Unique part production with utmost flexibility
With its unrivaled precision and integrated grinding functions, the DMU 210 FD helps JB Production boost its competitive edge on the international market.
JB Production is a manufacturing company in Eastern Jutland, Denmark with a widely envied level of expertise in machining. Throughout the past 30 years they have become a specialist in high precision parts, special components and prototype manufacturing for various sectors, including the oil and gas, the machine building and the medical industry. These are all areas where top quality is mandatory for every job, yet the biggest challenge for JB Production is the demanding task of being flexible and efficient at the same time.
In their line of work the batch sizes are quite small, sometimes just a single piece, so there is absolutely no room for error. All the parts they are producing have to be perfectly functional in order to be profitable. This sets extremely high requirements for both the human workforce and the machine park as well. For more than 10 years JB Production has been relying on DMG MORI machines to stay ahead of the competition and set new standards in its region. Their latest investment, a DMU 210 FD universal 5-axis machining center serves exactly this purpose by enabling the company to manufacture bigger components, work more efficiently and realize even the tightest tolerances thanks to the integrated grinding functions.
“I see a great future for these kind of machines here in Denmark” – says Kurt L. Andersen, managing director of JB Production. “The ability to do 5-axis milling, turning and grinding operations all in one setup is invaluable for us. Not only does it increase the tolerances that we can achieve on our large components, but also greatly shortens the time to finish a part. “
Complete machining of large parts with maximum precision and efficiency
The range of products at JB is indeed remarkably wide. Walking through the factory on any given week, one could easily see hydraulic pump components, casted machine parts and oversized bearings follow each other on the machine. The bearings for example, as Kurt Andersen explains require very high accuracy. “Thanks to the rigid machine bed construction and the active cooling of both the guides and the spindle we can reach up to 6 microns accuracy on the new DMU 210 FD.” As it can be visually monitored on the CNC interface, intelligent software functions like the automatic speed adjustment and the spindle displacement compensation play an important role in achieving the predefined geometry and surface quality during the machining processes.
JB offers comprehensive service for its customers and provides complete documentation for every part, including the post-machining quality control. The measurement of large components is carried out on a high-tech CMM in a specially built, climate controlled room. The transportation of the workpieces between the machines and the CMM is done via overhead cranes. “The ergonomic design and large operator doors of the DMU 210 FD helps a lot in this process. The accessibility of the work area is great. We can remove the finished part, take it to the CMM and set-up for the next job on the machine in no time.” – says Kurt Andersen.
Another processing area where the company has received increasingly more requests in recent years is the grinding. Previously they had to do those operations on a separate machine or send it out to a subcontractor. That was, however, not only time consuming but also added unnecessary risks concerning the final quality of the part. To solve this problem JB opted to invest in a grinding option for their DMU 210 FD, and the results are already visible according to Kurt Andersen: “We have several jobs that require grinding, and most of them are large pieces with diameters between 720 - 1.000 mm. With our new machining center we are in a unique position in Denmark to be able to grind these workpieces in one setup. This innovative technology opened completely new possibilities for us in terms of how efficient we can get and how complex parts we can realize in-house.” The grinding integrates seamlessly with the other functions of the machine. The grinding wheels are handled as normal tools within the machine and the programming of the grinding cycles are accomplished as if they were any other conventional milling or turning tool.
Ease of operation for high productivity
The tools are stored in a chain type tool magazine. Kurt Andersen explains that they have chosen a version with 120 stations because this way they can store all of their standard tools in the machine – around 80-90 standard milling and turning tools plus the grinding wheels – and they would only need to replace special tools for unique jobs. Kurt Andersen also adds: “The tool magazine can be accessed at any time, so the operator can manage the tools even while a program is running. There is also a second CNC interface here that allows him to constantly monitor the machining process and even stop the machine or issue any command that is necessary.”
JB is proud of its employees. Many of them have been with the company for more than a decade and according to the managing director, this is a key factor in their success: “Their many years of experience is indispensable in our segment. We have relatively few people compared to the number of machines, so everyone has to fill multiple roles to keep up the productivity. In this environment the ease of use of our new DMU 210 FD takes a lot of weight off the shoulders of the operator. Intelligent functions like the automatic tool measuring system and the integrated dressing of the grinding wheels are making the life of the employees much easier as well“. The CNC control is connected to the central network of the company, which makes it possible to do all the complex 5-axis CAM programming in the office, and then send over the finished program to the machine with a press of a button. Thanks to receiving the realistic model of the machining center from DMG MORI, the engineers can run complete simulations of the cutting processes to check for any errors or collisions. As Kurt Andersen states it: “We make absolutely sure that the programs are correct and the geometry of the finished part will be in accordance with the CAD model.”
Despite the fact that the DMU 210 FD is a complex, high-tech equipment, the operation of the machine is user friendly and logical. It is clearly visible that DMG MORI has put a huge effort into designing every aspect of this machine as Kurt Andersen points it out. “We have a sizeable experience with the DMU technology. We have used a previous model for nearly a decade, and even after that, much time the machine has perfectly kept its accuracy. It was an excellent machine, but this new one sets a completely new standard.” Thanks to the local service and support team the transition between the two machines was fast and smooth as well. The training took only three days for the standard functions of the machine, plus one day extra for the grinding.
With this new technology Kurt Andersen believes that the company can penetrate new market segments and significantly increase its export production in the coming years: “This is a unique machine in our region due to its size and the grinding option, so the main goal now is to expand our presence on the international market and start utilizing the full potential of this technology.”