One of the technology and world market leaders in equipping pipe, wire, and rod rolling mills is optimising its production. With AMF zero-point clamping systems, the number of set-up procedures has dropped from 9 to 3, and set-up times have fallen by over 80%. The new flexibility also reduces replacement part delivery times and permits worker-free shifts.

AMF zero-point clamping systems reduce set-up procedures from 9 to 3

Speed and flexibility are extremely important to the north-German manufacturer of rolling mills. With the rolling mills, its customers roll round material from a diameter of 160 mm to 40 mm, for example. Moreover, it makes 3-roller stretch-rolling reducing mills for production of seamless and welded pipes. As the production times are often long, production of spare parts in the past often had to wait a long time. As part of production optimisation, AMF zero-point clamping technology is now being used in three processing centres. Suddenly, many things are now better and faster.

A flexibility that only knows winners

For one, the number of set-up procedures for production of complex eccentrics, shafts, covers, and additional parts for the rolling mills has been drastically reduced. In extreme cases, only three clamping procedures are now needed instead of the earlier nine. Moreover, the set-up times for each individual set-up procedure are almost 90% shorter. And then, preliminary set-up outside the machines is also possible. So far, we have only talked about the standard advantages that the AMF-zero-point clamping systems give users. But there’s another advantage as well.

Processing times of sophisticated workpieces for complex rolling mills are quite long – often up to three hours. It used to be very costly to produce spare parts that were ordered with little notice and had to be delivered quickly. Today, these rush orders that customers need quickly can be easily inserted into production. This is how it works, flexibly and lightning-fast:

- Interrupt current parts production,
- Insert spare-part workpiece into the zero point for processing,
- Produce the spare part,
- Unclamp the spare part,
- Reclamp the original workpiece,
- Finish the original workpiece

Thanks to zero-point technology, recalibration is not needed. Processing begins again right where it left off. This flexibility has only winners. The manufacturer, because it can deliver faster, and the customer, because it can produce again faster. And AMF, because the next order is already being discussed.

Because the AMF K-20 module is also approved for milling/turning processing up to 2200rpm, it is also the preferred solution here. It consists of a 48mm tall base plate with four AMF K20 zero-point installation clamping modules. These realise pull-in and locking forces of 20kN each and holding forces of 55kN each. The repetition accuracy in clamping is better than 0.005mm. There is a large contact surface, with diameters of 112mm each and additional ground contact pieces on the station. Despite this, the modules with an installation depth of 34mm are extremely compact and only take up very little of the total installation height on the machine table.

A traffic light for more safety

A normal hydraulic unit is used to open the clamping modules. But for the milling/turning application, it is also equipped with controls and a traffic light system, which is easy to read. This signals the clamping status of the clamping station and releases the workpiece for processing. Apart from the set-up time this saves, it also reduces the number of error sources, which are always possible with every clamping operation.