Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AGMaschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG

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Highly automated production of hydraulic parts


The strategic switch from subcontracting parts manufacture to the in-house production of high-quality hydraulic components using Hermle machining centers has proved highly successful for the Italian hydraulic specialist Vivoil Oleodinamica Vivolo.

The move to 5 axis technology

The recipe soon proved its worth, but success was hampered time and again because the subcontractors did not maintain quality requirements or could not fulfill the delivery schedules or react flexibly enough. This led to the decision to start manufacturing within the company, the construction of a new building in 2005 and investment in 5 axis processing: In keeping with the need for high performance and machining precision, the decision was taken in favor of a Hermle C 30 U. This was quickly followed by another C-series Hermle machine, a C 40 U, and the dam was broken: a second C 30 U machining center came in 2008, together with the integration of the two C 30 Us via an RS 2 workpiece magazine and robot handling system. The machining centers, 630 mm diameter NC swiveling rotary tables and an additional tool magazine with 87 locations provided the basis for flexible usage and scheduling in an integrated system with fully automated workpiece handling: Flexible series production for orders and batches as well as individual parts and prototypes can be scheduled at will.

The high-speed route towards automation

The continued expansion of the business demanded further investments: This time the shopping list contained a C 30 U, 5 axis/5 side machining center for complete production, supplemented by an RS 05 workpiece magazine and robot handling system. Also, a pre-assembly pressing-in system with robotic feed-in was integrated into the system. As Domenico

Vivolo puts it: "Our experience with the Hermle machining centers and the turnkey solutions for robot integration was so good that we wanted to implement this combined, single-manufacturer processing and assembly system as well. The experienced and committed Hermle engineers were always there to help, so we were able to design, project, install and commission the complex plant together."

Everything according to plan

"Previously, our subcontractors needed nine milling machines for fewer products and corresponding quantities, whereas today the two robot-aided production systems and the Hermle C 40 U machining center can cope with a considerably larger variety of parts in widely varying quantities," says Domenico Vivolo. "We need only three appropriately qualified experts to program and operate the machines. The rest runs automatically according to plan."

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