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Extremely Compact Modular Machine Ideal for Shops Producing Gear Wheels

EMAG is unveiling a world first, a direct development of its modular machines in combination with the new TrackMotion automation system -- the VL 3 DUO.

When you first see the machine, you'll immediately notice how compact it is. "We need just 13 m² (140 sq ft) to install the complete VL 3 DUO," explains Andreas Frank, Product Manager for Modular Standard Machines at EMAG. "For a twin-spindle vertical pick-up turning machine, that is a fantastic size.

Gearbox Parts at a Glance

With its parts ranging up to 150 mm (2 in.) in diameter, the VL 3 DUO is ideal for the manufacturing of gearbox components, for example, machining blanks for gear wheel production. "Gearbox components such as gear wheels must be manufactured in very large quantities. The standard production process is always the same: in OP 10 and OP 20, both sides of the gear wheel blank are machined by a turning process and the surfaces are prepared; the gear cutting process follows in OP 30 and deburring takes place in OP 40," explains Frank.

TrackMotion -- Modern Part Management in the Manufacturing Process

The VL 3 DUO can be fitted with EMAG's TrackMotion automation system as an option. The automation system consists of three central parts, the track (i.e. the rails) on which the TransLift NC gripper runs and the raw parts storage facility. The entire system is very compact and runs directly behind the machining areas of the VL 3 DUO.

The TrackMotion always focuses on the individual component. Each transport process only moves a single component which allows for significant benefits for component management. The increased mobility of the TransLift, including the Z-axis, means that stackable pallets can be used on the raw parts storage facility, making it possible for the raw and finished parts to be stacked with minimal space requirements.

In addition, the TransLift is also used as a changer between the two machining operations. This means that the TrackMotion automation system provides everything required for compact manufacturing on the VL 3 DUO: an extensive parts storage area that accommodates up to 400 parts and a fast, flexible parts transport system between the various manufacturing stations.

Modular Machine with Two Machining Areas

Like every modular machine, the VL 3 DUO has its own parts buffer and a pick-up spindle in each machining area. The TrackMotion automation system loads the individual part pallets on the parts buffer as they shuttle between the loading position near the machining area and the rear section of the machine.

From there, the working spindle takes the raw part, transports it into the relevant machining area and places the part back onto the appropriate pallet after it has been machined. Immediately next to it, the subsequent part is waiting to be picked up by the spindle, so that only a few seconds pass until the next part is being machined.

In addition, each machining area has a tool turret with twelve tool positions which can be fitted with turning tools or driven tools. "The turrets can also be fitted with an additional Y-axis to extend the range of uses of the machine even further," explains Frank.

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