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Open doors at WFL Millturn Technologies for the Technology Meeting
From March 5th to 7th, the WFL headquarter in Linz opens its doors and welcomes visitors and exhibitioners at the Technology Meeting 2024. On three days, you can find out more about the industry’s current trends and developments on an exhibition area of more than 4,000 m². And you get your first-hand WFL experience getting to know the world's leading manufacturer in the field of complete machining. Amongst other things, the focus of the technology meeting will be on the presentation of automation solutions of WFL’s partner and subsidiary FRAI. Visitors can experience the full range of machining possibilities in live demonstrations on machines of all sizes - from the M20 to the M150 MILLTURN.
A special highlight will be WFL’s latest family member: the M20 MILLTURN. With two additional centre distances of two and three meters, it will also be available for longer shaft parts in the future. The application range for the M20 is almost unlimited. It covers demanding and complex machining tasks from the aerospace, automotive, engineering and plastics industries. The optional individual tool carrier with B-axis for turning on the lower system is unique. This means that the machine has two B-axes and machining can be carried out in all required angular positions on both spindles at the same time. Like the upper system, the bottom tool carrier is used on the main and counter spindle. Both B-axes can also be swivelled during a machining operation and interpolated with other axes if required. The machine also masters 5-axis interpolation easily.
MILLTURNs’ Intelligent Machining Solutions
The M80X MILLTURN with 4500mm machining length and 1000mm turning diameter is also presented at the technology meeting and will be equipped with a prismatic tool for grinding and a vibration damped Silent ToolsTM Plus boring bar. Visitors can experience live machining of a gear shaft with 80mm diameter and 1824mm length. During this machining, gearings are manufactured by using WFL Flanx cycles. In the medium-sized series, WFL demonstrates live machining on a Power Generation Shaft and the machining of turbine blades as well as fir tree and generator shaft profiles on a M50 MILLTURN / 3000mm. These are particularly important machining operations in the energy sector that can be easily handled with a MILLTURN.
Since the middle of the year 2023, all machines have been equipped with the new user interface Sinumerik ONE by Siemens. The new machine control impresses with its modern and intuitive design. The integrated SIMATIC S7-1500F PLC allows for PLC cycle times up to 10 times faster than the previous PLC. Sinumerik ONE optimises machining speed, contour accuracy and machining quality with innovative technology functions. It makes machine tools more productive and therefore faster, more flexible and more efficient.
Automatic quick-change system - What's it all about?
QuickChange is the innovative WFL solution for the horizontal complete machining of chuck parts which is based on a high-precision and fully variable clamping system. Depending on the requirements, clamping devices, such as pallets, chucks, clamping mandrels or, if necessary, face drivers, can be changed between machine, clamping unit and temporary storages fully automatically. With this solution, clamping and aligning of the workpiece on the clamping palette is carried out on a vertical, external clamping table or set-up station. The latter is designed as a stable short taper accommodation with high repeatability and is therefore equipped with the same interface as the headstock. The clamping devices, including the workpiece, can be changed automatically. Alternatively, when using clamping chucks, a robot can be used to transfer the workpieces directly to the chuck or the counter spindle. This enables complete 6-sided machining. The advantages of the quick and precise change of the devices including the workpieces are demonstrated on a M80 MILLTURN.
Flanx – WFL Gearing Solutions
From delicate internal gears with high precision requirements to large external gears that require high roughing performance - thanks to years of development and experience, WFL offers a suitable technology solution for every gearing, which brings enormous benefits. WFL Flanx Gearing Solutions include the development of software and hardware solutions for the integration of complete gearing solutions in a WFL machine. Visitors can experience the WFL software cycles Flanx-Hob, Flanx‑Spline, Flanx-Large Module, Flanx-Invo, Flanx-Gear Skiving and Flanx-Measure during live machining operations at the technology meeting.
Flanx-Measure is a cycle package for scanning and measuring all relevant parameters, such as tooth shapes, tooth thickness, pitch or concentricity. With this software essentially all features that need to be measured on a special gear measuring machine, can now be measured directly on the WFL MILLTURN. The results are visualised on the control panel and recorded in a measurement report.
By implementing a wide range of measurement methods, WFL can ensure and improve component quality. The automation of all measurement processes is an essential step towards the realisation of autonomous or semi-automatic production processes. WFL has already scanned profiles and analysed the results in the past and has therefore been able to develop its own special cycles for gearings which can be used to measure the tooth flank profile or the flank line, for example. The measurements are analysed subsequently. The analysis and protocols correspond to the general industry standards for gearing technology. Gearings can therefore be checked and logged after the machining process in accordance with industry standards.
Furthermore, there will be a live demonstration of ultrasonic measurement at the technology meeting. The automatically interchangeable ultrasonic measuring probe enables a fully automatic measuring process. The main advantages are the large measuring range and the automatic and error-proof measuring process. Ultrasonic measurement is ideal for determining and compensating the bore path of very deep centre bores.
Smart Automation Solutions
WFL subsidiary FRAI Robotic Technologies offers comprehensive concepts with gantry robots and robot cells with the greatest possible customer benefit and the highest level of quality. From the initial concept development of an automated system, through realisation and commissioning, to system maintenance, FRAI Robotic Technologies is your partner when it comes to automation solutions. By using innovative developments, they can meet the constantly growing customer-specific requirements with intelligent automation concepts. The combination of FRAI standard components and high-quality purchased elements enables the production of flexible solutions, from small batches to highly productive series production.
At the technology meeting WFL shows the innovative articulated robot in a robot cell, as one of the most flexible automation types for production machines and processes. Regardless of limited access to the machine, complex movement sequences, short cycle times or other additional tasks (deburring, cleaning, orientation, turning, etc.), the articulated robot will always find its way. Its mobility makes it a universally applicable handling system for assembly and machining tasks.
With the focus on automation, another attraction will be the live demonstration of a mobile robot on an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle). Anyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit EMO Hanover, can experience how the robots picks up chuck parts and tools from the warehouse and places them on the AGV live at the technology meeting. An HSK-63 gripper as well as a Baruffaldi tool turret with an EPPINGER QUICKLOCK tool clamping system for automatic tool change at the tool turret are available for tools.
myWFL – Operational Data Acquisition
The presentation of the software for operational data acquisition myWFL Cockpit will be another highlight at the technology meeting. Machine and program states over time, productivity and technical availability are visualised on the machine control, on a PC or on a mobile device using a browser. This means that the user is always perfectly informed about the productivity of the machine.
The energy consumption meter myWFL Energy is integrated in myWFL Cockpit and records the current performance data as well as the energy and compressed air consumption per workpiece. The Condition Monitoring Cycle continuously logs the condition of the axes and spindles during a measuring run. The data is then stored on the machine control. Possible changes can be easily detected and conveniently displayed thanks to the Condition Monitoring Viewer.
With the latest tool called myWFL Health Check, the machine geometry is checked by semi-automatic measurement of the B-axis and tailstock as well as the main and counter spindle. The software also includes cycles and test equipment for measuring and logging the geometry. myWFL Health Check can be used and retrofitted on all machine types and controls, regardless of whether the machine is equipped with a pick-up magazine, a prismatic tool changer or an automatic tool control. The entire programme takes about 25 minutes. Long-term trends can be identified thanks to the integrated measurement data logging.
With myWFL you never lose track of the big picture, and you can exploit the optimisation potential for the smart factory. The software not only has a user-friendly visualisation, but also improves machine utilisation. All data in the production environment is collected and analysed to achieve higher productivity. Shorter production times and a more effective organisation of smart factory processes therefore go hand in hand. A significant advantage.