Technology Days 2018

The intelligent machine concept showcased at the BIMATEC SORALUCE Technology Days

An intelligent machine is built upon practice-oriented and innovative technologies. Based on in-depth research, experience and the requirements of its customers, the company showcased, during its Technology Days in Limburg an der Lahn, Germany, innovative technologies systematically exceeding the existing limits in milling, boring and turning. The developed solutions provide customers with a decisive competitive advantage.

Furthermore, four workshops took place for the more than 500 expected international visitors highlighting the great advantages of the intelligent machine: DAS+® – Elimination of chatter during machining, VSET – Raw part measurement by photogrammetry, Tool management – Reduction of non-productive times, and Easiest operation – Cost savings through ease of use. Moreover, every single one of the 13 SORALUCE machines in the Technology Center showed live demonstrations regarding how to enhance productivity, flexibility and precision. Technology is one side of the intelligent machine, but connectivity solutions were also present in the exhibition to ensure efficient communication and interaction between machines, operators and managers.

Furthermore, BIMATEC SORALUCE participated once again in the “Day of Schools”. High school students from schools in Limburg used this opportunity to have a look behind the scenes of the company through a tour and a presentation to get to know it in detail.

BIMATEC SORALUCE is working on further expanding the company. The mission statement BS2020, which aims to create a new company culture based on teamwork and the achievement of economic goals, is also reflected in the steadily growing workforce. In 2019 it will have over 100 employees. The regional service fleet is also growing and will be expanding from eight to twelve service buses. In addition, 14 technicians will be hired in the area of maintenance and repair and the number of service hotline and training staff will be increased.

 

VSET System – Simplified clamping – time savings for alignment with up to 70 %.

The patented SORALUCE VSET (Virtual Setup) system is used to measure and align raw parts. Reductions in measurement, best fit and alignment processing times are the main characteristics. Large workpieces (larger than one cubic meter) require long, time-consuming and costly measuring and alignment processes. Often enough, the alignment takes longer than the actual machining.
With VSET, the measurement of the workpiece takes place outside the machine via a specially developed photogrammetry technology.

Optical markers and measuring points are placed on the surfaces which are to be machined. The pictures taken of the workpiece are automatically transferred to a laptop using a measurement software which creates a point cloud and compares it with the 3D model of the finished part via best-fit-calculation. Simultaneously a stock removal control to ensure the quality of the workpiece is performed.

So faulty raw parts can no longer- as usual – lead to unnecessary production losses on the machine. Any reworking can be carried out optimally for the machine. Production losses due to pending decisions about reworking (e.g. in the late or night shift) belong to the past.

In addition, the software generates a workpiece clamping plan with detailed information for the machine operator. On request, a measuring program can be generated and transferred to the machine. This program checks if the workpiece is aligned according to the specifications.

The accuracy of this system is 0.05 mm for the first meter of the workpiece length. For each additional meter 0.02 mm are added. For a component with a length of 10 m, the tolerance is therefore only 0.23 mm.

For the raw part measurement this is certainly more than sufficient.

The application and operation is simple and no experienced measurement technicians are needed. The time savings for alignment with up to 70 % is enormous and offers the customer a considerable increase in productivity of the machine.

With this cost-effective and precise measurement of the workpiece outside the machine, the quality of the raw part is validated. Furthermore, by standardizing the alignment process, a significant increase in efficiency becomes apparent.

 

For the first time, milling, turning and “grinding” in one machine

During the Technology Days 2018 BIMATEC SORALUCE presented the new multitasking milling boring centre TA-M with a longitudinal travel of X 3.500 mm and a turning table with Ø of 1.250 mm integrated into the machine table. The integrated turning table can position with high precision or perform turning operations with a speed range of up to 400 rpm.

In conjunction with an automatic indexing milling head, all five sides of complex workpieces are machined in one set up. The SORALUCE T-construction of the milling head clamps the main spindle for higher stability and zero backlash during turning operations. SORALUCE turning cycles enable simple turning of workpieces.

The new SORALUCE grinding package is innovative and transforms the machine into a multitasking talent. The new package from SORALUCE includes innovative grinding cycles for external and internal cylindrical grinding as well as surface grinding using the turning table. The “all inclusive” grinding package also includes an extended coolant supply, special telescopic covers, a dressing unit with corresponding cycles and a balancing unit for the grinding wheel.

Additionally to the high-precision milling and turning operations, workpieces can now be grinded with an accuracy of concentricity less than 0.005 mm, evenness 0.010 mm and a roughness depth less than RA 0,5 using the turning table.

An additional advantage of the machine concept of the TA-M series is the compact design and the installation on a standard industrial floor without foundation.

 

Duplex machining for large parts – Two spindles operating simultaneously

When machining very large machine components and welded constructions for the construction machinery industry more and more frequently SORALUCE floor type milling boring centres are being used in a duplex mode, operating opposite from one another.

The advantages are obvious: By using two spindles simultaneously productivity is increased by 50 %. Compared to portal and gantry multitask centres, the two spindles of SORALUCE duplex floor type milling boring centres are in the longitudinal axis position operating independently from one another. In addition, the horizontal position of the two milling RAMs also allow machining the workpiece from below. As a result, 6-sided machining in one set-up is possible. Further both machines can be used individually for machining complex workpieces.

For maximum efficiency of the duplex machining concept, SORALUCE has developed a duplex package. This package includes the communication of both machines via three control panels, a SORALUCE anti-collision software, permanent synchronization of both machines and unification of machine zero points for highest precision.

The operation is simple. The operator can control and operate both machines from the respective operator’s platform of the other machine through the use of three control panels. A robot tool arena with up to 500 tools and automatic tool management system supplies both machines separately with the necessary tools.

Additionally, the innovative and patented SORALUCE technology DAS+ is used for vibration damping during machining. DAS+ makes it possible that both machines independently and simultaneously carry out roughing or finishing processes on the same workpiece. Production times are greatly reduced since the complete machining of the workpiece is carried out without idle time or machine downtime.

In combination with pendulum machining set-up times are reduced to a minimum. Again, there is a cost and space advantage compared to portal milling machines. The SORALUCE duplex floor type milling boring centres are accessible from the top for easy loading of workpieces from the top and front sides In addition a short longitudinal travel in the X-axis compared to portal milling machines is required. For safety reasons, the wide bridge with a ram (up to 2,500 mm) in portal milling machines must not enter into the second working area.

This issue does not apply to SORALUCE duplex floor type milling boring centres. This reduces the costs for the investment and, of course, space requirements.

A further expansion stage by SORALUCE is the automated workpiece feed via fully automated palletizing systems for low-manpower or unmanned operation of the SORALUCE duplex floor type milling boring centres.

Preview for 2019

SORALUCE opens its fifth plant in March 2019 for the production of large portal and gantry multitask centres. To celebrate the opening the company will organise an “open house” from 18th to 23rd of March 2019 in the Basque Country.

The new plant has a size of 5,000 m² and crane capacity of 80 tons. In total five large portal and gantry multitask centres for the machining of large parts for the automotive industry and mechanical engineering will be presented.

The European brand SORALUCE is characterized by vast experience. Clear evidence of this are the more than 2,500 machines sold worldwide, almost half of them in Germany, a very demanding market. 85% of customers in Germany have more than one SORALUCE machine and trusted SORALUCE products. This is a clear indication of the customer satisfaction.

The German speaking countries, the Netherlands as well as Eastern Europe and even intercontinental customers from China, the United States or Mexica are being managed by BIMATEC SORALUCE.

SORALUCE is part of DANOBATGROUP, the machine tool division of MONDRAGON Corporation, one of the most important holdings in Europe. The DANOBATGROUP has around twenty top-level production plants in Spain, Germany, UK and the United States, as well as its own Research & Development Center with 120 engineers and 24 PhDs. The DANOBATGROUP offers its customers a complete and competitive multi-technology offer and invests 8% of its turnover in further development and research.