For Druckguss-Westfalen, the system house W&R Industrievertretung has implemented an automation including machining, washing, drying and intelligent assembly. Annual production output: 3 million aluminium housings.
The so-called “locomotive” will be produced around 2.5 million times in Geseke this year alone. At first they still fall hot from one of the numerous die casting systems of Druckguss Westfalen. Later, they receive milling, drilling and threading on an automated W&R system in the neighbouring hall. What sounds simple is full of ingenious details: The parts require the lowest tolerances, highest precision and very complex handling.
Automation has been an important topic at Druckguss Westfalen for several years now. In the case of casting cells, there is no longer a cell that is not automated. And W&R has delivered and installed the first automated system for the post-processing of die-cast parts. In addition to more efficient production, the advantages are "high repeat accuracy and tight tolerances", explains Hakan Günesdogan, Head of Purchasing at Druckguss Westfalen.
Complex automation is becoming more and more important for aluminium die casters, as post-processing accounts for a considerable part of the added value, depending on the component. And the automation of high-precision parts also ensures production in Germany.
Connection housings for turbochargers
The current demand at Druckguss Westfalen arose from the fact that the production capacity at the company in Geseke near Paderborn in Westphalia for these connection housings for turbochargers was to be increased from several thousand to several million per year. This means that every five seconds a finished part falls out of the plant.
Previously, the components were manufactured on manually loaded Brother TC32BN-QT machining centres. “With the new quantities, economic production could only be realized automatically,” explains Andreas Zugck, Technical Manager at W&R.
After all, the machining requirements were very complex: three bores, five threads as well as washing and drying in the shortest possible time. There are always eight different casting nests in circulation, which are automated, sorted, checked and passed through the system. There was also a special challenge: there are eight different variants of the parts, which differ in certain dimensions. In addition, the parts have to be precisely cleaned at the end of the machining process in order to allow them to stick together during subsequent use and to avoid short circuits.
Linked by an intelligent placement system
The solution: Two Brother Speedio S700X1, two robots, a washing system that removes chips, component drying and automatic component inspection via a camera system. Everything is linked by an intelligent placement system that also automatically detects and corrects operator errors. With this automation solution, W&R Industrievertretung from Mainz-Kastel was able to assert itself against numerous well-known competitors. “W&R has implemented the smartest ideas here, where other companies have said that this is not possible,” explains Günesdogan.
“At the beginning of our customer orders usually stands a drawing or sometimes only a principle sketch”, reports Günesdogan. “We try to optimize the design of the cast parts to such an extent that as little post-processing as possible is required.” The sophisticated concept and the technical ideas for the automation were the result of intensive cooperation between Druckguss Westfalen and W&R, with Andreas Zugck and W&R sales manager Rainer Voß regularly on site. “W&R presented a great deal of design know-how here.” An important point here, for example, is the twelvefold mounting for the different parts.
A constant companion
In addition, the cost per unit was of course a constant companion. “It also runs throughout the entire development process”, explains Günesdogan. In addition, the service for the machines and the entire plant naturally also plays an important role for Druckguss Westfalen. In order to further improve the service in automation, a camera monitoring system was installed to facilitate remote maintenance. As Druckguss Westfalen has already been working with W&R for ten years and has more than a dozen Brother machining centres in operation, Günesdogan confirms the very good experience also in the service area. “If we have an urgent problem, I call W&R and the next day someone will be on site.”
Druckguss Westfalen GmbH & Co. KG is one of the most modern foundries for aluminium die casting. Founded in 1964, the company employs around 200 people at its headquarters in Geseke in Westphalia and in Velbert. The die-cast aluminium and zinc parts are used in numerous industries, including automotive, electronics, sanitary and medical technology.
W&R Industrievertretung GmbH
W&R is an established system house that offers individual production systems including process, machine, control, automation and service. The W&R Robot Center has been offering turnkey and automation solutions from a single source for 20 years. In addition to automation solutions, W&R's product range includes Brother and YCM production centers as well as Sugino high-pressure and cleaning systems. W&R was founded in 1993 and employs 35 people. Its customers include the automotive, aerospace, electrical and medical industries.