VOL. 13 May ISSUE YEAR 2012
in Vol. 13 - May Issue - Year 2012
Innovative Tools And Processes For Metal Surface Improvement
Dr.-Ing. Karsten R
ToolScope Touch Panel PC
Compressed-air unit HGL1 - For supplying one tool with compressed air
Compressed-air unit HGL2 - For supplying a machine with multiple tools
MFN approached Dr.-Ing. Karsten Röttger, CEO of ECOROLL AG Werkzeugtechnik as the leading manufacturer of tools for roller burnishing, deep rolling and cylinder tube processing, to talk about latest process and tool developments for roller burnishing, deep rolling and cylinder tube processing.
(?) MFN: We know that ECOROLL tools are used for the improvement of metal surfaces. (See interview May 2010, Vol. 11). What are the latest developments in this area?
(!) K. R.: Our approach for tool and process development is very customer-oriented. In close cooperation with our customers, we assess their needs and required solutions. In all areas of our portfolio and even beyond, we have developed new products.
(?) MFN: What do you mean when talking about products beyond your portfolio?
(!) K. R.: The word "beyond" does not mean to imply that we leave our area of expertise. We offer a wide range of tools and technology for mechanically improving the surfaces of metal components. However, we recognized that in light of increasing automation, the reliability of production processes becomes more and more important. Real-time monitoring and documentation of process parameters during production is indispensable. Therefore, we’ve developed a system called ToolScope in cooperation with Brinkhaus GmbH that enables seamless monitoring and documentation of all relevant parameters during the deep rolling process. This means, for example, that deviations to pre-defined parameters are instantly recognized and generate an error message. Machining can then only be continued after examination and error correction, which results in fewer rejects, less rework and consequential damage. With modifications, this system can also be used for other production processes.
(?) MFN: Can you give us some details on other new products and processes?
(!) K. R.: I will focus on two of our developments. The latest ECOROLL process development, "Roller Burnishing with Compressed Air and Minimum Quantity Lubrication" can replace the application of cooling lubricants with minimum quantity lubrication. Until now, hydrostatic roller burnishing tools were equipped with one or more burnishing balls behind which the burnishing force was generated by a pressurized liquid. However, an increasing number of companies convert their production to dry processing for environmental and cost saving reasons. On machine tools intended for this purpose, the operation of hydrostatic tools with liquids is not permitted. Therefore, ECOROLL has developed a new process, in which these cooling lubricants are replaced by compressed air during operation. It activates the burnishing balls in the same manner as a pressure liquid. In addition, ECOROLL offers specially tailored compressed-air units for any application. As you can imagine, the resulting cost-saving potential for manufacturers in different industry areas is significant.
(?) MFN: You were speaking of two examples. What is the second example about?
(!) K. R.: In the area of cylinder tube machining, we’ve developed a novel process to increase the efficiency of machining short hydraulic cylinders. To date, the manufacturing of cylinders is performed in two steps. First, cylinders are internally machined on deep hole-drilling machines. Afterwards, they are finish-machined on a lathe. Latest ECOROLL skiving tools now allow complete machining on the lathe. In fact, the cylinders are pre-machined by a skiving head. After an automatic tool change, the work piece is then finish-machined by a separate roller-burnishing tool. As a result, side-times are significantly reduced, and machining on a deep hole-drilling machine is no longer necessary. Therefore, high investment costs for a deep hole-drilling machine can be eliminated, which enables small- and middle-batch manufacturers to efficiently produce cylinder liners or complete cylinders.
(?) MFN: What developments are you planning for the future?
(!) K. R.: We strongly invest in research and in our cooperation with several institutes and universities. This cooperation not only results in new products and process developments, but also in reorganization initiatives within our company. For example, we’ve identified enormous potential in the area of knowledge management to further increase our already high service quality. Since our customers always come first, we strongly invest in projects to streamline our processes in order to improve communication and cooperation with them.
MFN would like to thank Dr.-Ing. Karsten Röttger for the interview!