SORALUCE XXL Series Open House, showcasing heavy duty capacity, precision and versatility at a large scale

SORALUCE is once again proving its leadership and technological capabilities with this XXL Series, offering outstanding advantages in the machining of large-sized components.

The SORALUCE XXL Series Open House will be held from 6 to 9 March at our Bergara facility in Spain, where we’ll present our latest innovative products, technologies and solutions to meet the requirements of large-size and heavy-duty milling, boring and turning. 

Wide range of machines

SORALUCE offers a wide range of heavy-duty milling, boring and vertical turning machines, multitasking solutions and automated systems which offer precision and versatility when machining large-sized components.

  • SORALUCE PM 6000 moving table portal machine, full accessibility for milling and boring operations on mining equipment frame.
  • SORALUCE FXR-W 20000 floor type milling boring machine. Full multitasking machine, milling and turning, of mining drilling heads larger than Ø10m size in minimum number of set-ups
  • SORALUCE VTC 8000 vertical turning centre, multitasking capacity for turbine production and reparation
  • SORALUCE FR 10000 multitasking floor type machine, Maximum versatility and minimum set-up for large size mechanical engineering.

The machines on display can be adapted to meet each customer’s specific needs, with customisable tables, heads and machining cycles.

SORALUCE develops innovative solutions adapted to the technological progress of its customers, enabling those customers to meet the most demanding machining challenges efficiently and with high levels of productivity, setting new standards in milling, boring and turning.

SORALUCE can also provide professional advice in machining engineering, thanks to its team of highly-experienced engineers who evaluate customers’ production and machining processes and provide suggestions for optimisation. 

Productivity through multitasking

SORALUCE will also be showcasing multitasking technology applied to heavy-duty components. 

Multitasking machines enhance the profitability of machining technically-complex parts. A single machine offers multiple cutting processes, including turning, milling, boring, drilling and tapping. This enables efficient production of large scale workpieces of different shapes, with precision. The number of set-ups required is reduced and cycle times and potential errors are minimised. Great precision can also be achieved, with tolerances to two decimal places on large-sized workpieces, even those weighing hundreds of tonnes.

SORALUCE provides a wide range of multitasking capabilities thanks to its innovative design of turning heads and milling-turning tables and the company’s continued focus on technological developments and customer cycles. The specially designed head for multitasking milling and turning operations offers increased functionality and efficiency.

Live demos

Innovation is at the forefront of everything SORALUCE does. As a result, many of the technologies that drive the machine tool sector have been pioneered by SORALUCE, such as the patented DAS systems (Dynamics Active Stabiliser), Modular Quill and RAM Balance Systems.

The Open House will include a series of live demonstrations of heavy-duty milling and boring, and SORALUCE’s advanced technologies:

The Open House will include a series of live demonstrations of heavy-duty milling and boring, and SORALUCE’s advanced technologies:

Productivity through DAS+ system

When a vibration problem arises, it is usually difficult for the machinist to assess where the problem comes from. To solve the situation, sometimes the cutting conditions are decreased, sometimes the tool type is changed, or the clamping fixtures are further tightened. These measures are often based on a trial and error procedure and thus, valuable time is lost in the process and a compromise solution far from the best machining performance is finally reached in the most optimistic case. Keeping this in mind, it is very important to identify the specific source of the vibration problem in order to apply a proper response.

SORALUCE presented worldwide during EMO 2015 its innovative patented DAS® system (Dynamics Active Stabiliser). Dedicated to maximising the cutting capability of the machine with long ram overhangs (where the dynamic stiffness of the machine is weaker), the DAS® system increases the dynamic rigidity of the machine in real time, increasing the machining performance by up to 300 per cent. This reduces the classic regenerative effect of chatter while machining.

After this successful and revolutionary development of the DAS® system, which received the Best of Industry 2015 and Quality Innovation of the Year 2015 awards, SORALUCE now presents the DAS+® System, an evolution of the DAS® system which now includes new functionalities.

DAS+® includes vibration level monitoring, detection of chatter as well as two different extra strategies to suppress chatter: the new spindle speed tuning and spindle speed variation functions. This new function monitors the machining process and runs an internal algorithm that looks for the best cutting conditions to increase the stability of a particular operation. In the event of instability, the algorithm considers the chatter and excitation frequency generated by the tool and selects the best strategy to overcome the problem, automatically activating the DAS+® system, selecting the optimal spindle speed where chatter is suppressed or introducing a continuous harmonic oscillation in the spindle during the machining process. The machine becomes an assistant for the operator which can concentrate on maximising the use of the machine’s capabilities.

DAS+® makes the machine more intelligent and increases the productivity and robustness of the process, achieving reduced cycle times, longer tool life, a significant improvement of the surface quality and reduced machine wear. It includes all the knowledge and experience of SORALUCE in the field of machining dynamics, for the benefit of our customers.

Easy set-up through VSET

The machining of large workpieces (larger than 1 m3 in volume) and with high added value, require long prior set-up processes in the machine, sometimes longer than the machining time itself.

These workpiece set-up processes in the machine can be structured in two important phases.

First of all the measurement and best fit calculations that are usually carried out outside the machine.

The goal of this phase is to guarantee that the raw workpiece, coming from smelting, forging or mechanical welding processes, contains in all its volume the finished product to be achieved; that is, to guarantee that there is sufficient surplus in the raw material. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the raw workpiece and to compare this volume with the theoretical measurements of the finished product.

These comparisons must be used to calculate the correct best fit of the workpiece in the machine in order to guarantee said surplus material in each and every one of the surfaces to be machined; where the result is the definition of positions of certain key references of the raw workpiece in the machine´s coordinates system.

Secondly, and once the workpiece is positioned in the machine, the part alignment operations according to the prior calculations.

A consequence of these operations is a further increase in the duration of the entire process, of even greater importance as these unproductive times occupy machine capacity. In this phase it is necessary to position the workpiece according to the prior references and to correct its position by measuring these references, until the final alignment is guaranteed according to the previously established calculations.

The problem of duration is mainly due to the slow and tedious processes used for these necessary operations aimed at guaranteeing the quality of the subsequent machining. As for the technologies available, these include either traditional measurement and calculation processes or the use of expensive, complex and over dimensioned technologies for this specific purpose, such as laser trackers or scanners.

Aware of this issue which concerns machining workshops, foundries and the metal fabrication of voluminous workpieces, SORALUCE has developed with its technology centre an innovative technology which will enable the execution of these processes in a much faster and safer manner. A technology that is already patented and called VSET, which will set new quality standards in the set-up phases.

VSET is a platform based on 3D photogrammetric vision which consists of various hardware and software systems which we have developed ourselves. The photogrammetric vision system makes it possible to achieve an alignment precision of up to 0.1 mm/m in a fast, reliable and simple manner. In short, tolerances that are more than sufficient for these processes.

The modular configuration of the product corresponds respectively with the previously described phases of the raw part measurement and best fitting.

The measurement module mainly consists of set of optical markers and calibrated bars, a self-calibrating digital photogrammetry camera and a laptop, all presented in trolleys and safety cases that are easily used in these industrial environments. The laptop contains measurement software that is capable of configuring the scatter plot of the part´s geometry based on the photos that are obtained of the workpiece.

On the other hand, the best fit module is a software development related to the measurement module, which based on optimisation algorithms almost immediately carries out the 3D best fit calculations of the finished workpiece, comparing it with the scatter plot that defines the raw workpiece.

The result of this measurement and best fit is a references report that will make it possible to carry out the alignment in the machine in a simple manner by means of set-up procedures that are usually already integrated in the machine.

VSET is a system is an accessory external to the machine by SORALUCE. SORALUCE is developing and will soon launch an upcoming development intended for its specific machines. This new software module will enable the automatic integration of best fit results in the machine’s control, and by means of calculation algorithms will make it possible to carry out an automated and guided alignment process, facilitating and further reducing the times for this task.

The VSET system is already a system that has been previously tested with great success in industrial environments where truly spectacular quantitative and qualitative results have been obtained in the following critical factors summarised below:

  • Reductions in measurement, best fit and alignment processing times of up to 70%.
  • Increases in machine availability and productivity thanks to transferring set-up times in measurements, adjustments and corrections to an environment outside the machine.
  • Given its ease-of-use, it offers access to these processes to professional profiles that are not specialised in measurements.
  • Standardisation of alignment procedures in the machine.
  • Guaranteed quality based on the digital record of the entire process and potential traceability.

In short, VSET is another solution by SORALUCE that truly adapts to the problem of fine tuning workpieces with high added value and volume, placing this great company at the summit of industrial innovation.  

Accuracy through RAM Balance

SORALUCE faces the problems caused by Reduction of machine accuracy due to ram drop.

Ram drop is the position and geometrical error generated by the deflection of the ram which has two sources: the weight of the ram itself and when the machine is equipped with head change, the variable weight of the attachment heads.

The RAM BALANCE System improves ram geometrical accuracy, straightness and parallelism, when vertical and cross axes are moved. The system consists of a CNC-controlled electromechanical system assembled within the vertical saddle. It works as an additional CNC axis and it is closed-loop-controlled with its own direct position measuring system.

It increases the general precision of the machine, especially when it is equipped with an automatic head changing system.

As different set-ups can be managed by the CNC, the system will accurately correct the deviation of the ram regardless of the weight of individual heads.

SORALUCE Digital platform

The new digital paradigm in manufacturing makes the interaction between machines, people and processes easier. SORALUCE helps its customers to become more competitive by innovating in the field of industrial digitalisation, improving operational efficiency by connecting the machines to the cloud in order to enable a seamless production information flow and maximise the machines’ performance. The interconnection of the equipment and the possibility of obtaining and analysing data from machines, open up the path towards creating smart manufacturing environments.

In this context, SORALUCE presents the SORALUCE Data System, a machine data-driven analytics tool that extracts valuable insights from the machine-generated data and that monitors its status and condition to ensure that the running performance of the machining process is as high as possible. SORALUCE Data System is a powerful tool to maximise uptime and manufacturing efficiency.

SORALUCE Data System includes several features; among them, the display of the machine status in real time providing relevant information about the situation of the machining in progress. The tool generates reports regarding sensitive issues for the user such as production or process, energy consumption or the performance of the machining cycles. It helps to optimise the machining process variables through the diagnosis of key warning signs related to the maintenance of the equipment and thus increases the machine’s productivity and avoids unnecessary consumption. It also sends emails automatically in the event of a shutdown. 

Using specific hardware and applying the latest Big Data and Cloud Computing technologies, SORALUCE Data System collects and stores significant data from the CNC, PLC and sensors built into the machine and turns them into useful information. SORALUCE Data System brings together a set of services based on machine monitoring and Big Data to analyse the machining process and machine behaviour. It enables users to connect to the system remotely and securely via mobile devices including laptops, smartphones and tablets, and to have access to all the relevant information of the machines, factory logistics systems or other machines in the production system taking customers to the realm of the smart factory. In addition, it allows the connection with other machines of the factory and also with different management software applications such as ERP, MES, GMAO, etc.

SORALUCE, setting new standards

SORALUCE is the global leader in milling, boring and turning technology. Since its creation 55 years ago, it has continuously made innovative and pioneering contributions to engineering that have become industry standards. SORALUCE is recognised for its expertise in milling, boring and turning solutions and has the ongoing aim of improving customers’ efficiency and productivity. The company is also noted for its technical ability to customise each product based on the customer’s individual needs, and to implement turn-key projects, designing and setting up full lines according to the customer’s quality, efficiency and cost parameters. SORALUCE is a European brand which has extensive experience and a strong track-record, with over 2,800 machines sold (nearly half in the highly-demanding German market) and a customer retention rate of 80%.

SORALUCE is part of the DANOBATGROUP, the machine-tool division of MONDRAGON Corporation, one of the largest holdings in Europe. It has nine state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in Spain, Germany, the UK and the USA, an Excellence Centre in Germany (BIMATEC SORALUCE) and its own R&D centre with 120 engineers, 24 PhDs and more than 30 years of history. The DANOBATGROUP develops and supplies an extensive range of machine tools, turnkey lines and solutions for specific applications aimed at high-technology sectors and at customers with high technical requirements. In 2016, it achieved a turnover of 260 million Euros with a workforce of 1300, enabling it to continue making significant investments in R&D, which represent approximately 8% of turnover.