Collaboration between machine tool manufacturer HURCO and suppliers of automated loading systems has resulted in higher productivity and greater returns. Automated loading enables capacity expansion in individual piece and small series production without a need for additional personnel to operate the machines. Loading robots can also be deployed in unmanned shifts or on weekends.

Pliening near Munich, Germany, March 2019: Automation solutions from HURCO offer an opportunity to successfully address the growing lack of specialists, particularly for manufacturing SMEs. Specialists can be deployed for more demanding tasks when robots assume the loading and unloading of CNC machines. This leads to a reduction in unit costs and more efficient deployment of personnel.

“We are collaborating with various automatic loading system providers”, reports Michael Auer, Managing Director of HURCO Germany. “This allows us to satisfy a wide variety of process requirements and enable our customers to enjoy a sustainable path to increased productivity at the same manufacturing quality.” In practice this means: HURCO informs its customers about suitable automation solutions on the market, such as EROWA, BMO Automation or ZeroClamp, and supports them during implementation. This can even include using the DNC interface to integrate a machine tool into an existing process control system. Its software thus takes on the organizational tasks and processes production orders via the connected machining centers in accordance with the program.

Possibility of combination with different loading systems

The practical application example respectively shows an EROWA Robot Compact 80 or the BMO Titanium robot operating two CNC machining centers docked to the right and left of loading system. The pieces to be machined are fed into the robot cell on trays.

The robotic arm integrated within the cell positions these one at a time in the HURCO machining center and removes them after completion to deposit them back into trays in the cell. The new Zerobot® loading robot from ZeroClamp additionally replaces tools and grippers in a flexible manner during a manufacturing process. “All that remains for the operator is the programming of the machine tool and the loading of the shelves in the cell,” explains Auer. Like many contract manufacturers, Managing Director of MAL Metall- und Anlagenbau Lemke GmbH Peter Lemke sees the automation of individual production steps as the only option for meeting good demand for orders despite a lack of personnel. “We have been wringing our hands for some time now in our search for machining mechanics”, is how he describes the situation. “The integration of a loading robot enables us to operate a second or third shift without personnel.”

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

HURCO reliably supports operators in optimizing machining procedures.

Pliening (near Munich), Germany, November 2018: The easy-to-operate Max 5 control system and the solid model import option from HURCO make 5-axis milling easier for operators.

Overall, HURCO offers a service package that helps operators quickly attain production optimization in 5-axis milling, even if they are beginners.

“Operators who want to produce highly complex components on a regular basis should not shy away from investing in a 5-axis machine,” recommends Sebastian Herr, Head of Application Engineering at HURCO. “If I have to constantly re-clamp workpieces 4 or 5 times on a 3-axis machine, then it makes sense to use the 5-axis machine from the outset.”

 

 

 

The HURCO VC 500i machining center is a good entry-level model for 5-side machining in single part and small series production. Thanks to easy and fast programming and the traveling column concept, the 5-axis traveling column machine with rotary/swivel table is ideal for a wide range of applications, from contract production to mechanical engineering. As is the case with the 3-axis machine, machining is linear, but is performed simultaneously on several sides. As a result, employees can switch over from 3-axis to 5-axis machining with little additional training.

 

HURCO 3-axis machines can be upgraded without any issues.

Each HURCO machine is equipped with software that permits 5-axis machining. “If Production occasionally requires more complex parts with more than two or three clamping processes, the most efficient choice is to upgrade an existing 3-axis machine,” says Sebastian Herr. A hardware upgrade itself only requires a day, plus one additional day to train employees. However, the machine delivered with 3-axis configuration is not equipped with the corresponding guides and glass scales and, therefore, does not operate quite as accurately. “I can always achieve higher precision when working on a component using a 5-axis machine,” adds the Head of HURCO Application Engineering.

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D – 85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

 

The built-in swivel head-/rotary table configuration increases flexibility.

Pliening near Munich, Germany, September 2018: machining centers in the SRTi series from mechanical engineers HURCO have been developed specifically for handling heavy precision parts where complex contours need to be machined despite their heavy weight and above-average size.

At the AMB trade fair, for instance, HURCO used the VMX 60 SRTi to exemplify how large travel ranges combined with a swivel-head rotary table configuration effectively extends the production spectrum. This configuration enables horizontal machining and optimal chip control. As the C-axis, the permanently integrated rotary table supports unrestricted angle movement. This is an aspect that shortens machining times and has a positive effect on the cost-effectiveness offered by the machine – as Michael Auer, Managing Director for HURCO GmbH, explains: “If the machine is to circle the workpiece to mill the surface of a cylinder, then the table performs a continuous rotational movement.”

Only one clamping process

 

All C-axis rotary tables in the SRTi series are capable of unlimited continuous movement. The B-axis swivel head also provides access to the workpiece on a swiveled machining plane. This is an advantage when machining complex contours, such as impellers or turbines, according to Michael Auer: “Clamping processes cost time. For these frequently requested machining combinations, the time savings from having just one single clamping process, without sacrificing accuracy, is an important competitive advantage in contract manufacturing.”

 

Productivity increases thanks to loading systems.

The opportunity of loading without human intervention by means of automated systems also increases the efficiency of HURCO machines. “We collaborate with providers of various automatic loading systems”, explains Michael Auer. “This means we can exactly match a wide variety of customer requirements to achieve a sustainable method for increasing productivity.” The result in practice: HURCO coordinates with customers to develop a matching solution consisting of the machining center and a loading robot from one of its partners. This can extend to integration of a machine tool into an existing, digital production system.

The objective of automated loading systems is sustainable capacity expansion, with the proviso that additional personnel are not required for machine operation. HURCO will demonstrate a current, comprehensive integration example at the AMB. This consists of combining the HURCO VMX 60 SRTi and an EROWA Robot Compact 80.

HURCO at the AMB (September 18 – September 22, 2018): Hall 10, Stand D53.

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D-85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

HURCO will be demonstrating how cooperation between a machine tool and a loading robot ensures greater efficiency in production at the EMO 2018. The use of the new Solid Model Import option will also be demonstrated at the trade fair stand, along with HURCO lathes and machining Centers.

Pliening, Munich, Germany, August 2018: HURCO and the specialist for process automation, EROWA, are unveiling a joint solution for the automated loading of machine tools. It integrates HURCO CNC machining centers into an EROWA production system via the DNC interface. Its software thus takes on the organizational tasks and processes production orders via the connected machining centers in accordance with the program. An EROWA Robot Compact 80 executes the automated workpiece changeover. The loading system is suitable for single or double machine operation, and harmonizes perfectly with the HURCO multi-axle machining centers.

Productivity increases thanks to loading systems

 

“We are in cooperation with various automatic loading system providers”, explains Michael Auer, Managing Director of HURCO Germany. “We can therefore satisfy differing customer requirements and open up a sustainable method for productivity increases for our customers.” The automated loading enables, for example, an increase in capacity in single-piece and small series production, without additional personnel costs for operating the machines. HURCO goes one step further in the collaboration with EROWA, because the Flexible Manufacturing Concept of the cooperation partner features a suitable framework for the integration of the HURCO machines into a digital complete system.

The proven digital production system comprising EROWA and HURCO machines will be presented at the AMB 2018. One CNC machining center can be docked on each side of the streamline EROWA Robot Compact 80 respectively. The pieces to be machined are fed into the robot cell on trays. The robotic arm integrated into the cell positions these one at a time in the HURCO machining center and removes the workpieces after completion in order to deposit them back into trays in the cell. The cell is controlled by the EROWA JMS 4.0 ® pro process control system. “All that remains for the operator is the programming of the machine tool and the loading of the shelves in the cell,” explains Michael Auer.

 

Less programming outlay thanks to he Solid Model Import Option

 

 

HURCO will be demonstrating just how easy programming with the Solid Model Import option at the AMB 2018 using several machine types as examples: 3D models that are available as STEP files can be imported directly with the new option. The import option interprets the data and enables production programming at the machine. This saves programming time and reduces the potential for errors during programming many times over.

 

Reliable turning centers with an extended service life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the robust TMM8i lathe as an example, HURCO will be presenting its range of multi-axle turning centers for the turning and complete machining of medium-size workpieces at the AMB 2018. With these machines, programming for the operator is also fast and reliable. DXF drawings can be imported easily, and dialog and NC programming can be merged together individually. Driven tools can also be fitted to each revolver tool station, which simplifies the machine setup process.

Perfect surfaces with Takumi machining Centers

HURCO will also be providing information in the H series from Takumi at the trade fair stand. These portal machines are fast, work with exceptional precision and are therefore particularly suited for tool-making and mold-making. Absolute direct measuring systems, direct drives on all axes and electronic temperature compensation come as standard. The machines are equipped with a Heidenhain control system that enables dialog, parallel and free contour programming, as well as ISO-NC programming.

HURCO at the AMB (2018-09-18 to 2018-09-22): Hall 10, Stand D53

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D-85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

Short processing times and outstanding precision in all machining steps are distinguishing features shared by all HURCO machine tools. With an innovative computer-based control unit, Hurco’s story of success began in 1968 in the American state of Indiana.

The fastest route to finished workpieces

Gerald Roch (links) und Edward Humston (rechts)

When working in sales for the plant manufacturer Humston Companies, Gerald Roch learned that manual setup and production control meant that work was not really economically viable for one-off part and small series manufacturers in metalworking. The engineer thus came up with the idea of equipping metal bending machines with an automated control system. This may sound like a matter of course for us today, but the concept was completely new at that time. In their early years, computers were only found in public institutions and were very large and expensive.

However, Roch and his business partner Edward Humston believed in this vision, and this prompted them to found HURCO Companies Inc. in 1968
HU forHumston,
R for Roch and
CO for Company.

The world’s first automated control for metal bending machines was called “Autobend”. HURCO had already begun selling the control unit by 1969, with the required starting capital being provided by 21 private shareholders. However, it would be 10 years later before the innovative component finally had its commercial breakthrough.

Roch worked continually on improving Autobend. With the CNC 2-axis control, the desired bending angle and length of the tool could now be stipulated in the programming. Autobend also received innovative installation assistance, which enabled users to install the program themselves. The operators at the machines thus regained control over the production process.

HURCO a technological leader for 50 years

This basic idea of Gerald Roch was consistently pursued by HURCO: enhancing the profitability of workshop production – particularly in one-off part and small series production – by reducing setup and programming times. By 1974, the technology leader had already launched the first CNC-controlled milling machine on the market, an innovation that would go on to become the heart of the company’s portfolio. Two years later, in 1976, HURCO presented the first version of dialog programming. This “conversational programming” was regarded as a major step towards further technology development. 1979 saw more than 30 percent of the company’s revenues being generated outside the US. For the production of control elements, more and more of HURCO’s own machines were being used.

HURCO 1992

HURCO presented the first CNC 3-axis machine in 1986 and its first 5-axis gantry-type machining centre in 2003. Company acquisitions and collaborative ventures meant that HURCO’s market presence grew in Europe also. The industrial nation of Germany was given a key role:

from 1988 onwards, HURCO GmbH Deutschland in Pliening near Munich took over sales and customer service for all of Europe.

From the very beginning, HURCO not only constantly invested in new products, but principally in the further development of existing ones. The company employs a large contingent of own engineers, mechanics and IT specialists. In 1984, the dual screen Ultimax further simplified programming steps, and this was followed by the market launch of the control system Vmax in 1997, the WinMax Desktop in 2000 and the WinMax software in 2006. “The CNC machines offered by HURCO are continuously being adapted to meet changing customer requirements. Workpieces are becoming more complex and sophisticated. We are combining new requirements with the capability of the CNC controller,” explains Michael Auer, Managing Director of HURCO Deutschland. “We have lean processes at HURCO, and these enable fast implementation.”

 

Customers choose HURCO for more productivity

HURCO WinMax

When asked “What do you like about HURCO?”, 65 percent of respondents said the capability of the controller first and foremost. “Even employees without specific programming know-how can be quickly trained. It takes no more than two days for users to be trained to use the HURCOs,” explains Auer. This is also a central component of HURCO’s success concept: an extensive training and service programme ensures collaboration based on partnership. And this allows HURCO to learn a lot of about special customer requirements and future trends.

“Never accept the status quo” is Gerald Roch’s motto. The company has registered more than 60 patents, all thanks to its pioneering spirit. Speaking about himself, the HURCO co-founder says that he was lucky to see how things should work and to always have competent employees by his side.

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D-85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

 

Pliening near Munich, Germany, September 2017: At EMO 2017, HURCO will be demonstrating how cooperation between a machine tool and a loading robot ensures greater efficiency in production. There, the VMX 30Ui CNC machining center will be loaded and unloaded using an automated system featuring a loading robot from the Dutch provider BMO Automation. This increases productivity while saving on human resources.

 

 

“This flexible system enables the expansion of the multi-shift operation in single-piece and small series production without having to increase personnel expense for machine operation,” reports Michael Auer, Managing Director of HURCO Deutschland and Head of Sales for HURCO machine tools throughout Europe.HURCO opted for the “Titanium” BMO system. This system allows a CNC machining center to be docked on both the left and right. Blanks are fed in the loading robot cell on trays. The robot arm integrated into the cell positions the blanks in the machining center, removes them after production and places them back into trays in the cell. “The operator loads the racks of the cell, programs the machine tool, starts the program and can then watch the system during operation,” explains Michael Auer.

 

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D-85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de

 

 

 

CNC 5-axis machining centers from HURCO

Pliening, Germany, March 2015: CNC 5-axis machining centers in the SRTi series from HURCO offer multi-faceted benefits in more ways than one. The three machine models with a swivel head and rotary table have been developed specifically for handling heavy precision parts in cases where complex contours need to be machined despite a heavy weight and above-average size. Their large, permanently integrated rotary table makes them ideal for this application. The additional space on the table can be used for additional work as well as 3 or 4-axis machining. The swivel head/rotary table configuration enables horizontal machining and optimal chip control. All of the machines are equipped with a pimp system for chip flushing. As the C-axis, the rotary table supports unrestricted angle movement. This is an aspect that shortens machining times and has a positive effect on the cost-effectiveness offered by the machine, as Michael Auer, Managing Director for HURCO GmbH, explains, “If the machine is expected to circle the workpiece in order to perform milling on the surface of a cylinder, the table needs to be able to perform a continuous rotational movement. But if the C-axis is restricted to plus/minus 360 degrees during movement, the machine has to rotate the workpiece back again at regular intervals.”

Saving time with just one clamping process

All C-axis rotary tables in the SRTi series from HURCO can move continuously without restriction. In addition, the B-axis swivel head enables access to the workpiece on a swiveled machining plane—a big advantage when machining complex contours like impellers or turbines. “Clamping processes cost time. For these frequently requested machining combinations, the time savings from having just one single clamping process, without sacrificing any accuracy, is an important competitive advantage in contract manufacturing,” says Auer. The done-in-onpe principle – the idea of combining several machining processe in one machine – is a permanent fixture in the development work at HURCO.

The three machines in the series differ in their qualification for various applications due to the size of the workpieces they are able to machine and their spindle speed. The VMX 42 SRTi and VMX 42 HSRTi variants offer a maximum working area of 1,279 x 610 mm and 1,080 mm of X-axis traversing. Their big sister, the VMX 60 SRTi, has a working area of 1,675 x 660 mm. Their Y-axis also provides 50 mm of additional traversing. The VMX 42 HSRTi is the fastest of the trio, with a spindle operating at 18,000 revolutions per minute. They all have one thing in common: an  exceptionally large working space for their machine class.

Despite differences in design, all of the machines stem from a standardized concept. This means that operators familiar with one machine can immediately feel at home operating the others. In terms of operating comfort, they also offer large door openings that make it easier to load the machine table as well as large, easy-to-open side doors for straightforward access during maintenance work.

Programming complex workpieces twice as fast

The 5-axis machines in the SRTi series come with a “WinMax” conversational control system, optionally equipped with the DXF option. The high-performance control system software from HURCO simplifies programming for 5-side machining and provides the setup for producing precision parts in just three steps. “Compared to other conversational programming systems, our WinMax DXF software reduces the programming time for a workpiece by up to 50 percent,” reports Michael Auer.

Contact:
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Imke Blohm
Gewerbestraße 5 a
D-85652 Pliening
Phone +49 89 905094 28
iblohm@hurco.de