Lang Technik delivers lights out machining

Lang Technik 13072021
Lang Technik 13072021

When it comes to workholding products, Lang Technik is a leading brand across the global machining industry. Previously sold in the UK through a distributor, Lang Technik UK was established in 2019 to provide sales and application support for both existing and new customers.

The UK operation has enjoyed significant success since its formation. One of its most popular products is the Lang RoboTrex automation system.

The most recent Lang RoboTrex installation was at the premises of Ritchie Precision based in Livingston, Scotland. In addition to other machining capabilities, Ritchie Precision offers comprehensive 5-axis CNC milling and turning services. The company serves a range of demanding global sectors including the oil & gas, power generation, scientific instrumentation, laser and medical industries.

Ritchie Precision recently had the opportunity to quote for a high-volume, long-term contract related to the manufacture of intricate, multi-feature medical components with challenging dimensional tolerances.

Mindful of the length of the potential contract and the fact that the company could amortise some of the costs involved in purchasing the necessary equipment, the most efficient methods of producing the complex components and of achieving their demanding dimensional specifications were investigated.

Having decided that three DMU eVo series universal machining centres from DMG Mori were the ideal machine tools for realising the required precision standards and production volumes, a cost-plan was created, a successful quote was tendered and the contract was secured.

Owing to the components’ demanding accuracy specifications the machine tools were specified with a range of advanced features such as coolant preheaters to help eliminate the manufacturing inaccuracies caused by coolant ‘shock’. So challenging were the specifications of the components, Ritchie Precisions’ new machine tools were installed in a refurbished, temperature-controlled factory.

Lang RoboTrex automation systems were chosen to feed each of the company’s new universal machining centres – working unattended and running throughout the day. Then, before the end of each day shift, the RoboTrex trollies are restocked with batches of workpieces, enabling each machining centre to run unmanned throughout the night.

Each of Ritchie Precision’s three Lang RoboTrex robot systems use two high capacity trollies that act as mobile storage mediums. The trollies are loaded with multiple vices that hold workpieces ready for machining.

Unattended, the systems’ robots pick workpieces from the trollies, load them into the machine tools, and when fully machined, return them to the trollies. Once filled with fully machined parts, each trolley is removed, and a replacement loaded with ready to machine workpieces is added.

Two classes of RoboTrex trollies are available, each with two size options. The smaller version, the RoboTrex 52 trolley has a capacity of 30 vices (maximum part size: 120 x 120 x 100mm), whilst the larger model has a capacity of 42 vices (maximum part size: 120 x 100 x 70mm).

The smaller version of the RoboTrex 96 trolley has a capacity of 15 vices (maximum part size: 205 x 205 x 90mm). The larger model features a capacity of 16 vices (maximum part size: 205 x 150 x 150mm).

Each RoboTrex system is able to accommodate four trolleys. Therefore, depending on part size, the available storage capacity increases to 120/168 vices or 60/64 vices.

A simple to operate touch panel enables easy control of the automated system and, as external access to the trolley is possible, production remains seamless as machining cycles do not need to be interrupted. Control of the system’s zero-point clamping system can be performed either pneumatically through the machine tool, or mechanically via the system’s robot.

Ritchie Precision’s senior manufacturing engineer, Taylor Barr says: “By enabling our new universal machining centres to work around the clock without stopping, our Lang RoboTrex systems have allowed the maximum productive potential of the machine tools to be realised and impressive volumes of parts to be produced.

“Also, use of the Lang automatic handling systems has provided an additional major benefit. Due to the challenging specification of the parts we are producing, when stopping and starting our machines certain features can drift out of tolerance. The RoboTrex systems enable our machine tools to work continuously 24/7, which keeps productivity and quality at optimum levels.”

Lang Technik UK director Gareth Barnett adds: “After liaising with the staff at Ritchie Precision and gaining a full understanding of the company’s needs, our engineers were confident that our Lang RoboTrex systems would enable the company’s ambitious production volumes to be achieved and a cost-effective quotation was presented.

“Richie Precision’s systems are now fully operational and helping to deliver the promised volumes. An added bonus of the company’s use of RoboTrex are the optimum machine tool conditions and stability enabled by non-interrupted, 24/7 production has which has minimised the amount of out of tolerance components being manufactured.”

Lang-Technik UK https://lang-technik.co.uk

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Lang Technik [**]

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