WFL Millturn Technologies is a young company, but the roots go back even further to 1948 when the large steel company Voest Alpine in Linz, Austria developed the first turning lathe. The machine concept was very successful and a multitude of machines were produced, much more than the demand on the own steelworks was and long before a machine tool company was formed.
Already in the 1980’s the first NC controlled lathe with a milling head and a true B-axis made it possible to produce highly complex parts in one set-up. With this innovative design, the first MILLTURN machine concept was developed and brought to market. Big challenges were in the control and programming, but with hard work, skills and plenty of stubbornness and also the clear vision to develop a real multi-tasking machine, the foundation for an entirely new machine type had been made. In 1993, after the company Voest Alpine was privatised, the machine tool division was sold to the German Industrial Group of Dr. Rothenberger with Dr. Helmut Rothenberger as an active and highly involved owner until this day. WFL Millturn Technologies started off with about 70 employees and managed to successfully penetrate the market with its innovative multi-functional machining concept.
WFL Millturn Technologies in 2019
Today WFL is a global technology leader and the only company focussing on complete machining with a full range of MILLTURN machines. The possibilities for machining complex parts up to very big components are endless and more than twenty different machining methods can be performed.
The machines are built in modules and there is a very flexible choice for customers to design the machines to their specific needs. WFL works in close cooperation with their customers and together the most difficult machining tasks are being solved. A tremendous journey has been made in 25 years and today WFL is one of the most respected machine tool companies on the market. The product itself and the advanced software solutions together with the expertise in manufacturing is highly appreciated. Enormous success has been accomplished in high-technology niches like the aerospace industry, compressor rotors or other complex components in other challenging applications. Also contractors, which need high flexibility and versatility, represent a strong customer base. The WFL unique system tooling has been developed to further enhance performance and strong efforts are now made to expand this offering as well.
At the headquarters in Linz, upper Austria, around 500 proud employees continue to build the concept of complex machining and set out a journey to take the next step in providing the highest value to customers in producing premium components. The global footprint includes branch offices with technical sales, technology support and service in the USA, Germany, China, Brazil and Russia. Further branch office establishments are ongoing.
WFL Millturn Technologies for Gear Manufacturing
The MILLTURN design concept is very robust and rigid with a massive cast iron bed. The main spindle as well as the high precision turning-boring-milling unit are extremely powerful. Gear manufacturing are all about keeping high quality demands, profile accuracy and reliability. Standard gear manufacturing in the traditional way is not flexible. The industry is demanding higher flexibility and shorter lead-times for everything that is not mass-production. This is where WFL Millturn Technologies comes into play. The MILLTURN concept offers the needed quality demands in combination with the highest possible flexibility. WFLs gearing solutions bring enormous gains and are a result of many years of development together with leading customers and partners.
Benefits due to a WFL MILLTURN and 5-axis machining:
- Simplified operation due to sophisticated and simple-to-use software
- Combination of highest flexibility, high productivity and precision
- All gear machining operations and all other machining tasks are covered in one machine
- Standard tools can be used for many of the gear machining operations
- Significant reduction of lead-time (drawing to ready component)
- In-machine measuring (including gear profile scan)
- Spur gears, helical gears, sprockets, splines and bevel gears covered
To support an efficient and easy manufacturing, many software options are available. The software CrashGuard Studio is for programming and simulation, FLANX is the family of machining cycles for gear features and in collaboration with Sandvik Coromant WFL can offer the highly sophisticated CAD/CAM solution InvoMillingTM by Sandvik Coromant.
This Knowhow will bring benefit to the customer and help to transfer the traditional machining into flexible and COMPLETE machining of gears.
All methods available in one single machine
The methods are supported by specific software cycles under the FLANX umbrella. Hobbing, Skiving, Profile Milling, InvoMillingTM and Gear Skiving are all available. In addition, the highly sophisticated InvoMilling CAD/CAM software can be offered due to a collaboration with Sandvik Coromant. With these manufacturing methods, virtually all machining challenges for gear manufacturing can be covered. Moreover, the possibility of measuring the gears in the machine improve the efficiency and reduce risk of error.
Machining of parts with gear or spline features does not mean any compromise compared with conventional machining using a gear hobber. Very tight quality demands will be kept and the possibility to machine all tasks in a single set-up gives major advantages when it comes to lead-times. Switching to 5-axis machining together with standard cutting tools, applying flexible methods such as InvoMillingTM enable floor-to-floor time to a fraction of what is common practice today.
Gear Manufacturing is going through big changes due to the high demands of the industry to improve flexibility and reduce lead-times at maintained or even improved quality.
WFL Millturn Technologies with the machines, software and high manufacturing expertise can offer very strong and productive solutions for components with integrated gear- or spline machining features.