EMAG’s compact production line for gear manufacturing consists of just three machines, all from the EMAG modular series, demonstrating the flexibility and performance capacity of this series. The VL 3 Duo, a dual-spindle vertical turning machine, the VL 4 H, the vertical hobbing machine, and the chamfering and deburring machine VLC 100 RC — are examples of EMAG’s manufacturing solutions that take up little space and offer maximum performance. The EMAG’s TrackMotion automation solution highlights the company’s commitment to providing manufacturing systems from a single source.
The EMAG modular series has experienced considerable growth of various machine types since its introduction. In addition to the vertical pickup turning centers for shaft and chucked parts, EMAG offers the entire range of chip-making machining techniques with this innovative machine solution: turning, milling, drilling, hobbing, deburring, grinding, hard turning, and scroll-free turning.
The basic structure of the machines always remains the same, with one common machine base made from low-vibration Mineralit® polymer concrete, where the compound slide rest for the pickup spindle is fastened. There is also an integrated parts storage unit, from which the spindle automatically loads and unloads itself, as well as a tool turret with 12 tool positions, or appropriate tool systems for the other manufacturing techniques. This has created a coordinated family of products with machines that can be easily interlinked with TrackMotion to form complete production lines.
The TrackMotion automation system is the logical progression of the modular machine principle. It works in a kind of symbiosis with the modular machines, with the individual components working together so that the interlinked production line is more like one single large machine than a system of separate machines plus automation. The modular machines feature a “tunnel” directly behind the work area, made by separating off the energy container. A track is laid through this tunnel for an NC gripper, which transports the parts to their destinations. As each of the modular machines has its own pickup automation system, the TrackMotion only transports the parts between the parts storage units in the individual machines. The gripper system also features a Z-axis, allowing the parts to be picked up and placed on stacker pallets. This three-dimensional parts storage makes it possible to house an extremely high number of raw and finished parts (up to 400) in a small space. This automation system also turns the parts over between the operations.
The modular machines are not only extremely versatile, but also extremely productive, as the technologies, the automation, and the timing are all coordinated. However, because sometimes even more is required, EMAG developed the VL 3 Duo in order to boost productivity even further. It houses two full work areas in one machine, each complete with its own working spindle and the proven EMAG tool turret. The machine is ideal for machining gear blanks for the manufacture of transmissions, with an ability to handle parts up to a diameter of 150 mm (5.9 inches). When combined with the TrackMotion automation system and the parts storage unit with stacker pallets, fully automatic machining of both sides of a gear blank can be performed on just one machine in little time. Due to the pickup automation system, there is virtually no idle time, and the 12-post tool turret provides enough room for twin tools, ensuring continuous operation and high availability.
As soon as the gear blank is produced on the VL 3 Duo, it’s immediately transported to the VL 4 H hobbing machine. With the VL 4 H, EMAG has developed a hobbing machine that can be configured for a multitude of applications. The high-performance drives used in the working spindle and hob provide high speeds and torques to ensure fast, precise, and cost-optimized gear production. The machine allows dry hobbing of workpieces with diameters up to 200 mm (7.87 inches) and module 4 — ideal for gear manufacturing. As is the case after every gear-cutting operation, hobbing on the VL 4 H poses the question as to how the tooth profile can be chamfered with the highest contour accuracy. The vertical VLC 100 RC chamfering machine can be equipped with the relevant technology to suit every requirement.
Even though this manufacturing system has a minimal footprint, it has huge output volumes and high machining quality.