Reduced set-up times with clamping technology
Countless die-cast aluminium parts are processed by companies in Hungary every month and supplied to OEM plants worldwide. One of these suppliers to the automotive and large-scale industry has created a system for workpiece clamping on the machine table with a manufacturer of these systems in order to set up its machines for large series and small series equally quickly.
In cooperation with a specialist for clamping technology, Andreas Maier GmbH & Co. KG, the company has now partly automated 15 machining centres and equipped them with zero-point clamping systems.
The clamping technology eliminates the need to fasten the part with screws, position it using sliding blocks, align it and determine the zero points.
As a result, the supplier has reduced the set-up time for large and small series to such an extent that machine utilisation has increased.
Set-up takes place in parallel with production
The company's series production has to cope with both large and small batches, with quantities of between ten and 15 000 units per week.
"Particularly in the start-up phase of a new product, small-series production requires a quick change of fixtures to keep machine utilisation at a high level," says Gábor Soós, a design engineer at Femalk.
The fixtures are therefore loaded outside the machine room. In this way, the next machining operation can be prepared in parallel. The components are transferred to the machine in a clamped state.
This is the only way to keep the set-up times low, so that the parts, which the 42 die-casting machines cast mainly fully automatically, can be further processed without any major time delay.