While some are always concerned about the Euro crisis and the issues that it is supposed to result in the real economy, others continue to work and to operate their plant as they have always done. This is particularly true for Hermle the German manufacturer of machine tools. Important investments, new products and successful in-house exhibition displaying a record of visitors, attest the success of its strategy.
The C22U Dynamic machining center with the PW 150 pallet loading system. At the foreground the equipment position.
Last year, the company was not only able to realise his second best annual gross sales, but also, in December 2011, the all-time monthly record turnover. This allowed the company to strongly invest in the realization of a new logistics center and in the optimization of the assembly dept. Currently the order backlog is well filled. However, no one is immune to branch-specific short-term fluctuations. But Hermle seems to be able to respond properly and with flexibility.
C 22 U machining center now with Automation
The high performance C 22 U dynamic CNC machining center of Hermle, developed in 2010, can now be fully automated through the PW 150 pallet change system. Specially designed for the dimensions of the parts machined in the C 22, it can handle weights of up to 250 kg, including the pallet. The system consists of an NC controlled drive unit and a turning unit with double gripper. Both units are positioned compactly on the left next to the machine and allow completely free access to the working area of the machine. The pallet changer does not have to be dismounted for transportation, it does not require a floor mounting and is adapted quickly and easily to the machine at the customer’s.
The key feature of the pallet changer is the double gripper which can be used to simultaneously move two pallets in or out with 150 kg transport weight each or, for a one-sided application, one pallet with up to 250 kg transport weight. The maximum workpiece cube has a diameter of Ø 400 mm with a maximum workpiece height of 370 mm.
This corresponds approximately to the workpiece dimensions of the C 22 to be machined. The standard design can handle up to 6 pallets, with the additional storage up to 11 pallets. The side setup station (optionally rotatable) offers ideal conditions for setup in parallel to production time.
Pallet change procedure: The spindle moves to the park position into the tool magazine. The top and the expansion bellows of the left side wall are opened together and therefore provide access to the drive unit/turning unit with adapted double gripper. Meanwhile the double gripper docks with a pallet and moves it through the side access of the machining centre into the working area. The free side of the double gripper docks with and lifts the finished part pallet on the NC swivelling rotary table. Rotated through 180°, both pallets are replaced and the blank pallet is placed on the table. The drive unit/turning unit conveys the finished part pallet into the storage or into the setup station