Speedy machining of motors with fully automatic pallet system

Interlinked portal milling machines for Weichai Power: cutting non-productive time

In order to efficiently produce large numbers of workpieces, modern machine tools are interlinked to form production systems. In these Flexible Manufacturing Systems, the workpieces pass through complex machining stages at the touch of a button. This saves time and – since such systems usually require only a minimum amount of staff – money.

Portal milling machines can be equipped with a pallet transport system for that purpose. When machining engines, these significantly raise the efficiency. In Asia, the demand for such systems is currently on the rise. WaldrichSiegen will deliver two portal milling machines with a shared pallet system to Weichai Power in Weifang, China by the end of this year.

Weichai Power Co., Ltd. is an A + H listed company. It is the only enterprise in China that covers the complete value chain of power systems, heavy vehicles, and automobile electronics and parts. The production of small to middle-sized medium-speed heavy diesel engine pre-series for a broad range of applications is currently being expanded with a focus on maximum efficiency. The two portal milling machines of the type ProfiMill by WaldrichSiegen will be responsible for the fast and precise machining of engine blocks in the future.

As one of the largest manufacturers of smaller and large diesel engines in China, Weichai Power produces very large quantities. With the help of the pallet system that links both machines with each other, these are machined in record time: while two engines are being machined, the remaining four pallets can be set up with the workpieces to be machined next. The pallet management system ensures smooth, automatic transport from the set-up area to the two machines. There, it swaps the pallets. The ProfiMills seamlessly begin to machine the next workpieces. Downtime during set-up is therefore eliminated completely.

Machining engine blocks is a demanding application. The machines apply eight milling units each to this task, one among those respectively suitable for five-axis machining. The tool changers automatically provide up to 320 tools per machine. With this solution, WaldrichSiegen combines a technologically sophisticated machine concept with maximum cost-effectiveness.

The fully automatic pallet system

  1. The two ProfiMills are set up at a distance of approximately 25 m to each other.
  2. A pallet transport car with a specifically developed FMS control (Flexible Manufacturing System) traverses between the two machines.
  3. One workpiece can be set up while the machines are processing other workpieces. This concept significantly accelerates serial production in comparison with conventional machine concepts.

Technical data of the interlinked ProfiMills

  • Clearance between the columns: 2,750 mm
  • Spindle drive: 76 kW
  • Torque: 5,500 Nm

Follow-up order: Weichai Group orders two more ProfiMills

The successful conclusion of this contract was followed by another order: two more portal milling machines will be built in Burbach for Weichai Heavy Machinery Co., Ltd., another member of the Weichai Group. In March 2019, they will be delivered to Weichai and then also start operation in the series production of diesel engines.

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