Safe travels for CNC-turning machine
July 4, 2011
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Machine tool manufacturer Tornos Gurutzpe S.A. has been in business for 52 years and has delivered more than 5,000 machines over that period. Specializing in large-capacity lathes, the company supplies manufacturers of turbine parts for power plants, drill pipes for oil production, laminated and hydraulic cylinders.
The company’s latest horizontal CNC-turning machine, the A-2000 4G CNC, is designed to be reliable, resilient and efficient — top requirements for lathe buyers all over the world. It required a cable carrier solution that was suitable for unsupported long travels and hot metal chips.
When developing the prototype for the machine, the company replaced a heavy steel chain with Guidelok — a horizontal guiding system from Igus — to avert potential damage from large metal chips. Guidelok is designed to stop metal chips from causing abrasion and wear in long travel cable carrier applications. It holds a cable carrier’s upper and lower runs apart over long distances when they would normally glide on top of one another. This means metal debris cannot settle between the two runs and cause abrasion.
An initial prototype of the new A-2000 4G CNC, equipped with two horizontal Guidelok systems running side-by-side over a distance of 13 metres (44 feet), was delivered to a customer in the wind-energy sector .
Joaquín Orbegozo, head of electrical engineering at Gurutzpe, is convinced of the advantages of Guidelok.
“The cable carriers are rugged, rigid and reliable,” he said, adding that, even though it’s a plastic cable carrier, it can easily tolerate the weight of a grown man.
If a customer has a concern that, during the machining process, hot metal chips could eat through the plastic, Orbegozo takes a soldering iron and presses it onto the cable carrier in a few different places.
“When customers see that this cannot damage the cable carrier, they are convinced,” he explained.
“Plastic cable carriers have many advantages compared to metal versions,” Joe Ciringione, sales manager for Energy Chain Systems at igus North America, said. “Steel is more expensive, much heavier and less resistant to corrosion. Plastic Energy Chains are also quicker and easier to mount, which saves customers time and money.”
Longer travels for CNC-turning machines
Gurutzpe specializes in special turning machine solutions for customers with specific requirements. The company also makes guide machines equipped with fixed or hydraulic steady rests, offering a great degree of flexibility.
The company has seen market demand increase when it comes to very large, long travel CNC-turning machines, and has already built turning machines 20 metres (66 feet) long.
Safe cable guidance shouldn’t be an issue for these applications, since igus’ Guidelok cable carrier systems can cope with distances up to 50 metres (164 feet).
Guidelok is designed to be modular – the side troughs are optional – and is currently available from igus North America with a four to six week lead time.