Machine Tools Heller open house: Digitalisation in horizontal-spindle machining
Germany — Horizontal-spindle machining centre manufacturer Heller Maschinenfabrik held an in-house event at its headquarters in Nürtingen, Germany early in May 2022, which attracted around 850 visitors. It focused on the company's latest generations of 4-axis and 5-axis machining centres and innovative technologies.
At Heller’s open house event, a total of six different guided tours provided insights into the company’s networked manufacturing and assembly of machining centres, spindle manufacture, component repair and modern training factory for machine tool engineers.
Second-generation HF 3500/5500 5-axis machining centres were on display, with emphasis on their greater flexibility, productivity and precision. There was also a spotlight on the fourth generation of the H 4000/6000 4-axis machining centres that once again demonstrated their dynamics, stability and high performance. Additionally, the CP 6000 5-axis mill/turn machining centre demonstrated powerful complete machining on a single platform.
For the first time, Heller presented friction stir welding technology. The process for bonding different workpieces was integrated into its 4-axis and 5-axis machining centres. The joining process enables complete machining and welding in a single setup, offering advantages in terms of productivity and precision.
Two methods for manufacturing gears on 5-axis machining centres were presented. Production of different external and internal gear teeth by power skiving on a standard machine with turning functionality was demonstrated, as was hobbing of external gears. Software and a programming interface for both processes can be retrofitted.
In addition to conventional mill-turn functionality for complete machining, the Nürtingen-based machine tool manufacturer showed an alternative option – interpolation turning. New software has been developed by Siemens, for which Heller provided exclusive support. The flexible system is an attractive alternative for users who rarely need to produce rotational features on a machining centre. The two turning options are complemented by Heller's U-axis facing and boring head that can be integrated into its spindle heads.
The Heller open house made a point of promoting digital solutions. The machine tool manufacturer presented its mobile Shopfloor Interface, which provides a holistic view of all data relevant to an assembly process. The Services Interface ensures increased transparency at the machine, higher productivity and a reduction in unscheduled downtime. A range of modules were on display, including for collision protection and tool magazine optimisation.