Optimum production thanks to intelligent programming
Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit boosts efficiency and process reliability in machining with ESPRIT CAM thus enabling its entry in the digital performance packages of DMG MORI Software Solutions
Berti Weisheit (on the right), Managing Director of Ralf Weisheit GmbH, purchased the NLX 2500 SY in the year 2016 so the company could produce a sprocket adapter on one turn-mill centre instead of needing three different machines for the job.
Since the foundation of Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit GmbH, which was named after its owner and his father Günther Weisheit, in the year 1994 the company has developed to become a service provider in machining that is specialised in turning and today boasts 26 employees. It covers a wide range of branches such as tool making, the agricultural machine industry, special bike construction and equipment for disabled persons. Five machine models from DMG MORI have been part of its extensive machine park since 2008, including the three new models added in 2016: the NLX 2500 SY turn-mill centre, the vertical machining centre NVX 5080 and a MILLTAP 700 compact machining centre. Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit uses ESPRIT here for multi-axis and multi-function turning in the CAM area.
Process optimisation at Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit starts in the early phase of CAM programming, where the company trusts in the ESPRIT CAM system from DMG MORI Software Solutions.
More than 300 satisfied customers trust in the reliability and competence of Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit GmbH. Berti Weisheit – who manages the company with his father Ralf Weisheit – sees one reason for this success in the company’s approach: “Sophisticated workpieces require an integral philosophy in production.” Wherever necessary they support customers in the early development phase of components. “Our aim is to unite top quality and economic machining.” This starts with the optimisation of the company’s own workflows. “Seamless documentation of all work steps is as much a matter of course for us as modern administration and job planning,” explains Berti Weisheit.
This includes the CAM system ESPRIT CAM, which offers numerous functions for optimising job planning. The Managing Director mentions one example here: the software’s Feature Based Machining function. With this function component families from the customer-specific product portfolio are learnt just once and after this the CAM software automatically creates NC programmes as per the customer-specific specifications and equipment.
Hobbing is also part of the sophisticated machining of the sprocket adapter.
DMG MORI: Versatile production thanks to innovative CNC technologies
The six-point thread is a special feature of the sprocket adapter.
CNC multi-channel turning in particular is now in its fourth generation at Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit, because Alwin Weisheit, Berti Weisheit’s great grandfather, was already producing turned parts in his plant as long ago as 1952. Today diameters range from ø 2 mm to ø 32 mm in Swiss-type turning and from ø 5 mm to ø 80 mm in short part turning. Chuck parts have diameters of up to 300 mm. The NLX 2500 SY with counter spindle and Y-axis rounds of the portfolio as a versatile mill-turn centre. “We now have a completely new manufacturing process for a sprocket adapter that was previously produced on three different machines”, recalls Berti Weisheit. Complete machining is now possible – including various different technologies such as hobbing, internal contour shaping, milling and threading of a special six-point thread.
With its eye on the future Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit has now also invested in milling in addition to its modernisation in the CAM area of turning. With its NVX 5080 vertical machining centre and the compact MILLTAP 700 machining centre the company is ideally positioned where 3-axis milling is concerned – even for serial production machining. The team constructs the necessary jigs itself. “This allows us to produce even large series efficiently”, explains Berti Weisheit. The minimum batch size is around 100 pieces. “Large series with up to one million parts can be achieved.” The Managing Director sees 5-axis machining as the next step in milling: “This would also enable more economical expansion of the milling area."
ESPRIT: Digital corporate know-how already in the CAM programming phase
ESPRIT aids the programmer with the programming of complex timing belt sprockets with the Feature Based Machining function. Once the component family has been learned, the software automatically creates NC programmes according to customer-specific specifications and equipment.
Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit pursues continuous process optimisation even before actual machining takes place, namely in CAM programming. The company trusts here in the ESPRIT software included in the portfolio of DMG MORI Software Solutions, a digitalisation daughter of the machine manufacturer. “The CAM system is far more accurate than we could ever be with manual programming”, claims Berti Weisheit. This makes programming much easier and saves a lot of time in actual machining. In view of the wide range of machining applications ESPRIT supports the company every step of the way, as the Managing Director confirms: “We cover short part and Swiss-type turning with the system, so we are able to exploit the potential of our DMG MORI machines to the full. The reason for this is the optimum coordination between CAM and machine, even for the proven GILDEMEISTER structure programming.” Not only can he ideally display the multi-channel and multi-function programming of the turning machines, but the ever-increasing number of milling operations can also be programmed expediently. “ESPRIT constitutes a future-proof investment here, because it also supports 5-axis simultaneous milling.”
In practice Berti Weisheit and his team are convinced: “The post processor is extremely good and compared to the previous software we achieve ten percent shorter cycle times with the DMG MORI process chain based on ESPRIT. The ProfitMilling module – a highlight of the CAM system – plays a significant role here. Because it is here that the software lays the foundation stone for highly efficient machining. The tool and feed motions are smoother, feed rates are optimised and corners are efficiently preformed. ESPRIT also allows trochoidal slotting to be integrated effectively into the automation of the FBM functionalities. This ensures significantly shorter machining times while at the same time lengthening tool life many times over. “A module that helps us to significantly optimise individual process steps but that nevertheless takes the entire production chain into account and enables us to bring together internal corporate know-how and make it available for every employee”, sums up Berti Weisheit.
Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit has benefited from the use on ESPRIT where process reliability is concerned as well, because the package also includes appropriate machine models. Ralf Weisheit says: “These enable a simulation of the CAM programmes at the PC workstation, so potential collisions can be excluded in advance.” This in turn, of course, reduces the risk of standstills to a minimum.
Competitiveness for the future
Continuous process optimisation is also warmly supported by the workforce and makes for a good working atmosphere. “It is one of the reasons we all look ahead with motivation", believes Berti Weisheit. Such commitment is reflected in the technical competence that also promotes the company. Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit secures its own needs for future skilled manpower by offering apprenticeships and further training opportunities, right through to include master and technical schools. “This means we have very little fluctuation on the one hand and that we can rely on our workers on the other", explains Berti Weisheit while casting his eye over a hall that is just being built: “After all it is our aim to continue growing healthily while remaining competitive at the same time."
Metallbearbeitung Ralf Weisheit produces different sized timing belt sprockets for the special bike construction and disabled persons equipment branches.