SORALUCE creates system capable of increasing productivity by up to 300%
The European machine-tool manufacturer, which specialises in milling, boring and turning, is revolutionising its sector with DAS (Dynamics Active Stabiliser) technology, which has just earned it the European Quality Innovation of the Year and Best of Industry awards.
DAS technology, which is set to be a revolution in the machine-tool sector, consists of a device that actively increases the dynamic rigidity of machines, thus increasing cutting capability by up to 300% due to the reduction of the risk of chatter during machining process. The system increases cutting capability in general, improves surface quality and reduces the risk of tool breakages, increasing tool lifetime under extreme conditions.
The system has been tested on all types of machining processes, such as press heads, motor pole shoes and dies, and in all cases its use has resulted in reductions of up to 45% in the machining times tested.
The DAS system, which is in the process of being patented, is the result of joint efforts by SORALUCE and IK4-IDEKO, the research centre of the DANOBATGROUP, the group both belong to. It has been tested at BIMATEC SORALUCE, the brand’s centre of excellence in Germany.
The DAS system has won the Quality Innovation of the Year award, in which Ms. Tiia Tammaru, a member of the international jury, described it as follows: “the world of machine tools has seen a real revolution with the SORALUCE DAS system, an innovation that reduces to an extent unthinkable until now the risk of the appearance of chatter during the machining process, thus multiplying the performance of the machine”. DAS has also won the Best of Industry award from Maschinenmarkt, one of the most prestigious specialist magazines in the machine-tool industry in Germany, in a process based on opinions expressed by readers.
SORALUCE shows its commitment to providing solutions at the forefront of machining with the launching of the new DAS system and its new generation of multi-function machines that blend ergonomics, safety and high output.
Talk of technological innovations tends to focus on improving machine performance by attaining greater speed and precision in machining processes, or on reducing production costs. SORALUCE takes this approach much further: in the past two years this innovative firm has focused on bringing to market a new generation of machines that incorporate developments never before seen in the sector: a new generation of machines based on a more ergonomic environment and on providing maximum operator protection. This new generation not only embodies SORALUCE’s essential values of reliability, precision and competitiveness but also offers customers major improvements in maintenance, ergonomics, high dynamics and safety in the workplace.
SORALUCE’s new generation is based on a thorough review of machines from the viewpoint of users, focused on improving efficiency of operation and on developing a “Total Machine Concept” that takes into account not just the machine itself but also the whole working area, to ensure optimal final results. All operator interactions with the different parts of the machine have been carefully analysed and studied to ensure optimisation in application and indeed in the whole process from the securing and loading of workpieces to their final removal and subsequent cleaning. Both the working environment and the processes used must be linked to the operation of the machine itself, so that the various parts of the process are as simple, safe and ergonomic as possible.
The SORALUCE FMT, on which the DAS system has been tested at Workshops organised by the firm for its customers, is a fine exponent of this new generation. It is a large-sized multitask machining centre with full capability and functionality for turning operations as well as high power and torque in its universal milling-turning head. It is therefore capable of machining highly complex workpieces in a single set-up. The substantial savings in machining time that this provides make it more profitable for users in both series and one-off production.
This machining solution has an innovative design based on a flexible work area that is fully customisable. Customers can thus choose whether to use one or more work areas and incorporate additional rotary or/and fixed tables.
The machine features a full enclosure that provides easy access links to automatically opening doors that give full frontal and top access to the work area. This also facilitates the collection of chips and cutting fluid. To provide operators with better visibility, it also features large glazed areas. Easy operation, safety and cleanliness can be supplemented by the incorporation into the enclosure of fume exhaust systems. Additionally, the SORALUCE FMT shown incorporates an automatic robotic tool magazine with 150 tools.
It is precisely for this new concept applied to its new generation of machines that SORALUCE has just won the prestigious Red Dot Award, an international distinction for high design quality. The SORALUCE FXR was selected from a record number of 5.214 candidates from 57 countries to win the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2016, and was declared to be one of the best products of the year. The Red Dot Award jury comprises 41 independent expert designers, design professors and specialist journalists. In the words of IBON ROMAN, Head of Industrial Design at SORALUCE, “Customers have realised that the new generation of SORALUCE machines goes beyond the frontiers of production. We have a new vision of the concepts of the machine, which we apply to both milling and boring machines, as well as multitask machining centres and vertical lathes. We are based on the idea that each different part of the machine requires different treatment, so we break down the machine into different areas: the Work Area, the Human Area, Maintenance Spots, the Logistics Area, and we thus define the concept of a “Total Machine”. All of the innovations that SORALUCE incorporates into its products every year are designed both to improve the user-machine relationship and to optimise the customer’s production processes. In fact, these two issues are linked, so if the operator’s safety and comfort are increased so is the efficiency of the machine and therefore its productivity. If we add the reliability of the solutions that SORALUCE provides – with proven experience and worldwide recognition in the field of milling and boring heads – and the advanced automation in thechange of tools that our machines offer, efficiency and profitability are fully guaranteed”.
SORALUCE has also introduced improvements as regards machine maintenance, rationalising installations throughout the design process, centrally locating the components to be checked so that the status of the machine can be monitored correctly and improving access to those areas where intervention may be required by replacing removable panels with shutters or doors. Specific signage has also been added with a view to improving visual ergonomics in maintenance operations.
With all these improvements SORALUCE is coming closer to its goal of ensuring smooth, optimal man/machine interaction, in the belief that this is the only way to achieve maximum productivity in machining processes. The high technology used in the firm’s products and the possibility of customising all its manufacturing solutions are further assurances that investments made will exceed the current limits as regards profitability.
Home of Innovation
SORALUCE is well aware of the importance of actively listening to what the users of its products have to say, and therefore maintains a very close relationship with customers at all levels, including top management staff, heads of production and shop-floor operators. This is how the needs of customers can be solved, combining the theoretical concepts of scientific research with the complex reality of milling, boring and vertical turning technologies.
SORALUCE’s R&D&i department is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of engineers from the mechanical, electronic and applications fields. This department is responsible for the development of products, software, heads, accessories and options. It gathers input from customers and sets up research programmes together with the IK4-IDEKO research centre to develop the technologies that are subsequently implemented in SORALUCE products, with close monitoring of the production process. All these new technologies are transferred to the BIMATEC SORALUCE centre of excellence in Limburg, where German engineers test the machines under the most demanding conditions. This centre of excellence is SORALUCE’s international technology testing centre.
BIMATEC SORALUCE combines German engineering knowledge with 25 years of experience as leaders in the German market and the provision of support and service all over the world. It is SORALUCE’s second-biggest worldwide service hub.
It has a 2000 m² workshop and a set of machines that cover SORALUCE’s full range for in-house and customer trials. It also boasts its own technology department, where customised solutions are developed.
This is how the technology of the future is born at SORALUCE, and how SORALUCE takes on technological leadership as the Home of Innovation: technology born from listening to markets, customers and users.
Customers can be sure that when they buy SORALUCE products they get the technology that they need, and that they are making the right investment, regardless of whether they are purchasing top-quality machinery customised to meet their needs or entrusting highly complex, custom projects to SORALUCE.
SORALUCE: extensive experience
The extensive experience of this European manufacturer is evidenced by over 2500 machines sold, almost half of them in Germany, a highly demanding market where over the years 80% of customers have become repeat purchasers. This year SORALUCE is celebrating 25 years as the leader on the German market and 15 years as the benchmark for technology on the Italian market.
SORALUCE is a member of the DANOBATGROUP, the machine-tool division of the MONDRAGÓN Corporation, one of Europe’s biggest corporate groups. With almost 20 top-level manufacturing plants in Spain, Germany, the UK and the US, the group also has its own R&D centre staffed by 120 engineers, including 24 Ph.D. holders. The DANOBATGROUP provides its customers with one of the most comprehensive, most competitive ranges of multi-technology products on the market. With a total workforce of 1300 and a turnover in 2015 of around €260 million, it has been able to consistently invest the high figure of around 9% of its turnover in R&D&i.
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