Tornos plays right tune for guitar specialist

Top guitar players and metal-cutting experts share a common passion: the search for the last micron and the perfect sound.

Both of these factors can be found at Schaller, a company that produces precision mechanical components for electric guitars. To achieve the accuracy required, Schaller relies on CNC automatic lathes from Swiss manufacturer Tornos.
Schaller GmbH is a German manufacturer of hardware for musical instruments and is headquartered in Postbauer-Heng, near Nuremberg. The company develops, produces, markets and sells machine heads, bridges, vibrato systems (so-called tremolos), strap locks and other guitar accessories on a global scale.
A look at output levels reveals that the company is actually a highly prolific manufacturing enterprise. In the online shop, customers will find about 19,000 products and 160 end assemblies that consist of up to 500 individual parts having eight different surfaces each. The fact that Schaller supplies more than 1.5 million products per year is testament to factory manager Dominik Weininger and his team.
The company possesses two Swiss GT13 and two Swiss DT26 machines. For Schaller, the technical features of the GT 13 and its six-axis kinematics are the prerequisites to meet all challenges associated with the production process. The Swiss GT13 is intended for diameters up to 13 mm and has six linear axes and two C axes. These axes can be equipped with up to 30 tools, 12 of them being driven tools.
The Swiss DT26 boasts a tried and tested kinematic structure with five linear axes. Spindles can reach a power rating of over 10.5 kW. Moreover, the Swiss DT 26 is no longer restricted to mere turning and milling tasks, but can be equipped with various tool holders.
The Tornos machines at Schaller are running 24 hours a day, five days a week.
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100 options for new lathe

New from DMG Mori is a universal turning centre, the CLX 550, featuring robust construction, a 33 kW (40% DC/3250 rpm/630 Nm) spindle and the option of a Fanuc 3D control instead of the standard 19” SLIMline multi-touch control panel with Siemens 840D solutionline and Operate 4.7.

The lathe joins two smaller models – 350 and 450 – to expand a range that was first announced at the AMB 2016 show in Stuttgart.
Able to turn components up to 480 mm in diameter by 1225 mm long, the CLX 550 offers users a larger work area in a compact footprint of 7.4 sq m. The cast-iron bed ensures rigidity, minimises vibration and allows improved chip evacuation.
Large ballscrews, sturdy spindle bearings and a VDI 40 turret with 12 stations, live if required, ensure high productivity and accuracy, which is further promoted by feedback of axis positions via linear scales. When configured as a bar automatic, the machine produces parts up to 80 mm in diameter, or alternatively 102 mm. In terms of precision, circularity of less than 3 µm is quoted.
A choice of over 100 hardware and software options enables application-oriented specification and upgrading of the CLX 550. In addition to the optional larger bar capacity and possibility of choosing a 120 mm Y-axis, VDI 30 or VDI 50 turrets are available, as well as a tailstock and a steady rest, both of which can be programmable to facilitate the manufacture of crankshafts, for example. If a counter-spindle replaces the tailstock, six-sided machining of complex workpieces can be carried out in one hit.
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Latest precision lathe generation

The sixth generation of precision turning centres from Spinner – the MicroTurn series – was displayed for the first time at the AMB 2018 show in Stuttgart recently.

Available in the UK through sole agent Whitehouse Machine Tools, the MicroTurn is built in two sizes and is capable of producing components to within 5 µm dimensional tolerance in series production.
To enable this degree of precision, including when hard-turning and micro-finishing components, what Spinner describes as ‘disruptive influences’ from turrets, Y axes and unnecessary heat sources, have been minimised.
The concept is based on the company’s previous precision lathes, which employ a two-axis spindle head on a compound slide, in this case moving 600 mm in X and 350 mm in Z, with balanced thermal characteristics for fine positioning. On the MicroTurn, the spindle operates in conjunction with a static, linear tool carrier integrated into the vertical machine bed (L-Version).
Recognising that companies producing smaller batches of parts need greater flexibility and fast set-up times, Spinner has provided a number of options. One is a BMT45 turret with a ±50 mm Y axis and 12 stations (optionally driven at 8000 rpm), which can be added at the bottom of the working area (LT-Version).
For extra versatility, the BMT45 turret can be joined at the top of the working area by a 15 kW/12,000 rpm pivoting B-axis milling spindle with ±50 mm of Y-axis movement and an HSK40 interface (LBT-Version). The spindle can be served with cutters exchanged from a 33- or 72-station tool magazine. There is also an LTBS-Version with an opposing counter-spindle, identical to the main spindle, for simultaneous parallel machining or synchronous workpiece transfer.
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Big machines for big aerospace aspirations

Large-capacity Doosan vertical turning lathes occupy centre stage at the new Hanwha Aerospace aero-engine parts production facility in Vietnam.
South Korea-based Hanwha Aerospace has announced that its plans to significantly ramp up the production and supply of civil aircraft engine parts (fans and compressors) to the global aerospace market through the creation of a new manufacturing facility in Vietnam, are nearing completion.

The new factory, located near Hanoi, is substantial at 60,000 sq m, making it approximately eight times the size of a football pitch. Once fully operational, it is anticipated that Hanwha Aerospace will be able to increase sales turnover to US$879m.
To help the company achieve its ambitions, Hanwha has invested heavily in a number of large-capacity Doosan vertical ram-type lathes (VTRs). By the end of January 2019, it is expected that 30 Doosan VTRs will have been installed at the new Vietnam factory, rising to 120 machines by 2024.
The Doosan machines supplied to Hanwha Techwin comprise VTR 1012F and VTR 1216F models. Doosan’s F-designated VTR machines have a fixed cross beam design, as opposed to a travelling cross beam design and, as such, are said to be particularly suited
to the machining of smaller, shorter components such as aero-engine rings.
In addition, both VTR models also have a wide column and box guideway design, and are equipped with ram-type spindles (up to 45 kW/400 rpm), as well as large diameter cross-taper roller bearings for heavy-duty machining operations.
VTR machines also feature servo-driven tool changers, swarf evacuation and management systems for increased productivity and trouble-free machining. The maximum turning diameter is 1600 mm (VTR 1216F). Mills CNC is the UK agent for machine tools from Doosan.
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Towering success for UK manufacturer

Hackbridge-based Monument Tools specialises in supplying the plumbing and roofing industries with the tools its needs to complete the job.

As all of its products are developed in-house, the company’s toolroom plays an important role in business success. Here, Monument requires the ability to efficiently create small batch quantities and be able to change designs quickly, hence the company’s willingness to invest in machine tools.
Monument’s most recent toolroom investment is an XYZ CT65LTY turning centre. The Siemens 828D ShopTurn conversational control, 70 mm of Y-axis travel and 400 mm swing, make for a highly versatile machine. Other standard equipment includes a 200 mm hydraulic chuck, 12-station VDI turret with live tooling capability, Renishaw tool setting/probing, swarf conveyor and fully programmable tailstock.
“We needed a machine that could produce parts in a single hit to reduce development time and labour costs,” says chairman John Collier. “The simplicity of the control on the XYZ, and our use of offline programming, means we can quickly produce batches of 10-off prototypes and confirm the design is suitable for our customers’ needs, as well as ensuring it is production ready for batches that are sometimes in excess of 1000-off. The one-hit capability of the XYZ CT65LTY generates much greater efficiency within the toolroom.”
Having installed the XYZ CT65LTY, an additional bonus arrived when a company local to Monument Tools heard about the investment. “We only took delivery of the machine in June, but word soon spread and we were approached to see if we would be interested in taking on some subcontract work for complex parts with tapers on the external and internal surfaces,” explains a pleased Jon Norton, engineering manager at Monument Tools.
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