Light Metal Parts Machining Concept


Alfing in IMTS Booth A-8462 will premier its new AL-series multi-spindle 5-axis machining center concept designed especially for machining complex, light metal parts in medium to high volumes. The AL 204 is the leading machine in the series, with four individually driven box spindles arranged for HSK 63 tooling with separate anti-friction ways.

The major new production advantage to the series permits higher Z-axis accuracy in a multi-spindle machine than has been possible previously, thanks to Alfing’s new patented individual spindle compensation. In addition, the placement of the individual spindles (alternately guided from top and bottom) occupies only half the space required by a traditional 4-spindle machine.

The Alfing AL series provides a fully CNC controlled 5-axis process with an overall working range of X 200mm, Z 400mm, Y 450mm. A multi-axis swiveling trunnion system reduces workpiece changeover time to about 2.0 sec. The D- and A- axes of this swiveling trunnion quickly bring workpieces into position. Optionally, the A-axes can be equipped with up to 4 B-axes each for machining parts complete in a single set-up. All rotating axes are equipped with torque drives, resulting in long term accuracy, reduced down time and elimination of excessive wear.

The modular design of the AL series allows for several machine variations to be configured with similar components. The series includes versions of two, three and four-spindle machining centers with individually driven box spindles as well as the standard models with fixed center heads and only one drive in the z-axis.

Depending on customer requirements, all machine models can be equipped with either linear motors or ball screw drives. While the super-fast linear machines achieve speed rates of up to 180 m/min, and accelerations of up to 20 m/s2, the maximum speed with conventional drive technology is at 90 m/min and 10 m/s2 respectively.

With synchronous motor spindles providing a maximum drive capacity of 58 kW and a max torque of 70 Nm, these new machines are well suited to machining a wide variety of light metal parts.

Based on an average use of 30 (HSK 63) tools per spindle, the AL 204 will be equipped with 120-slot chain magazines. If greater storage capacity is necessary, magazines with up to 320 tool pockets are available. Tool changeover is performed via pick-up method between spindle and magazine. Chip-to-chip time is approx. 3 sec.

The AL 204 is standard equipped with 160 iMB Fanuc control with Siemens Sinumerik 840 D is available as an option. In the fully equipped version, up to 24 NC axes are controlled via 2 channels.

According to Alfing’s Managing Director Dr. Stefan Hansch, “The success of Alfing’s two- and four-spindle machining centers for machining cast iron and steel work pieces suggested development of a similar product line for machining light metal parts, especially ABS housings, brake caliper, main brake cylinder, valve housing, and more.”

Alfing Corporation, in Plymouth Michigan, is a subsidiary of Alfing Group, Aalen, Germany. Founded in 1992, Alfing USA is a major supplier of flexible production machining solutions to the automotive and other large-scale manufacturing industries. Alfing Corporation has sold over 200 manufacturing systems in the North American market, including special purpose machines and machining centers. The company provides its North American customers with complete product support, including sales, service, spare parts, project management, simultaneous engineering and system integration.
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