From one to another!
5-AXIS MILLING OF PRECISION PARTS FOR THE TOOL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The service company µ-Tec GmbH relies on high-performance machining centres from Hermle for the automated 5-axis precision machining of tool, mould and machine components as well as complete injection moulding tools.
The fastest possible time to market is crucial for guaranteeing success and competitiveness in today’s world. The resulting deadline pressure is felt in particular by tool and mould makers. Tools are becoming more and more complex yet still have to be changed and optimised at short notice prior to the market launch. As a service provider, Heribert Quast and Michael Klink saw this as an opportunity to support potential customers in the fields of tool, electrode, prototype and precision parts manufacturing and manufacturers of plastic parts. In 1997, they founded µ-Tec GmbH in Chemnitz/Germany.
Machining centre and automation from a single source
After a somewhat turbulent start, µ-Tec GmbH is now well established. Normally, around 30 qualified employees are involved in the production of individual parts, prototypes, samples and small series in two-shift operation. Depending on the actual machining step and running times, this variety often requires setup processes and program changes. To keep all these processes under control, µ-Tec relies, on the one hand, on the Segoni-PPMS product planning and management system, and, on the other hand, on a comparatively high degree of automation through workpiece handling using robots and pallet changers.
“We saw the need to become even more involved in automated 5-axis machining in order to make maximum use of our capacities, and so we looked for a partner who could supply both the machining centre and the automation from a single source,” explains Heribert Quast, who is responsible for technology and manufacturing. “Compared to other manufacturers, Hermle impressed us throughout the selection process with its solid manufacturing knowledge.”
Performance, precision and 5-axis know-how
After an intensive analysis of the current and future range of parts and requirements, the decision was taken in favour of a 5-axis CNC high-performance machining centre C 42 UP with a PW 850 pallet changer. This machine offers all the prerequisites for universal, flexible 5-axis simultaneous machining in one or just a few setups – from roughing and finishing to hard milling and finishing after surface treatment. In order to be able to carry out these machining operations properly and in a manner that is gentle on the machine and tools in two-shift operation, plus an unmanned third shift, those responsible ordered additional controller functions and machining setups. They allow µ-Tec to adapt the machine dynamics according to accuracy, surface quality and machining speed requirements as well as the machine behaviour to the respective machining task.
The combination of the machine concept, featuring three axes in the tool (X, Y, Z) and two axes in the workpiece (C, A), with the high degree of accuracy and reliability guarantees high-precision and reproducible machining quality. And this ensures the service provider the highest level of performance for its discerning customers.