Karl Roll Clean, tidy and dry for precise tactile measuring
Germany – A clean and tidy work piece is essential for carrying out tactile measurements. But components must also have the right temperature – a state of affairs a German mould maker and their partners achieved with a dedicated cleaning chamber with added vacuum drying.
Extreme dimensional accuracy is a must for the production of part-forming components of injection moulds. At Festo, tactile measuring of both halves of the mould is used after fully automated HSC milling and die-sink EDM. The mould needs to be clean and dry and have a specified temperature. Partners Festo and Karl Roll have now developed a fully automated inline cleaning system that is said to reliably meet these requirements.
Festo’s mould-making facility is located in Sankt Ingbert, Germany, and is capable of fully automatic HSC milling and die-sink EDM. “The tolerances for these part-forming components amount to ±2 µm. Consequently, the components are subjected to fully automated tactile measurement between the individual production steps,” explains Sergej Ostrovski, a member of the company’s Technology Procurement, Machines and Systems department. Prior to this, machining and erosion residues as well as oil from die-sink EDM had to be reliably removed. “But being clean and dry is not enough for precise measurement – the parts must have a temperature of 22° C as well. Deviation is only permissible within a range of ± 1° Kelvin,” Ostrovski says. Due to the strict temperature requirements, the line is located in an air-conditioned area.
A dedicated cleaning cell, fully automated
Ostrovski investigated various cleaning system manufacturers but none of the commercially available solutions were satisfactory. “Due to the fact that Karl Roll had already supplied us with solutions for other tasks, we decided in their favour,” he reports. The process was developed as a joint effort at the equipment manufacturer’s technology centre using actual parts with original contamination. After intensive cleaning and drying tests, engineers developed a process sequence that fulfilled the cleanliness and temperature requirements. Roll constructed a cleaning cell with a footprint of 1700 x 1550 mm, which was integrated into the production line and master control system.