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Retrofitting: Modernize and Use Tried-and-Tested Machines

Automotive suppliers typically manufacture parts for automakers or, in the case of companies like Hermesmeyer & Greweling, are hired for toolmaking and mold production. When it comes to buying machines, however, Hermesmeyer & Greweling is turning the tables around. The NC milling and turning specialist buys used machines from the automobile industry and, with support from HEIDENHAIN, overhauls them for its own purposes.

After twenty years of faithful service at Daimler, four Droop+Rein gantry-type milling machines were considered ready for the scrap heap. But Hermesmeyer & Greweling disagreed. The automotive supplier brought the rugged and reliable machines to its plant in Marienfeld, in the German region of eastern Westfalia, to have them thoroughly retrofitted.

Technicians at Hermesmeyer & Greweling perform the mechanical modifications themselves. These alterations include replacing the ball screw with a rack-and-pinion drive. In conjunction with this, they install a doubly large table (6 m x 2.5 m compared with 3 m x 2.5 m previously). Pallets or special vices for setting up workpieces can now be clamped onto the two coupled tables.

Meanwhile, the HEIDENHAIN retrofit partner M&S Maschinen- und Elektronikvetriebs GmbH is overhauling the machines’ electrical systems for the staunch TNC users. Ultimately, a TNC 640 will take over all of the machine’s functions, which once required an entire package of products, including a Siemens SPS S5 for the machine logic, a Bosch CC200 for the CNC control, and an interposed PC. In addition, the HEIDENHAIN TNC 640 will control a modern cold-water system for precise temperature regulation of the machine and the electrical cabinet.

The retrofit process is currently running at full steam and will be one of the first times that such a large and complex machine has been retrofitted with the TNC 640. We will continue to track their progress and provide an update in a detailed user report.


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