“When our capacity has been exhausted, we need to take action immediately. This means that we need equipment as soon as we receive the order. Which is why we will instantly prefer any cog specialist able to deliver in only a short time,” is managing director Hans-Ludwig Ringhoffer’s sober way of explaining why the company has worked closely with the Emag Group for many years.
Kohlberg in Baden-Württemberg is well-prepared with its five Koepfer CNC gear hobbing machines, models 200 and 300 (totalling eight together with the conventional machines), and its four Emag standard vertical turning lathes, models VL 3 and VL 5. Its most recent acquisition, the Koepfer gear hobbing machine 300, can realise all gearing tasks imaginable up to module 4. The machine has nine axes which can be activated, and due to its mineral-concrete base with roller bearing on linear axes is viewed as extremely thermally stable.
The decision-makers at Ringhoffer were sure that the machine would have the right tailstock and main spindle rigidity for the highest tension and processing forces. Automation is especially important at Kohlberg, which applies the following principle: Full productivity can only be achieved if different machines are used. And all conversion processes must be possible within no more than one hour. Understandably so - because most orders are not for large series but for lots of between 50 and 500 items across a broad range of variations. The fact that all Koepfer machines can be set up that quickly and easily is due to the fact that all the requirements of gearing specialists are implemented when the machines are developed. For instance, the tension problem was solved together.
All special Koepfer features were used for the highlights
More specifically, at Ringhoffer, a special developed tension concept was to be translated to the gearing machines. For this, the base body needed to be adapted. In addition, a special type of manual loading was required. Otherwise, the standard supply quantity of the machines for 50 to 100 items depending on the lengths of the components was sufficient. For the highlights, nearly all special Koepfer features available were used, such as skive hobbing or automated centering. As demonstrated by the company Ringhoffer, set-up times can not only be achieved with an individualised automation layout but also using intelligent manufacturing control. As a result, for instance the hard clamping jaws for rough cutting normally remain in the machine and finishing is performed on a different machine.
From: Trade magazine “NC-Fertigung”
Online source: http://www.industrieforum.net