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Greater productivity means more sustainability

»Machining centers from Germany are some of the most sustainable products currently available. They have a long service life, and their manufacturers are committed to energy efficiency during their use, driving new technologies forward«, says Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken (VDW) (German Machine Tool Builders' Association) in the »Produktion« magazine. You could not have said it better for the CHIRON Group. The new series, automation solutions, the AM Cube, digital systems and services, retrofits: sustainability and a positive environmental footprint are integral components of the CHIRON Group's portfolio.

The more productive a machining center is in manufacturing components, the more economically and thus sustainably the resources of space, energy and raw materials can be used. That much is clear, at least in theory. But what does that mean in practice? When is a machine particularly productive?

When the cycle times are significantly shorter, for example. The 16 Series operates approximately 20 percent faster than the predecessor series. A customer needs fewer machines, less space and fewer peripheral devices - for example for a coolant supply - for the same output. Production is more efficient, and therefore more sustainable, if multi-spindle systems are used instead of single-spindle devices: »Our stated objective is for a double-spindle machine such as the DZ 16 W or the STAMA MT 733 to produce two workpieces in the same time that a single-spindle machine needs for one workpiece – of course with the same high quality standard. The reduced requirements for space, energy and investment costs compared to single-spindle machines are very attractive for our customers,« says Dr. Claus Eppler, CTO at the CHIRON Group. 

Automatic tool changes, workpiece changeover via a pallet changer or a tool change unit as well as loading and unloading the magazine in parallel contribute to the short cycle times which can be implemented for example with the CHIRON 16, 22, 25 and 28 Series and with the STAMA MT 733. Sustainability is also reflected in a variety of other technical solutions which add up to considerably more energy efficiency.

Technical solutions for greater energy efficiency

  • Continuous use of frequency-controlled drives or IE3 motors
  • Standard feed-back of the servomotors' brake energy
  • Hydraulic units in storage-charge operation
  • Consistent mass optimization of all mobile components in the machining center
  • Milling spindles with energy-efficient synchronous and asynchronous motors to reduce the magnetic flux during turndown
  • Optional machine recooling in place of the customer's chilled water distribution
  • Powersafe function for needs-based switch-over in stand-by-mode

Automated machining opens up further potential
»The constantly increasing use of automation solutions is an important trend in manufacturing,« states Dr. Eppler. »Ideally, several machines are operated by one employee, in the best case scenario in just one or maximum two of three production shifts. The night shift - unpopular with the staff and expensive for the company - should run on its own, in a manner of speaking.« This can be achieved with an automation solution like the VariocellUno. Digital monitoring and messaging functions make it possible to have disruption-free, highly efficient production even in autonomous operation.

 The combination of the CHIRON DZ 16 W and the compact automation unit VariocellUno facilitates a particularly productive exchange of unfinished and finished part pallets during machine operation in series production and allows the manufacture of several workpieces during very short cycle times.
The combination of the CHIRON DZ 16 W and the compact automation unit VariocellUno facilitates a particularly productive exchange of unfinished and finished part pallets during machine operation in series production and allows the manufacture of several workpieces during very short cycle times.

Digital assistance saves resources – across the board
Thanks to the digital systems of the SmartLine portfolio and SmartServices, the CHIRON Group provides the best support throughout running operation and ensures additional efficiency, availability and productivity of the machining centers. And as for saving resources cross the board: servicing procedures at one site can be combined and scheduled for a single date. Disruptions can be rectified from afar thanks to remote support, thus avoiding travel – along with the associated CO2 emissions. The running-in times and commissioning of the actual machining centers are also decreased due to virtual machine commissioning and simulation of customer processes.

Repair instead of replace – thanks to the AM Cube
The AM Cube, the first 3D metal printer of the CHIRON Group, has so many good features, as Axel Boi explains in the following video clip.

One of these positive features is sustainability: larger components can be assembled directly and precisely in the customer's production line without the otherwise high material costs, without long procurement times and environmentally harmful transport. Components are protected from corrosion and wear if they are coated using laser deposition welding procedures, they last longer and release fewer harmful substances - for example, abrasion from brake disks - into the environment. In addition, the AM Cube is ideally suited for repairing parts – another advantage in view of sustainability with manufacturing solutions of the CHIRON Group.

Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister for Housing, Work and Planning for the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, was extremely interested in sustainable manufacturing solutions and retrofits for longer machine service life during her visit at the CHIRON Group. The minister was a guest in Tuttlingen at the end of July as part of her transformation trip.

Preserving values, saving raw materials: retrofit instead of new purchase
Sustainability also means preserving values. A machining center from CHIRON or STAMA brand represents such a value, even if it has been in operation for many years.

An »aging« machining center has had new life breathed into it by the CMS specialists, ready for a new, more productive and more energy-efficient machine life.

The life cycle of existing machines can be increased with a retrofit solution from CMS – and not only that: all important elements such as drives, main spindles and control are reconditioned, which means the systems manufacture 30 to 40 percent faster than before. At the same time, the energy requirements decrease: the thermal energy from the cooling circuits can be fed into the customer's central water circuit, special drive motors feed any energy that has been generated but is not required back into the mains supply. The greatest potential for savings provided by a retrofit is with the raw materials at 75 percent, compared to a new purchase. The most important factor for the customers - along with the lower investment costs - is the delivery time: already modernized machining centers from the CMS portfolio are available in just two weeks, a customized refurbishment is completed in six to 12 weeks.