Weingärtner reaching new dimensions in multifunctional machining centers
Weingärtner's experienced employees have exceeded themselves when it comes to the new product that the company is bringing to market. The company management had the vision to develop and build an extra-large complete machining center. This became reality as part of an order they received from one of the world's leading energy companies. During the project phase and given the client's large range of parts, it quickly became clear that the new Weingärtner flagship mpmc 2000 would be needed.
This extraordinary piece of Austrian engineering features as already given in the designation, a maximum turning diameter of 2000 mm. The huge dimensions are complimented by the maximum workpiece load capacity between chuck and tailstock of 60,000 kg. This is equivalent to a fully loaded freight car. The special developed and in-house produced "Weingärtner steady rests", enable the machining center to bear the full workpiece load even without the support of the tailstock. This characteristic is necessary to make face turning run just like all other boring and internal machining operations.
Enormous machine components
According to the head of R&D Department, the biggest challenge was not the design of the (161 kW / 80,220 Nm / 300 rpm) headstock or the (72kW / 1,870 Nm) turning and milling unit. The greatest challenge was in fact producing the enormous machine components. Everyone on the whole team knew that the success of the project depended on the precision with which the machine bed, the headstock, the tailstock and the heavy load steady rests were manufactured. Thanks to its in-house depth of production, Weingärtner produces all machine components itself. This, as well as the constant modernization of the manufacturing plant and high-precision measurement equipment, guarantees that the required machining accuracy can be achieved.
All main components are thoroughly vetted with finite element modeling, ensuring that they meet client requirements. The machine's standard setup includes a rack and pinion drive with a well-proven master-slave system on the Z-axis. The main spindle also, developed by Weingärtner, with its master-slave technology, allowing dynamic and reliable positioning and moving of the C axis, with variable preloading and zero backlash. Thanks to these new methods, the mechanical wear to the pinions is equalized via the electronically controlled preload. As on all other models in the mpmc range, also the mpmc 2000 uses the well-established B axis clamping system, which facilitates a continuously fixing in any angular position with a holding torque of 20,000 Nm.
Due to the extra-large components, the developers at Weingärtner also needed to consider how to control temperature expansion, which directly affects the measuring systems. Once again, they were able to establish a new concept alongside the water-cooled drives - a concept that improves not only the mpmc 2000 but even all the mpmc models of smaller size.
When dealing with such large machines, workplace safety and ergonomics are particularly important considerations. Even though it is difficult to engineer a clear view into the working area of the machine when dealing with turned parts that have a 2 meter diameter, the Weingärtner experts managed to achieve a perfect balance between maximum safety and maximum ergonomics.
According to Mr. Klaus Geissler (Ing.), the sales director, who has been managing the sales for the Austrian machine tool manufacturer since mid-2013, a whole range of new business fields have opened up for Weingärtner thanks to the development of this machine. "Today, thanks to its extra-large complete machining centers, Weingärtner is in a position to successfully machine a wide range of complex and high-precision components. Thanks to this advantage, we are active in a market where we are a cut above our competitors in terms of knowledge and technology."
Tailored to specific needs
The areas of application and possibilities currently include steam and gas turbine shafts, generator shafts, crankshafts, compressor screws, printing drums as well as drive shafts for ships. In fact, there is very little the Weingärtner mpmc machines cannot handle. Each machine is tailored to the client's specific needs. As is Weingärtner's policy, no standard machine is offered. These specialized machines are produced and set-up per order with client-specific requirements in mind. The machines have flexible pick-up systems and parking options, which enable them to automatically exchange many different application-specific machining modules. The following are available: mechanical and motorized high-speed turning and milling heads, a great variety of boring bars, actuating tools for inner machining, ejector deep hole drilling systems, special milling heads, enabling economical machining of pine-tree profiles, U-center heads as well as high-performance units for large side-milling cutters with a diameter of up to 700 mm.