German gear manufacturer decides in favor of SprutCAM X

Kordel Antriebstechnik has completely automated its gearbox production. Fanuc M-710ic robot deburrs heavy parts. Rile Group built the production line. Datentechnik Reitz supplied the SprutCAM X software.

Why use robots?

The gear parts in the new production line at Kordel Antriebstechnik in Dülmen, Germany, weigh up to 500 kg and are clearly too heavy to be moved manually. A 6-axis robot has therefore been installed to support the 5 interlinked machining centers with fully automatic deburring. After machining and before assembly, the finished transmission parts need to be deburred. In general, a milling machine could be used, but it is not as efficient in automated production. Deburring is therefore carried out as a secondary, parallel, fully automatic and robotic process.

What advantages a robot has

The robot is technically superior to the milling machine for raw edge machining because it is better able to cope with the dimensional variations common to castings. The robot’s joints provide the necessary mobility in all axes to allow the tool to reach all edges and all holes. This is another reason why it makes sense to use it – the fewer operations that have to be carried out manually, the more profitable it becomes.

Parts are fed to the robot by an automated rack feeder, deburred in the cell and returned to the rack. There is a pallet changer with a rotary table so that the workpiece can be moved during the deburring process. The robot selects the correct gripper and tools according to the selected NC program or machining operation.

The 6-axis deburring robot

The 6-axis deburring robot in a soundproof enclosure works on a gearbox housing and reaches every point on the workpiece mounted on a rotary table.

Operation without programming skills

Ease of use is an important consideration for all modern industrial equipment. All processes should be intuitive and easy to learn. The Rile group of companies, based in Deggendorf and employing almost 250 people, has therefore equipped the robot with a SprutCAM X CAD/CAM system, where the operator manually programs the deburring using the 3D model of the workpiece. In this software package, it is possible to select certain edges to be machined visually, determine the depth of the chamfer and select the tool required for the particular operation.

SprutCAM X as CAD/CAM software

Three locations for tool chucks allow for easy selection of the appropriate deburring tool.

SprutCAM X as CAD/CAM software

The CAM system uses this information to generate the appropriate robot NC program. Individual machining operations can be easily set up without specific programming knowledge. With this robot programming solution, Rile has created a real advantage for the daily operation of the deburring processes. All the necessary interfaces, apart from the CAM system, the operating devices and the host computer, were provided by Rile and adapted to the conditions at Kordel. Managing director Johannes Kordel said: “It is much easier to work with a flexible partner than with a supplier of modular systems”.

“It is much easier to work with a flexible partner. “
Johannes Kordel

According to Johannes Kordel, the most important thing in production today is to ensure delivery capability. Automation helps to minimize costly set-up times and at the same time to be flexible so that “even the smallest quantities can be delivered from one day to the next,” Johannes Kordel emphasizes. Unlike suppliers to the automotive industry, Kordel does not produce components in short cycles. Much more important are continuous operation and consistent quality over the entire life of the machine. However, the volumes are sufficient for the company to switch to automated production processes.

For stand-alone machines without automation, about 1/3 of the activities are related to setup. Any reduction in this time frees up productive machine time. The mounting and dismounting of parts has not changed with automation, but the goal is to reduce the need for setup as much as possible, especially since it is becoming increasingly difficult to find skilled labor to do it.

33 PERCENT of the activities carried out on stand-alone machines with no automation are related to set-up

Kordel Antriebstechnik

Kordel Antriebstechnik designs and manufactures special gear mechanisms. (system integrator)

Datentechnik Reitz GmbH & Co. KG.

Perfstrasse 2, 35216 Breidenstein, Germany

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Robot programming in SprutCAM X

SprutCAM X Robot

Robot programming in SprutCAM X

The image on the left shows the programming of the machining of a part in SprutCAM X Robot, the software automatically detects collision areas as well as any singularities and bypasses them, the user has numerous options to influence the machining result and can simulate the entire process in advance.

Publication of this material is possible only with the written permission of Datentechnik Reitz GmbH and SprutCAM Tech Ltd.