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WerkTage: Clear stance on complete machining and “Lifetime Productivity”

Machining centres must be able to meet current requirements and also provide the capability to be used efficiently, flexibly and productively throughout their complete life cycle. This clear stance taken by HELLER was also the focus of the 2015 WerkTage event under the heading “Lifetime Productivity”. With a total of six machining centres in operation, engaging panel discussions and guided plant tours, the Nürtingen-based machine tool manufacturer put on an impressive display of how to create, live and assure quality.

HELLER WerkTage 2015

More than 800 visitors from 20 countries came to Nürtingen to catch up on the latest proven and innovative solutions. The event held from 17 to 19 June 2015, met with keen interest by visitors, including a growing number of guests from eastern European countries, including Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Croatia or Poland.

HELLER's DNA was in the spotlight again this year: productivity, economic efficiency and above all, flexibility, with a focus on complete machining. This was highlighted by the full spectrum of machining centres for 4-axis, 5-sided and simultaneous 5-axis machining and complete machining, using practice-oriented machining examples.

HELLER presented below-the-centre-axis machining of complex shapes on 5-axis mill/turning centre model CT 6000, milling and turning to the limits on model CP 4000 and pre-machining and finishing of a swing shaft on model CP 8000 to demonstrate “Combined Processing”, uniting productivity and precision.

Panel discussions with users, however, revealed the diverse requirements in practical application. Hansgrohe SE, the world's leading manufacturer of mixers and showers, presented the topic “4-axis machining centres providing high availability and flexibility for the manufacture of products guaranteeing ultimate bathing pleasure and relaxation”. Whilst in 1995, for example, Hansgrohe produced 60 different varieties of mixers in high volumes; the company now manufactures 250 varieties, with batch sizes varying between 100 and 1,500 pieces. Smaller batch sizes and a significantly increased product variety are the determining factors at the company's production facilities in Schiltach. The company operates six HELLER machining centres model H 2000 which according to the people responsible are ideally suited for the company's product portfolio and manufacturing strategies. Robust design of axes and adequately equipped basic machines, featuring a tool magazine with 80 storage places is what makes them ideal. This allows to introduce a wide range of new product varieties during ongoing production. Although stability and high chip removal rates are not a priority at the production facilities in Schiltach, the operations often require machining at upper solid angles for which stable conditions are mandatory.

The discussions with Power-Hydraulik GmbH based in Sulz/Neckar focused on the topic of “Innovative and reliable machining of hydraulic manifolds with demanding cutting values”. According to Managing Director Carina Schlagenhauf, complete machining has come to play a key role in the hydraulic industry: “There is an unmistakable trend towards complete solutions in our industry. In recent years, it has become apparent that an expansion of the product range results in increased competitiveness. To create additional capacities, for instance, we significantly intensified our efforts to increase productivity, process dependability and flexibility in manufacturing. In order to meet the demands, you need to provide the necessary know-how and experience as well as the right equipment. That is why it is important to know the machines' capabilities and performance limits in order to create additional capacities.”

ELHA-MASCHINENBAU Liemke KG based in Hövelhof shares this opinion. As a machine manufacturer, they may have a slightly different view on manufacturing, yet in terms of requirements the company agrees with the users: “Stability and precision are requirement criteria for the technically optimal 5-axis solution.” That is why the company invested in a HELLER machining centre model MCH 350-C for the manufacture of multi-spindle heads. Experience has shown them that the machine enables precise roughing and finishing at a quality level comparable to that of a jig boring machine.

Expertise combined with transparency

Whether it is honing on machining centres using the integrated HELLER out-facing head, power and torque for the most demanding heavy-duty cutting applications or the perfect surface finish with 5-axis simultaneous finishing, the verdict of the guests attending WerkTage in Nürtingen was unanimous: it was a worthwhile journey. The supporting programme was complemented by guided plant tours with insights into application assembly, manufacturing and sub-assembly installation, large-part manufacturing and final assembly of machining centres.

The focus was on HELLER's newly set up component repair centre and the 5-axis machining centre model FP 16000, which will be put into operation in manufacturing shortly. Last but not least, one of the tours focused on qualification, education and advanced training and the presentation of HELLER's “new” ProfiTrainer, a fully functional faithful model of a CNC controlled machine tool. The event was rounded off by varied supporting events and an exhibition by numerous automation partners and financial service providers. As a result, HELLER WerkTage 2015 proved to be a great experience for the international visitors who were able to witness first-hand how HELLER is creating, living and assuring quality.

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