Mapal tools boost auto parts machining

As an internationally operating supplier to the automotive industry, Neapco is receiving an increasing number of enquiries for electric vehicle components.

A current electric vehicle project the company is undertaking is a drive shaft, which has been supported with cutting tools from Mapal.
Located in Düren in the North Rhine-Westphalia area in Germany, the company relies on Mapal ball-nose milling cutters for hard machining the outer face of the constant velocity joint of drive shafts.
Production of the latest line of drive shafts started at the beginning of 2018, and the volume will be as high as 35,000 units in 2019. “We use the ball nose milling cutters from Mapal to machine the ball raceways of what is known as the bell or axle spindle, for which strict tolerances are specified,” says Ahmet Simsek, who is in charge of tool management at the Neapco plant in Düren.
It is important that this drive shaft joint transmits the torque with as little influence on the steering as possible, even in the case of large working angles on the drive gears of front-wheel drive vehicles. This is why all requirements regarding quality, dimensions and surface qualities must be observed in a process-consistent manner. For example, the contact angle must be within a tolerance of ±5°.
Machining of the forged axle spindles on an EMAG VSC 250 Twin machining centre is assisted by the tool, which has four soldered PcBN blades to remove between 0.2 and 0.4 mm of material. The tool is connected to the tool holder via Mapal’s own HFS connection (Head Fitting System).
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Milling cutter for low-power machines

Seco’s new Double Quattromill 14 cutter allows manufacturers with lower horsepower machines to maximise their face-milling operations.

Products/Milling/Milling cutters/Face Mills/Double Quattromill

Double Quattromill 14 uses double-sided inserts with eight cutting edges for cost effectiveness and increased depths of cut in roughing, semi-finishing and finishing operations.
Double Quattromill 14 has been designed as a smaller version of the company’s Double Quattromill 22, which is suitable for large machines with higher horsepower and torque capabilities.
Seco’s Double Quattromill 14 comes in 45° and 68° lead-angle versions for depths of cut up to 6 and 8 mm respectively. With the 45° angle version, which aids set ups using weak or unstable fixturing, better chip thinning and higher feed rates are provided. The 68° angle cutter reaches high depths of cut with the same size inscribed circle on the insert as the 45° angle tool, but with better clearance to avoid sidewalls or part fixturing. Different to inserts on standard tangential-type face mills, the Double Quattromill 14 offers lower cutting forces. This factor extends tool life and decreases machine power consumption, reducing strain on the machine. The Double Quattromill 14 cutter bodies come in fixed-pocket and cassette styles, with standard or close pitch (in metric or inch versions). Seco has also applied its latest surface texture technology to the flute surfaces of the cutter body, a feature that helps improve chip control and evacuation, as well as durability. Double Quattromill 14 cutters can be accompanied by three insert ranges with various edges and grade options.
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Kasto offers on-site warehouse build

Kasto, the German manufacturer of computer controlled, multi-level systems for automatically storing and retrieving material in stockholding operations and factories, has introduced a new service whereby it will produce parts of its Unicompact system at customer premises.

The only prerequisites are sufficient space, a crane and a 400 V, three-phase electricity supply. On-site production is available in the UK and Ireland through Kasto’s subsidiary in Milton Keynes. The option is economically viable for medium- to large-capacity storage systems.
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Automation unveiled for fibre lasers

LVD has introduced automation offerings for its Phoenix FL 4020 and Phoenix FL 6020 large-format fibre laser cutting machines, including options for an automated load/unload system and a range of Compact Tower (CT-L) solutions.

The load/unload automation system available for Phoenix 4020 and 6020 fibre-laser models handles maximum sheet sizes of 4000 x 2000 mm (Phoenix FL 4020) and 6000 x 2000 mm (Phoenix FL 6020), and material thicknesses from 0.8 to 25 mm. Fast process cycle times are offered for complete loading and unloading: 65 seconds for Phoenix FL 4020 and 90 seconds for the Phoenix FL 6020.
LVD’s latest load/unload system is of robust construction to handle large pallets. Unprocessed material can be stacked to a height of 159 mm, while finished parts can be stacked as high as 240 mm. The system features a streamlined design that enables users to access the raw material and easily remove the unload pallet from above.
In addition, the Phoenix FL 4020 is available with six different versions of Compact Tower (CT-L) for loading, unloading and storage of raw material and finished parts. The CT-L enables automated production from stored raw material to stacked, cut parts in a compact, small footprint system.
CT-L versions for the Phoenix FL 4020 include a basic system with one tower in 5, 10 or 14-pallet configurations, as well as a two-tower CT-L system for high-volume applications. The second tower adds nine pallets to the CT-L 5, 14 pallets to the CT-L 10 and 18 pallets to the CT-L 14. Each input and output pallet has a capacity of up to 3000 kg and 240 mm of stacking height. Maximum sheet dimensions are 4095 x 2055 mm, 20 mm thickness.
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Extra productivity with Kerf

To help Dungannon-based BSK Engineering serve a growing number of customers in the quarrying sector, the company has been busy investing in cutting technology.

Commenting upon the 2012 arrival of its first Kerf plasma cutting machine, a 3 x 1.5 m RUR2000P, managing director Barry Kerr says: “When buying our first machine, we looked at three suppliers. We also considered what other local companies were buying, and they were all investing in Kerf, and the feedback we had from them was extremely positive.”
From 2012 to 2016, BSK Engineering was repeatedly turning away larger scale quarry work, so the company opted to invest in its second Kerf machine in August 2017, an RUR3000P plasma cutting machine with a Lincoln Electric Spirit II 275 amp UltraSharp plasma-cutting system. The 8 x 2.5 m bed machine provided the much needed capacity for cutting quarry parts, such as 7 x 2 m screen slides.
BSK almost doubled its turnover from £600,000 in 2015 to £1.1m in 2017. With two machines running 24 hours a day and operating at weekends, the company needed a third machine – and Kerf duly obliged. In August 2018 the third Kerf machine arrived, another 8 x 2.5 m RUR3000P with a Lincoln Electric Spirit II 275 amp UltraSharp plasma-cutting system.
“We bought the third Kerf machine to alleviate the capacity issue and move from 24-hour production to single-shift manufacture,” says Kerr. “We have grown our staff from 3 to 15, and our turnover has almost quadrupled to £2m in just three years. It is the reliability and service of Kerf that has given us the confidence to grow, while ensuring we can still meet the short lead-times required by our customers.”
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