The easy to install planetary gearbox absorbs high forces with low heat generation.
Neugart: Gearboxes for machine tools
No turning, milling, and drilling applications are like any other. It is important to employ components that are tailored precisely to suit customers’ needs. This is where Neugart planetary gearboxes come in. Our experienced development and sales engineers know the solution your application needs.
Main drives need a high torsional stiffness and optimized torques. When work pieces have to be positioned to the micrometer, low backlash is indispensable – often less than one arc minute. Combined with rack and pinion variants or the right drive concept (e.g. the primary-replica configuration) our gearboxes are made specifically for these applications. For us, a smart design and the wide range of variants are of the utmost importance.
Whether dealing with tool or parts handling, you will never need to compromise product quality with Neugart gearboxes. We deliver drives that can be positioned quickly as a result optimizing their mass moments of inertia – and that at a fair price.
- Reliable gearboxes with long lifespans: Our planetary gearboxes do not need lubricant change. Our unique design facilitates a lifetime-lubricated gearbox that performs its tasks reliably.
- Smart technology for all product aspects: It’s not always simple to find the perfect gearbox for specific applications. Gearbox applications are complex and many factors will come into play during the decision process. Neugart software tools are easy to navigate and help to simplify potential questions or difficulties.
- Drive experience: Neugart has been focused on drive technology for decades. Our planetary gearboxes take up all challenges, no matter how specific, demanding, or complex they may be.
- A better end product: Finding the correct gearing will add to your purchase value. For instance, using the correct gearing can improve the quality of your surfaces or printed images. We are always available and happy to advise you as you explore gearing options for your application.
"Our work with Neugart was always open and extremely positive from the very start, with sound advice and the rapid provision of samples, right up to series approval. The overall concept, along with a fair and attractive price, won us over."
Achim Wohlfarth | Group Leader R&D | Workpiece and Tool Management | Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH
Achim Wohlfarth is the head of Workpiece and Tool Management at Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH. In this position, he constantly finds the best possible solution for machine tool manufacturers: "It's as if the Neugart planetary gearboxes were made specifically for the chain-type magazine on Heller machining centers. This combination offers the best drive solution — both in terms of technology and cost-effectiveness."
Gebr. Heller Maschinenfabrik GmbH is based in Nürtingen, southern Germany. Since its founding more than 120 years ago, Heller has become a world-leading supplier in the most important machining markets. Heller is a leader in highly productive manufacturing solutions in the automotive industry as well as solutions for suppliers to the hydraulic and pneumatic industry, energy management and other sectors of general mechanical engineering. The company provides complete solutions, comprising state-of-the-art machine tools and production systems, intelligent applications and comprehensive service. In its five production plants in Germany, UK, Brazil, USA and China, as well as its network of over 30 sales and service subsidiaries, Heller employs more than 2,500 people worldwide.
Heller continually aims to optimize machine concepts and solutions for its customers. Its goal: to adapt machines to new technological challenges and ensure availability in a structured manner. By doing so, Heller helps its customers to competitively carry out their production work.
Heller understands that tool management is particularly of central importance to machining centers. The tool is mounted in either a chain-type or rack-type magazine and is positioned by using the traverse attachment and/or a loader for the tool changer. The new tool is then placed into the working unit through the machining process by using the tool changer and the used tool changed in parallel. Optimizing tool management pays off in terms of shorter tool change times, shorter chip-to-chip times and therefore faster machining times for customers.
The customers and users of machining centers are very demanding and require efficient machine operation around the clock. At the same time the machine tools should be designed for optimum maintenance under rough environmental conditions in order to achieve high machine availability.
In particular, the cooling lubricants used when machining — in addition to the oil mists produced — place extreme demands on the materials used in the machine components. The new chain-type magazine for the machining centers should have a modular design so it can be customized to various series of machines. As Heller searched for the most appropriate gearbox for their needs, they required a range of chain-type magazine sizes to be driven with the same drive concept. The gearbox design needed to take into account not only technical aspects but also economic solutions.
The solution for Heller’s task is a Neugart planetary gearbox, which works with a servomotor to drive the chain-type magazine. The challenge is to accurately position the tool in relation to the transfer position for the tool changer. This requires the gearbox to accelerate very quickly, sustain torsional rigidity and have low backlash – despite the fact that the chain-type magazine has several different loading situations. One key feature of machining centers is the chip-to-chip time. A rapid tool change and the shortest possible tool provision times using an agile tool magazine are essential for a short chip-to-chip time. This optimizes the customer’s cost benefits.
The requirements of the planetary gearbox were calculated using the freely available Neugart Calculation Program (NCP). "The cycle data on which the calculations were based has been optimized using our team's vast experience," explains Achim Wohlfarth, Group Leader for Research and Development — Workpiece and Tool Management at Heller. It was also possible for the different loading situations and variants to be mapped with the NCP and included in the analysis for planetary gearbox selection. "This enabled us to establish the best possible gearbox in terms of energy efficiency and as well as efficiency in terms of endurance," says Wohlfarth.
A timesaving rectangular flange, which is easy to fit, connects the planetary gearbox. Compared with previous competitor models, Neugart planetary gearboxes’ high-energy efficiency delivers economic benefits to both Heller and its machine users. Once the correct gearbox was determined, Heller extensively tested its rigidity and backlash. "Our test results confirmed our high expectations of the planetary gearbox and some of them were even exceeded," says Wohlfarth. "A series of on-site, real-test applications at one of Heller’s chain-type magazine installation sites located in the UK further confirmed the planetary gearbox’s effectiveness. Following this, a customer then tested two machining centers with the new gearbox and the customer's positive feedback resulted in the new gearbox receiving technical approval. Heller’s series approval for the Neugart planetary gearbox took place over the course of a seamless transition to the new chain-type magazine. Heller and Neugart have developed a perfectly coordinated partnership.
In the machine tool industry, after-sales service is also very important to Neugart and was taken into account throughout our project planning. In the event that a planetary gearbox already installed in the field should experience a glitch in the system, the gearbox can be replaced with a maintenance-free Neugart planetary gearbox. The software on the machine controller is updated using a service pack and the corresponding planetary gearbox parameters automatically loaded. Because Heller also uses the planetary gearbox in series production, we guarantee our machine users rapid availability should a gearbox require service work, giving our customers an added peace of mind. If necessary, spare parts are available for expedited shipping. Because of our reliable service, there is no need for Heller to hold duplicate parts in stock. Thanks to its chain design, the tool magazine is very flexible and provides space for 50 to 160 tools in several variants. Depending on the customer's needs, we can configure the design with either SK 40 / 50 or HSK-A 63 / 100 tool holders. The chain-type magazine is used modularly in several Heller machines and features both in 4-axis machining centers and 5-axis machining centers. Heller tool management, driven by the Neugart planetary gearbox, covers every requirement of a modern machining center.
This machining center application is a good example of the successful and positive start to collaborations between the two local companies. "The added value of Neugart planetary gearboxes will of course be investigated and tested for future revisions and designs of further new machine tool components," Wohlfarth adds. The gearbox solutions developed by Neugart will continue to contribute to the future further development of Heller machines.
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