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tretter10417Success Story

FMB 21 Hall, Booth A16

For a fully automatic modular machine from Philipp Hafner, which, among other things, performs measuring, assembly and marking tasks, the new ones come Lifting rotary modules from Dr. Tretter for use. These perform linear, rotary and positioning movements in a compact unit. Because the designers can build extremely slim with it, the machine works very dynamically. Users achieve fast clock rates and high energy efficiency.

Philipp Hafner GmbH & Co. KG from the Swabian town of Fellbach near Stuttgart is one of the leading manufacturers of customized production measurement technology. The family-run company can look back on a successful 90-year company history. "The requirements for measuring technology have increased significantly in recent years," summarizes Ulla Böhringer, Managing Partner at Philipp Hafner GmbH & Co. KG. "Especially in the automotive industry, the tolerances in the components are becoming ever closer, and at the same time the variety of variants of the workpieces is increasing."

tretter20417The core competence of the Swabians lies in the tactile measurement of tightly tolerated workpieces: The machines precisely record the geometry of three-dimensional parts. This is required, among other things, for controlled production processes. The peculiarity is that these systems are not available to customers in air-conditioned measuring rooms, but are integrated directly into production lines. This means that they must reliably perform their work even in the event of temperature fluctuations or soiled surfaces, because even the slightest deviation from the permissible values ‚Äč‚Äčcan significantly disrupt the processes or cause damage. The majority of users come from the automotive industry. This means that the components to be measured can be found in critical areas, such as in the steering, in axles, in the engine, in the entire drivetrain and even in the wheels in the wheels.

At the Fellbach location Philipp Hafner employs about 120 employees. They develop the machines, assemble them and put them into operation - always in close cooperation with the users. "For fully automated systems, the throughput times can be six to twelve months," explains Ulla Böhringer. As a rule, these are individual solutions, more rarely also small series. The majority goes to users in Germany, up to 30% abroad -Tendenz rising. Internationalization is playing an increasingly important role for the company.

Fast work processes required

"What sets us apart?" Ulla Böhringer does not have to think twice about that. "We have a very high level of consulting expertise and can develop systems that exactly meet the wishes and requirements of our customers." This also includes a new concept of a fully automatic system - especially for pistons in internal combustion engines. In addition to measuring it, it can also mount piston rings, bolts and circlips, as well as weigh the plungers, label them with ink or laser and finally test them using camera technology.

"Because this is not a classic special machine for production metrology, we are using this system to achieve an innovative new development," explains Tim Eissele, project manager for construction at Philipp Hafner. The development consists of a transport system with workpiece carriers that is up to 100 m long. This unit connects individual stations, which the user can customize according to his requirements and, if required, can be extended at any time. The project manager takes a workpiece carrier, places it on the conveyor belt and places the component on it, namely a piston for an automobile manufacturer. "The customer expects a high processing quality in an extremely short time," he says and starts one of the stations.

The workpiece carrier is pulled by the transport system into the station via a feeder unit and docked there. A recording moves from below through a hole through it and raises the piston until it reaches the mounting position for each piston ring. "The system not only heats the workpiece to the appropriate height," explains Tim Eissele. "Depending on which station it is, it must also be positioned in a certain angular position or rotated by 360 degrees."

Keyword: Downsizing

tretter30417"Whether the respective station now assembles, measures or carries out other steps, the movements must be quick and dynamic in order to be able to fulfill the required clock rates," explains Tim Eissele. While researching suitable components that can perform these movements, the design engineers came across the new hub-turning modules of its supplier Dr. Ing. Tretter from the just 40 km away Rechberghausen. In the case of the modules, the spindle forms a unit together with the torque shaft. This allows them to implement both separate and combined motion sequences such as positioning, linear and rotary movements. "For translation and rotation, conventional solutions generally require at least two elements," says Holger Schmidt, Technical Sales at Dr. Ing. Petter, who looks after Philipp Hafner in this project.

For example, a linear guide converts the vertical movement, a spindle axis the horizontal movement, a rotary bearing takes over the rotation. "In addition: The number of components would take up much more space with a conventional system and the drives would have to be designed accordingly to be able to move the mass quickly," says Tim Eissele, while the stroke-turn modules require little space and space Due to the lower weight, the drives can be dimensioned significantly smaller, enabling designers to implement very dynamic applications, especially in automation technology, while at the same time achieving position-accurate motion sequences.

Lift-turn module for dynamic processes

"We have expanded our range of torque ball bushings and shafts with the hub-turning modules," explains Holger Schmidt. "These units transmit with simultaneous translation torques and can support them." The manufacturer technology partner combines a ball screw with a torque bush. As with the ball screw, a helical groove is ground on a solid shaft. In addition there are four longitudinal grooves as in the torque shaft. On this shaft two rotatably mounted flange nuts are arranged. One nut assumes the function of a ball screw nut, the other that of a torque bushing. Both are each driven by a servo motor by means of a toothed belt. If only the spindle nut is driven, a pure lifting movement of the shaft takes place and the piston is raised. If both nuts are driven synchronously, the result is a pure rotary movement of the spindle.

High clock rates and extremely service-friendly

tretter40417In order to implement the various motion profiles, only one shaft is required for the lift / turn modules. If this is designed as a hollow shaft, the energy supply can be easily passed. "With the lifting / turning modules, we have created a standardized possibility for this system to feed components from the workpiece carrier to the individual processing cells," says Tim Eissele. This contributes significantly to achieve the required high clock rates.

Another major advantage for the project manager is the better accessibility during maintenance work. Compared to conventional solutions, the lift / turn module is slimmer and lighter. Elaborate mechanism is eliminated. That also increases security. "All we have is a spindle that goes up and down and turns - uncritical in terms of mass," stresses Tim Eissele. "If the construction weighed several kilograms, it would have to be adequately secured."

More than just delivered

To be able to develop such economic and future-oriented solutions, suppliers such as Dr. Philipp Hafner Petter very important. "Not only do we get decisive impulses, we can also design more efficiently," says Ulla Böhringer. Suppliers expect speed and reliability. For this the mechanical engineer needs partners whom he can rely on. To Dr. Tretter sets the specialist for over two decades. He appreciates the high quality of the products. Another advantage is the proximity. And because the lift-turn modules are particularly economical, costs are saved. This leads to a price reduction compared to the conventional solution.
Picture above: Pistons of a car manufacturer: The new modular system by Philipp Hafner mounts, measures or identifies the component.

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