Keeping up with the times through automated high-end machining for research & development
Limited production area and an increasing shortage of skilled staff: Ludwig Feinmechanik invests in the production of the future with a highly productive DMU 50 3rd Generation machine including a PH 150 pallet handling system.
Ludwig Feinmechanik & Maschinenbau GmbH was founded in 1979 by Gerhard Ludwig. 1998 saw the company move to the Technologiepark Uni Bremen and the start of close cooperation with the companies and research institutions located there. These include the Fraunhofer Institute and the German Aerospace Center, for example, and meanwhile industrial customers as well. 14 skilled staff and ten CNC machines from DMG MORI ensure the quality-oriented and reliable production of demanding one-offs and batches of parts. A 5-axis DMU 50 3rd Generation with PH 150 pallet handling system - the latest acquisition - boosts efficiency in production.
ficonTEC Holding took over the company in 2014 after Gerhard Ludwig retired. Frank Warnke, the new Managing Director, aimed at continuing the successful course of Ludwig Feinmechanik: “In order to remain competitive, we also turned to industry to build up a second foothold for the company in addition to the customer base in the technology park.” From then on larger series of up to 2,000 parts were added to the many smaller quantities. “The high level of quality has stayed the same.”
Ludwig Feinmechanik is a specialist in the production of complex components for general mechanical engineering and the aerospace industry, among others. “Such orders require a lot of manufacturing competence, which we ensure with our team of highly skilled staff”, says Frank Warnke. It proved a challenge to find qualified staff who could exploit the possibilities of modern CNC technology to the full. For many years now the team has relied on machine tools from DMG MORI and Frank Warnke has continuously expanded the number of machines on the shop floor over the past few years. The reason: “On the one hand machine availability is higher with new models and we have to keep technologically abreast of the times on the other.”
Unmanned night and weekend shifts
The latest models in production include a DMC 1450 V for vertical machining, a DMU 60 eVo linear for 5-axis simultaneous machining and a NLX 2500 with counter spindle for turning. A DMU 50 3rd Generation with a PH 150 pallet handling system in the recently launched VERTICO design has enabled automatic production at Ludwig Feinmechanik since earlier this year. “Unmanned night and weekend shifts increase our productivity enormously”, says a pleased Frank Warnke. The respective operator can prepare ten pallet stations with completely different individual parts and then remove them the next morning or after the weekend.
Complete system with ten pallets on less than 16.5m2
The manufacturing solution comprising a DMU 50 3rd Generation and PH 150 has impressed Frank Warnke on many different levels: “Our production area is limited, so the compact design was a key criterion for us. The complete system with ten pallets on a footprint of less than 16.5 m² was convincing.” The relatively large work area of the latest DMU 50 model that can handle workpieces of up to 300 kg is another positive feature. “The makes us flexible so we can cover a wider range of parts.” The DMU 60 eVo linear or the 3-axis DMC 1450 V machines are available for larger and heavier workpieces.
5-axis simultaneous machining, 15,000 rpm speedMASTER spindle and the ergonomic DMG MORI design
The DMU 50 3rd Generation at Ludwig Feinmechanik also comes off exceedingly well where performance and range of functions are concerned. “5-axis simultaneous machining, a high-performance spindle and cooling system for maximum precision all add up to a good overall package at an attractive price”, claims Frank Warnke. The compact 5-axis machining centre has a swivel range of between -35° to +110° while the speedMASTER spindle operates at a speed of 20,000°rpm1 with 21°kW and 111°Nm. New is the 36 months warranty with unlimited hours that DMG MORI now offers for all MASTER spindles. Frank Warnke is also pleased with the DMG MORI design – for ergonomic as well as visual reasons: “The clear view into the work area and the pallet handling system and good accessibility of the machine both make set-up easier for the operator.” The tool magazine with its 60 stations even enables convenient setting up from the front during production.
The automation solution from DMG MORI was a good way for Frank Warnke to boost productivity, despite the limited space available in the technology park and the lack of skilled employees – he is already looking a step ahead: “The combination of a DMU 50 3rd Generation and PH 150 will certainly be on the short list of choices for our next machine purchase.”
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