Fully automatic deep hole drilling
A view of the inside of the ML500. In the background, the fully automatic loading and unloading unit.
Along with other precision machined components, GLUMANN Maschinenbau in Chemnitz, Germany specialises in producing long rotating shaft type parts. Deep Hole Drilling plays an important role the production of these items and so in order to keep up with the growing volume demands from an engineering customer, the contract manufacturer (GLUMANN) decided to equip their new Deep Hole Drilling Machine from TBT with a fully automatic loading system. TBT (the deep hole drilling specialist from Dettingen/Erms, Germany) developed the ideal solution.
Deep Hole Drilling is an important technology for any contract manufacturer that processes shaft type parts within their portfolio. Many shafts require relief holes or have to be supplied with lubricant. That’s why GLUMANN Maschinenbau AG in Chemnitz has seven deep hole drilling machines in operation, including two from TBT in Dettingen/Ems for hole depths up to 2000 mm. The larger machine, an up-to-date ML500, is mainly used to work on various configurations of shaft for a longstanding engineering customer. The diameter of the holes in these shafts can vary, up to 80 mm. BTA/STS deep hole drilling method is the technology used. In this method, the cutting oil is fed to the tool under pressure along the outside of a hollow drill tube. The drill head itself, which is mounted onto the end of this tube has hard metal (carbide) cutting plates or inserts and has openings directly behind the cutting plates which allow cuttings and cooling lubricant to exit out of the hole through the inside of the drill tube and then into a chip conveyor. Gerhard Glumann, Chairman of the Board and Production Director looks back: “As the quantity of shafts to be processed (drilled) on this machine kept increasing, we had to come with a new solution to stop us getting into delivery deadline issues“. We opted for a fully automatic loading system, so that the machine could be operated un-manned once all processing parameters have been set. We presented this plan to our machine manufacturer TBT, who then worked upon a solution for us”.
Developing systems which facilitate fully automatic operation of deep hole drilling machines is part of everyday life for the experts in Dettingen/Erms and many solutions are available as standard. But in this case, TBT designed a unit precisely tailored to meet the requirements and conditions at GLUMANN.
Components on two levels
“After inspecting the space situation at the end-user, our designers came up with the idea to arrange the components in a space-saving layout over two levels, raw parts above, and finished parts below. Each level has a conveyor chain system to bring the parts in and out“, explains Wladislaus Kiefer, Sales Director at TBT. On the upper level – approximately at the height of the machine spindle – there is room for around 20 raw parts. That’s roughly the amount which is usually processed during a shift. “The length of the shaft catered for, can be adjusted from 500 to 2000 mm, which means it can used for a very wide range of component lengths, continues Kiefer.
Above the component conveyor chain, a two-armed gantry grab moves backwards and forwards on rails. As for the working process itself: The grab collects the raw part from the upper level, goes to the drilling spindle and puts the part into a self-centering steady rest between the three-jaw chuck and a female cone. Then it returns to the waiting position. The three-jaw chuck clamps automatically, and the drilling process can start. After drilling, the shaft is released and the grab lifts the part again from its processing position and passes it on to the lower level. One important detail, the grab has also been designed by TBT to be flexible. It covers the whole range of diameters which GLUMANN needs for its customers, 80 to 140 mm, and so does not have to be converted.
Integrated into control
One thing was very important for us, emphasises Gerhard Glumann: The positioning of the loading unit behind the machine. This is different to many other automated solutions in machining technology and was necessary so that we can easily process individual one of orders for example, without any difficulty by bypassing the fully automatic loading operation. This means the ML500 is accessible from the operating side like any standard machine, with no access restrictions.
The loading system is fully integrated into the machine control system. The operator only enters key data such as length of part to be processed, drilling diameter and depth. This means the machine “knows“ the part in question and can run the NC program. But TBT have built in even more features: The total tool life, which the tool is expected to achieve, can be set via two different workpiece counters, which trigger different reactions in the pro-gram execution. This means the machine stops for a change of cutter in good time before tool failure. The ML500 also has feed force and coolant pressure monitoring. If the wear and tear on a tool should exceed a certain level more quickly, or if any other problem arises, the machine will also shut down automatically.
The conclusion from the Chairman of the Board and Production Director: “Thanks to fully automatic operation, which is made possible by the loading system, we can meet the increase in volumes required without additional headcount or machine capacity”.
But, the project has also been worthwhile for TBT! As the deep hole drilling specialist has said, this type of loading and unloading is now available as a standard solution. Thanks to the flexible basic concept, workpiece lengths and load-bearing capacity can be adapted to suit individual customer requirements.
Key date for the ML500 machine range:
- Available in 1, 2, or 4 spindle design (with 37 kW, 2x 18,5 kW or 4x 7,5 kW spindle power)
- Suitable for a range of different technologies: drilling with single lip drills, drilling using the BTA/STS (Single Tube System), skiving, roller burnishing, use of high-performance twin blade cutters.
- Solid drilling up to D = 90 mm, counter boring up to D = 180 mm
(STS, 1 spindle design)
- Can be configured for drilled holes from 1000 to 7000 mm deep.
Contact for editorial:
PressCo. The Press Company
Tel.: +49 (0) 7022 90 39 - 73
Contact at the company:
TBT Tiefbohrtechnik GmbH + Co
Wladislaus Kiefer, Sales Director
Tel.: +49 (0) 7123 976-121
Contact at the company:
GLUMANN Maschinenbau AG
Gerhard Glumann, Vorstand
History - TBT Tiefbohrtechnik GmbH + Co…
...Founded in 1966 in Dettingen on the Erms, Germany, specialising from the start in the niche competency of “Deep Drilling“. Thanks to this future-oriented manufacturing technology, the company was able to develop in the critical customer sectors over a relatively short period of time. The strategy of supplying machines, tools and services from a single source proved to be a decisive factor in terms of competitiveness. The fact that the company was able to develop so quickly can be attributed to three criteria for success which lie at the heart of company policy:
· The quality of its products, which benefits customers in terms of high process safety and low risk of failure.
· The high level of precision which these machines exhibit while in operation. For the customer, this can be seen in the optimal manufacturing results obtained, enabling them to become a price / quality leader in their commercial markets.
· Keeping close to customers, which allows TBT to recognize their clients’ problems and develop specific solutions for these issues.
This unique approach, which has proved decisive in terms of competitiveness, has helped TBT win, not just in the German market. Demand has grown both from within Europe and even from other continents. TBT has reacted to this demand by building a global distribution network and now has subsidiaries and representation from the USA to China, in every industrialised country in the world. The reputation which TBT enjoys amongst its customers is based, above all else, on their engagement and flexibility as well as their ability to innovate when making client projects a reality. This had led to TBT’s position as worldwide market leader in the deep drilling sector.
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