Maschinenfabrik Lauffer GmbH & Co. KG, Horb, Germany, has broadened its product portfolio with the addition of the E-Line servoelectric powder compacting press. The E-Line is currently available in the pressing force range from 120–160 kN, making it suitable to meet the requirements of the carbides, tool and technical ceramics industries.
Said to round off the Lauffer press portfolio in the pressing force range below 630 kN, pressing trials and application in product operations report that the E-Line has set a company benchmark for precision and quality stability.
This performance is reportedly achieved thanks to the intelligent mechanical design of the press axes, which largely eliminates any interfering factors in the pressing process. Lauffer has also developed an axis regulation algorithm that directly positions all press axes with the high accuracy, holding them securely even if the pressing sequence requires force reduction or an upper pressing application for one of the axes. Deviations between the theoretical to the actual pressing position are in the range of ± 1.5 µm.
The set-up for new pressing sequences is menu-guided, no additional aids are needed, and it can be created offline and simulated directly. This minimises machine auxiliary times and risks, such as collisions and resulting tool damage. Many machine-internal and external parameters are logged precisely in real time and made available to the operator in individualised reports for analysis and quality assurance.
Connection to a customer MES or ERP system for recording process and production-relevant data in real time is also available in the product portfolio. Job order, tool or pressing programme management is also offered in line with customer requirements, with connection to MES or ERP system. In future, for further simplification of the machine set-up and tooling, it will be possible to import 3D-data of the pressing tool for the basic set-up of the machine.
Standardised interfaces to Lauffer’s own automation systems and those of external suppliers are currently available. Lauffer is pursuing a strategy to make the machines IoT-ready, by maximising integration of internal and external functions in a central control concept.
At Walter AG, Tübingen, Germany, a leading manufacturer of precision carbide tools for metalworking, the E-Line is already in operation. Dr Stefan Rudolf, Head of the Blank Fabrication Department, stated, “The machine meets the highest requirements for accuracy during pressing and forming. Different press cycles can be realised flexibly with minimal effort. Support from the Lauffer team enables the fast realisation of customised solutions.”