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VL 2 Vertical LatheMachine Tools - VL 2 Vertical Lathe
38800 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
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July 2013 - Nowadays, everywhere you turn in an industrial production environment you encounter the expression "downsizing," where the term describes infinitely more than just the scaling down of the passenger car engine and its displacement. There is also a change in the direction the production of electric motors and pumps for the energy industry and for general mechanical engineering is taking, with constituent components getting smaller and smaller. However, the trend towards downsizing increases demands for greater precision and that makes the manufacture of small components a real challenge."Shrinking" components and new smaller components present a particularly complex task for the mechanical engineering companies that manufacture them. One kind of machine used to master the task is shown by the turning specialists at EMAG with the VL 2. This vertical turning machine represents a new platform for automated, high-precision production processes and low component costs in the manufacture of small chucked components.
The EMAG VL2 machine opens up new opportunities for the machining of a wide range of small chucked components. Small gear wheels, planetary gears, sliding sleeves, pump components, synchronizer rings, chain gears or flange components, with a maximum diameter of 100 mm and a length of up to 150 mm, are machined on a vertical pick-up lathe with great efficiency. The machine design focuses on providing a variety of manufacturing technologies for soft and hard machining plus a complete automation system at a very favorable price-performance ratio. When developing the VL 2, EMAG had its eyes fixed firmly on the investment costs for the user and the fact that those costs should be kept as low as possible.
This comparatively small, space-saving manufacturing solution also includes a number of details and high-tech components that guarantee fast processing: The pick-up spindle ensures that the machine loads itself. It picks up the raw parts from the integral conveyor belt (which accommodates up to 24 workpieces) and later returns the finish machined component to it. The 12-station tool turret features very short indexing times. For drilling and milling operations, it can also be equipped with driven tools in all 12 stations. All service units are quickly and freely accessible. The distance between operator and turret, for instance, does not exceed 400 mm. The machine base of polymer concrete MINERALIT ensures great stability and has outstanding damping qualities, a direct source for exceptional surface finishes.
"We wanted to design a machine that guaranteed the highest possible degree of productivity in the manufacture of small components and we have been very successful in that pursuit with our VL 2. Here, too, size is of great importance. The machine's compact construction ensures that the chip-to-chip times are kept low," explains Guido Hegener, Managing Director of EMAG Salach Maschinenfabrik GmbH.
Productivity levels on the VL 2 are approximately 15 percent higher than those of comparable automated horizontal turning machines, according to Hegener. When talking about component quality, one needs to consider another central and very typical EMAG design factor besides the sturdy machine base: namely, the alignment of all process-related components inside the machine. Work spindle and workpiece are both located above the tools. This guarantees the optimal flow of chips and prevents the formation of clusters, offering a maximum of consistent process integrity, also an important factor where a link-up of multiple VL 2 machines in a work center or transfer line is envisioned. The automation equipment is positioned to suit user requirements, an optimal precondition for the use of the machine in production lines.
"The VL 2 is designed for flexibility," continues Guido Hegener. "The technology, from automation to interfaces and control system, can be chosen to suit onsite conditions."
It is, for instance, possible to include an optional Y-axis or measuring probe. Where, on the basic machine, the work spindle is mounted on a compound slide that moves in X and Z, the VL 2 can also be equipped with an optional Y-axis inside the turret. This allows more efficient machining of highly complex geometries. Low component costs, stable processes, high component quality and an optimal price-performance ratio altogether. it should not come as a surprise that, with such a value proposition, the turning specialists at EMAG are predicting an exceptional market opportunity for this new machine platform.
"We are convinced that this solution will be well received and used for a number of different applications in different market places. The machine represents a complete, highly efficient manufacturing solution that is displaying its strengths both at new production facilities in the emerging Asian markets, as well as at existing production facilities in Europe and the USA. The technology allows us to pinpoint, optimize and expand the machining of small chucked components, as required. And those advantages are sure to prevail in the market place," concludes Guido Hegener.
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