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Bearing up for the machine tool sector

11 February 2011

System partnerships and co-development projects between OEMs and component suppliers are becoming increasingly important to the machine tool industry, as manufacturers focus on their core competencies and trust in their technology partners to supply the high-performance components and sub-assemblies that meet their exacting specifications

German machine tool manufacturer Deckel Maho Gildemeister (DMG) is currently working closely with Schaeffler Group’s INA Linear Technology division on a number of new machine tool developments, including its super-sized milling centres, which are equipped with the company’s high performance RUE-E linear recirculating roller bearing and guideway assemblies. RUE-E linear guidance systems provide smooth, uniform running characteristics and high dynamics, ideal for precision linear movement of heavy loads. The range is modular, which gives DMG the freedom to select from a range of accessories according to its needs.

RUE-E also benefits from a patented injection moulding technology, which enables perfect rolling element guidance in the load and return zones, optimised transitions and the best possible running characteristics with very low stroke pulsation. Schaeffler has also reduced the number of components in the design, resulting in more robust, reliable rolling element guidance.

DMG has been working with Schaeffler to develop linear guidance systems for its DMU/DMC 200 - 340 series milling centres, including 5-axis machining centres. Depending on the size of the machine tool and the loads acting on the main axes, linear recirculating roller bearing and guideway assemblies in sizes RUE 35, 45, 55 and 65 are specified. Load calculations were carried out using Schaeffler’s BEARINX calculation software with additional input from DMG.
Because of the high axial loads experienced with these large milling centres, Schaeffler supplies DMG with selected combinations of guideways and recirculating roller bearing units. These are precisely matched pairs and are combined to achieve minimal ‘waviness’ in the guideways and maximum accuracy of the carriages.

Schaeffler Group has also expanded its close working partnership with Italian machine tool manufacturer Biglia Group. In addition to supplying ball and roller monorail guidance systems for Biglia’s range of lathes and multi-spindle machine tools, Schaeffler is now also supplying its super-precision FAG spindle and cylindrical roller bearings. Indeed, the majority of main axes in Biglia turning machines are now equipped with Schaeffler ball and roller linear recirculating bearing and guideway assemblies, such as the KUVE 35 guidance system.

The KUVE range of four-row monorail guidance systems offers high accuracy, rigidity and load carrying capacity, as well as other special characteristics, depending on the guidance system chosen. The full complement KUVE-B guidance system, for example, meets the needs of applications requiring excellent dynamic characteristics as well as maximum load carrying capacity and high rigidity.

A range of carriages is available, including standard, long, low, high, short and narrow, all of these running on the same modular guideway in widths between 15mm and 55mm. Guideways are also supplied with teeth on the underside or on the lateral face, enabling various drives and mounting concepts, and further options include an integrated electronic-magnetic measuring system for direct measurement of travel distance using an incremental or absolute encoder.

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