Rapid change for the lifelines

A premium automotive supplier in southern Germany produces many variants of an important connection part in e-mobility. Linear machines ensure economical production of these small series. The machine tables are equipped with AMF zero-point clamping modules so that the frequent tool changes of the multi-variant series can be carried out quickly and reliably. In this way, the tools can be set up in a time-saving and economical manner. This gives premium electric vehicles from Stuttgart a further boost.

With first-equipped AMF zero-point clamping technology, a machine builder from southern Germany has received a lucrative order that would not have been possible without the built-in clamping modules. However, a linear machine of the current generation from the manufacturer has been producing busbars for premium electric cars from Stuttgart. These highly important busbars, which connect the battery to the drive unit, are virtually the lifelines of electric cars. And anyone who thinks that parts for electric vehicles can be produced just like that are very much mistaken: the requirements for precision and tolerances are often higher than for combustion technology.

Short tool change times make small series profitable

Facts: for annual quantities of 10,000-50,000 parts, as requested by the customer, our powerful new linear machines are ready in one to three hours. Since a tool change in the trade can usually take several hours up to an entire shift, such orders would not be economically feasible with such a machine. With the new linear machines of the manufacturer, the whole process only takes about one hour. Among other things, this is due to the AMF zero-point clamping modules built into the machine table. They pick up the tools which are compatible between each other quickly and in a defined manner.

The clamping modules are small, robust and technically clever

Five mounting stations in the machine table define the interface for the tools. Each receptacle is equipped with four KP5.3 zero-point clamping modules. They are pneumatically controlled with a pressure of five to a maximum of twelve bar. The base plates of the tool modules are equipped with four matching clamping pins. When the operator inserts the tool, these clamping pins are each retracted with 1.5 kN and held in place with 13 kN. This occurs very quick and the next order can start. In this way, even smaller batch sizes can be produced cost-efficiently. Control functions for interlocking, opening and support ensure the correct seating of the tool. These processes run reliably and safely with a repetition accuracy of less than 0.005 millimetres. Optionally, four more clamping modules of the SP150 models are installed. These can be used to fix centre punches for ejecting the parts.

Today, changes only take one to two hours

In the past, it all took much, much longer. In the early years, a tool change could take up to two days. And even later, the technicians had to unscrew the special tools in long-winded processes, attach new ones and set them up. Even with modern machines, several hours or even a whole shift of production time were lost. It was only with the modular tools and the equipment of the machines with AMF zero-point clamping technology that productivity was given a huge boost. Since then, tool changes are usually completed within one to two hours.

The reliable AMF built-in clamping modules play their part. The cover and piston are hardened and thus particularly robust. Practically nothing breaks at all. Because the modules are very compact, they can also be easily screwed flush into the machine table. "The fact that the technology inside the small power packs is not entirely trivial has been experienced by some users who wanted to replicate the modules themselves. And in this way, the Swabian automotive supplier is thrilled that thanks to the AMF zero-point clamping technology, it can manufacture the 18 different variants of the busbars quickly and automatically with the highly productive linear machines, as well as with process reliability, repetition accuracy and, above all, economically.