From one to another!
Flexible and unmanned production
Lugauer GmbH from Jenbach, Austria, specialises in the precise production of mostly complex workpieces that require drilling, milling and turning operations in addition to fixture and tool construction. To ensure the highest level of precision, process reliability and even greater flexibility, the high-tech company has invested in the latest RS 1 automation solution from Hermle.
Lugauer GmbH was founded in 1994 by Hartwig Lugauer and taken over in 1998 by his son, Gernot Lugauer, who is currently the company's Principal Shareholder and Managing Director. Through permanent investment in machinery and continuous further development, the family business has developed into a reliable partner in the machining industry. The majority of customers are at home in mechanical engineering, automotive, semiconductor and abrasive materials industries.
Automation as a strategy for the future
The Austrian company invested in a C 42 5-axis machining centre including a HS flex handling system from Hermle at the end of 2017. Lugauer had already gained good experience with a Hermle automation solution through the use of the HS flex handling system. "Due to the actual variety of parts, the desire to operate unmanned shifts over the weekend and the required combination of pallet and parts handling, only automation equipped with a robot came into the equation at Lugauer," says Gregor Rofner, sales engineer at Hermle, and adds: "During the course of the project, we both came to the conclusion that the best way to achieve the desired high level of flexibility and cost effectiveness was with a 2-machine solution."
One robot operates two C 22 U machining centres
The new system at Lugauer consists of two Hermle C 22 U 5-axis machining centres and the RS 1 robot system, which operates both machines 24/7. Three rack storage modules with 26 die pockets, 16 pallet pockets as well as four special clamping devices and four gripper pockets ensure the optimum provision of parts.
Spindle runtimes optimised: 24/7
According to Christian Aigner, authorised signatory and technical manager at Lugauer, the extensive flexibility of the overall system is just amazing: "In the first shift, we produce individual parts on the first machine followed by unmanned pallet or handling parts production. A component for the automotive industry is currently manufactured 24/7 on the second machine. On this machine, we now produce the same number of parts in one week with two people as we did before with two machines and four people. It's beyond our wildest hopes," Aigner says proudly.
Generally speaking, the rack storage concept ensures an exceptionally high autonomous runtime, as the gripper and device changeover takes place automatically. The full-scale setup station also enables pallets and workpiece carriers to be set up during the primary processing time. "At first, it was an enormous change for our staff. The software, working with the robot and the process of handling blanks were all new, and they had to learn to think ahead. Both machining centres operate unmanned at night or over the weekend, meaning a certain amount of setup preparation is necessary," the technical manager says when pointing out possible teething problems. The training provided by Hermle to the Lugauer team during the initial training period and subsequent work processes focused on these and other soft skills. "In the meantime, everything works just fine," Aigner says.