High-tech automation solutions


WFL Millturn Technologies has always been involved in the area of automation. From articulated robots to gantry loaders, all systems that are combined with a MILLTURN bring an element of high-tech and a breath of fresh air into the automation of WFL’s machinery. The acquisition of FRAI Elektromaschinenbau GmbH represents another step towards innovation in complete machining, paving the way for a digital future.

Automated and flexible systems are playing an increasingly significant role in the production of workpieces. Automation solutions are in high demand, particularly for smaller machine series, as the machine times are short and the batch sizes high. Unattended production methods have long been used by automotive manufacturers, the aerospace industry and, above all, mould construction companies to produce equipment for machine tools. Other sectors with less of a focus on automation are nonetheless showing increased interest in this area, above all due to the possibility of introducing unattended night and weekend shifts.

WFL Millturn Technologies works with different automation variants for automated workpiece loading and unloading, depending on each customer’s requirements. The series ranges from bar feeders to gantry loaders through to articulated robots. Peripheral transport and storage systems for workpieces, tools and clamping devices can be combined as desired.

This brings some key advantages for the user, such as continuous productivity with minimal operating effort. Automated machines are also ideally suited to repetitive tasks. However, robots are not only used in large-scale series production; there are also many advantages to automation for small batch sizes, when used in combination with easy-to-program software.

Customer-specific options, such as unloading samples, inscribing, cleaning, measuring blank parts, or even additional processing tasks performed by the robot like deburring, provide optimal conditions for automation.

Symbiosis with FRAI Elektromaschinenbau GmbH

WFL Millturn Technologies and FRAI Elektromaschinenbau GmbH have enjoyed a reliable partnership for some time now, when it comes to implementing automation projects.

With WFL Millturn Technologies having acquired 100% of FRAI Elektromaschinen GmbH in October, their automation expertise will only be enhanced. Individual automation solutions are a significant factor for WFL’s future success. The integration of FRAI therefore represents the perfect addition to WFL’s existing range of production solutions.

Industry robots for M65 MILLTURN

One successful project implementation involved a FRAI robot automation system with a KUKA robot (KR 510), which is suitable for automating a M65/4500 MILLTURN.

Shaft components of various geometries are automatically removed from workpiece pallets and inserted into the CNC machine’s clamping device for machining. The machined parts are then placed on the pallet system.

The jaws have a gripping range of a 75–190 mm workpiece diameter, which covers the diameter for all blank and finished parts in the entire parts range.

Robot cells for M30-G MILLTURN

One of the automation projects in progress at WFL involves a robot cell with transport trolley pick-up/drop-off spaces and gripper exchange system for a M30-G MILLTURN.

An automatic gripper exchange system with two different gripping heads for shaft components is in the pipeline. Two individually-controlled parallel grippers are built next to each other here, so that the components can be picked up in two gripping positions. The parallel grippers feature jaws mounted on a (tool-free) fast adjustment system. The grippers cover all blank and finished part diameters.

Work on the chuck parts is performed according to the double gripper principle, i.e. the two front grippers can be equipped differently (blank/finished part). The intention is to use jaws with plastic inserts for the chuck part gripper to avoid damage being caused to the aluminium part.

A KUKA robot is used for this machine (KR Quantec extra, nominal load capacity 120 kg, nominal working radius 2896 mm).

Innovative and functional

WFL’s product portfolio now offers the ideal combination of highly productive machine and production solutions and integrated automation solutions.

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