to the year, demand for all product lines picked up significantly in every region from March onwards.

The Tornos Group improved all the key business figures in the half-year financial statements markedly. Order intake for the first half of 2017 was up by a total of around 65% on the figure for the equivalent prior-year period (and even by 98% in the machines business), the backlog rose by around 75% compared with the end of 2016, and net sales were also considerably higher than in the same period of the previous year. Tornos is back in profit with EBIT of CHF 1.7 million and a net result of CHF 0.3 million. The Group expects the annual financial statements to show positive EBIT and a positive net result. In the first half of 2017, the Tornos Group posted total net sales of CHF 82.1 million (first half of 2016: CHF 69.8 million, +17.5%) and order intake of CHF 103.2 million (first half of 2016: CHF 62.6 million, +64.7%). In the machines business, Tornos even managed to increase order intake by 98%. The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2017 came to CHF 1.7 million (first half of 2016: CHF -2.4 million), and the net result was CHF 0.3 million (first half of 2016: CHF – 3.5 million).

In the first half of 2017 the Tornos Group generated positive free cash flow of CHF 10.1 million, thanks partly to a substantial reduction in net working capital since the start of the year. The Group had experienced a cash drain of CHF 9.1 million in the first half of 2016. The number of people employed by the Tornos Group (in full-time equivalents) rose slightly, from 631 at the end of 2016 to 641 at the end of June 2017.

Market position improves considerably
Streamlining and expanding the product range enabled the Tornos Group to strengthen its position considerably in the various market segments and regions in the first half of 2017. Order intake improved markedly in all regions. During the past year, the automotive industry – the most important market for Tornos – suffered from uncertainties and great reluctance to invest. Confidence returned to this market in the first few months of 2017 and demand for capital goods increased sharply, especially in the higher-price segment. The market segments of medical and dental technology and electronics also saw demand for high-value capital goods increase significantly in the first half of 2017. It is only in the watchmaking industry that no turnaround has yet been perceived.

Demand for high-end products rises strongly
Having already boosted sales of machines in the medium-price segment in the second half of 2016, the Tornos Group achieved very gratifying sales in the highend multispindle segment in the first half of 2017. This was largely attributable to the newly launched MultiSwiss models, which can be used for manufacturing parts with a diameter of up to 32 millimetres. In June 2017, Tornos delivered the 200th machine from the MultiSwiss range, which was launched in 2011. Tornos also intends to add extremely innovative high-end machines to its Swisstype automatic lathe (single-spindle) product range. These will be unveiled to an interested specialist audience at EMO Hannover, the industry’s leading trade show, in September 2017.

Systematic implementation of the flexibility strategy
As part of its flexibility strategy, the Tornos Group began outsourcing a substantial portion of component manufacture to third parties at the beginning of 2015 via targeted global supply chain management. These activities will be stepped up in the second half of 2017. At the same time, the Tornos Group will invest in ultra-modern manufacturing technologies in order to be able to produce its key components and small series more efficiently.

Outlook for the second half of the year
The overall economic prospects and the forecasts for the Swiss mechanical engineering industry are all positive for the second half of the year. Thanks to its streamlined product range which is ideally tailored to the needs of its customers, Tornos is well equipped to continue to benefit from the revival in demand in the core markets. The Group also expects positive EBIT and a positive net result for
the 2017 business year.


Joint Venture Römheld Rivi pools competencies

At the Fakuma, the newly established Roemheld subsidiary Römheld Rivi GmbH presents itself for the first time to a broad specialist audience. The new company pools competencies and activities of the Roemheld Group around the magnetic clamping technology. Besides the introduction of the company, the focus of the fair presentation will be on magnetic quick-clamping systems for plastics and rubber processing that are also suitable for high-temperature processes.

At Stand 1223 in Hall A1, the company presents the diversity of M-TECS magnetic clamping plates which can be used for working temperatures of up to 240°C. Thus, besides the application for injection moulding, also processing of rubber and high-tech thermoplastics as polyetheretherketone (PEEK) or polyphenylene sulphone (PPSU) is possible, where conventional magnetic clamping systems fail in the long run. So far, Römheld Rivi is the only company worldwide that offers magnetic clamping plates for such temperatures.

Quick clamping of different mould geometries and weights
For clamping and releasing, the magnetic clamping systems require only a short current pulse, in operation, they work without any power supply. Permanent magnets generate a magnetic field that penetrates a few millimetres deep into the mould and hold even heavy mould halves weighing several tons in the correct position and bring them together absolutely parallel. Thus, also elements with complex geometries can be exactly clamped without deformation within seconds. A further advantage of magnetic clamping systems is their flexibility: moulds of different sizes, weight and geometries can be clamped, a standardisation of the moulds is not required. All magnetic materials are clamped on the full surface and with a high bending stiffness. The uniform distribution of the clamping force ensures a low mould wear.

Processing of high-performance plastics
From the magnetic clamping technology benefit amongst others processors of thermoplastics such as PEEK that is used for example as sterilisable and biocompatible material in the medical technology, as flexible circuit carrier for electronic components or as heat-resistant material in the aerospace industry. In continuous use, the high-performance plastic can be used at temperatures up to 260°C; the smelting process only starts at approx. 335°C. This results in high mould temperatures during processing that create the need for appropriate clamping means. Magnetic clamping plates of the M-TECS series which are already used for more than a decade in the rubber industry at working temperatures up to 240°C are applied as quick-clamping systems. The size and shape of the magnetic clamping plates can be customised to the requirements of the client. Heating for high-temperature processes can be integrated. Since a clamping system consists only of a few components and has no moving parts, it can be retrofitted within a few hours on existing machines and then the system is in principle maintenance-free.

New subsidiary Römheld Rivi intends to develop the technology
To develop the magnetic clamping technology – among others for Industry 4.0 applications –  Hilma-Römheld has founded together with the Italian manufacturer of clamping means and long-term partner Rivi Magnetics S.r.L. the Joint Venture “Römheld Rivi”.

Roemheld: Optimizer of set-up times for plastic and rubber processing
With an extensive portfolio of mould and die clamping technology, the optimizer of set-up times Roemheld solves almost any clamping technology task in plastic and rubber processing. The magnetic, hydraulic and electro-mechanical clamping systems are highly versatile and contribute to make processes in single and series production more efficient and economical. Products for mould/die change such as die changing cart, media couplings, roller bars and carrying consoles complement the product range.
The ROEMHELD Group stands for solutions that contribute to a more efficient and economical design of the processes in the single and series production of nearly all industries. With innovative products of the production, assembly, clamping and drive technology, the group of companies is one of the international market and quality leaders of the industries concerned. Elements for production, testing and maintenance of large-scale components for wind power plants, components for the automation of setups and machine communication within Industry 4.0 complement the portfolio. The activities around the magnetic clamping technology are grouped together in the Römheld Rivi GmbH founded in 2017.


Tool, pattern and mould makers have a home

763 exhibitors, 14,000 visitors: 2nd edition establishes Moulding Expo as the international marketplace for an innovative industry

Stuttgart proved to be the perfect stage for the topics in                    the industry
Thomas Seul, President of the Association of German Tool and Mould Makers (VDWF): “MEX is characterised by a very special ‘spirit’. The profile of the trade fair in the industry is very pronounced. Tool makers came to Stuttgart and presented their company on their marketplace.“ Companies are able here to gain an ideal overview of the innovations, trends and developments in their market environment. The trade fair location of Stuttgart is predestined for this. The region around the state capital of Baden-Württemberg has the highest industrial density in Germany and Europe. It is also home to one of the most productive clusters of tool, pattern and mould makers in the world. Southern Germany also contains a large number of traditional user industries such as plastic and metal working enterprises and automotive component suppliers.

The formative topics and trends during the four-day trade fair were very clear:
Nothing is preoccupying companies in the industry as much as digitalisation, an area which is posing great challenges for medium-sized enterprises in particular. This is also closely linked to the increasing internationalisation of business processes. During his tour of the trade fair Winfried Kretschmann, Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, underlined the “impressive inventive and creative spirit” of tool, pattern and mould makers, and wished the companies courage on their road to the digital future. “It is easier to connect IT to our industrial world than the other way round. I know that tool, pattern and mould makers are stretched to the limit here, but also that they will achieve this objective.”

The exhibitors at MEX included many important companies who are assuming key roles in digitalisation with their products and services. Trade visitors were also able to obtain an extensive picture of the generative technologies, which are now changing the entire industry, and find out how 3-D technology and additive manufacturing methods can be integrated in their own process chains. Florian Niethammer, Team Director for Moulding Expo at Messe Stuttgart: “A large number of visitors to the trade fair came with specific requirements, even with project drawings, in order to discuss their concerns and problems on the spot with exhibitors. Intensive discussions were held and projects were also concretised right away. This represents something special.”

Exhibitors and visitors both rate MEX as positive
“Key to markets” is the motto of Messe Stuttgart. In the opinion of the exhibitors, this did not promise too much. They regard MEX as the perfect platform for the industry, and all of them awarded the trade fair good marks. Exhibitors unanimously mentioned good and lengthy business discussions. According to Franz Tschacha from the company Deckerform in Aichach, MEX is a “distribution and sales trade fair for German tool makers, which rightly exudes confidence.”
The participants were therefore confident that MEX will become even more relevant for the industry in future. MEX also went down very well with trade visitors: Out of the more than 14,000 visitors, 83 per cent said they would recommend the trade fair to other people while 93 per cent of them already knew that they would come back to the third edition of MEX in 2019.

Meeting point for an international industry network
One important task which was given to the MEX team by the advisory boards was to increase the internationality of the trade fair. “We are on the right track here,” said Niethammer. “The companies in which the visitors work come from Europe and all over the world.“ 31 per cent of exhibitors came from abroad – an increase of 7 per cent.

Theoretical and practical highlights in the extensive accompanying programme
Up to date and compact: first-class speakers provided insights into the important developments from the world of tool, pattern and mould making. “The seminars, talks and workshops were ideal occasions to exchange information, carry out further training and hold constructive discussions on technical topics. Experts from many different business areas in the industry met here,” said Florian Niethammer. Another highlight was the MEX special exhibition on the promotion of young people with detailed information on training and advanced training.

Outlook: after MEX is before MEX
No sooner had MEX 2017 finished at Messe Stuttgart, than the preparations for the third edition of the trade fair started. The trade fair organisers have resolved to continue establishing Moulding Expo as the leading European trade fair for the industry. “We are pleased that our still young trade fair is now already a permanent fixture in the calendar of European tool, pattern and mould makers,” said Ulrich Kromer von Baerle. He also clearly defined the next steps: “MEX 2017 has strengthened our conviction that we are on the right path together with the industry. However, organising trade fairs also means that we must continually develop and learn. We will therefore meet with the advisory board in autumn and determine the key topics and date of Moulding Expo 2019.“