Product innovations for the future

FSW and milling combined in the MILL 2000

Combined friction stir welding and machining processes, scalable manufacturing system for micro-technology and high-productivity twin-spindle machining – are just three of the new product innovations by the CHIRON Group, that are now available in the UK from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) that focus on productivity, efficiency and sustainability.

High dynamics and stability plus a large working chamber with a twin-spindle concept and a spindle distance up to 1,200mm – this is the 22, 25 and 28 Series from the CHIRON Group. Offered by ETG, the new machines are primed to set a new benchmark in terms of productivity and precision in this size range – and they are demonstrably doing so already. As an example, a DZ 25P that has been in use for two years is setting a new benchmark in manufacturing structural components for the automotive industry. All in all, this turnkey solution has provided: “A stable and high-precision process with greatly increased output in comparison to the previous system,” according to the customer.

In addition to double-spindle applications such as battery and e-motor housing manufacturing, these new series are also fully capable of massive machining applications starting with solid blocks. The extremely stable portal design forms the basis for high precision while the well-thought-out working area and user ergonomics enable flexible integration of a wide range of automation solutions for production process reliability.

Sustainable machining of prototypes and series run with a scalable manufacturing system

The CHIRON Group and ETG are now offering a groundbreaking manufacturing system for the microtechnology sector that provides high-precision automated machining of workpieces with maximum dimensions of 50 by 50 by 50mm. It is based on the Micro5 from the FACTORY5 brand – a high-speed milling centre with the power consumption of a coffee machine and the size of a refrigerator. As a stand-alone solution, it is ideal for manufacturing smaller batch sizes in the medical technology sector, watchmaking and precision engineering sectors. Thanks to its six-pallet capacity, the Micro5 also supports production with minimal personnel.

Double-spindle machining on a DZ 25 P

The combination of a Micro5 with a Feed5 handling system will form an ideal plug-and-play solution once it enters series production. Feed5 offers increased autonomy for automated workpiece handling with a six-axis robot. Capacities for Micro5 and Feed5 projects are currently being expanded.

Combining FSW and machining

One process that may not be particularly well known is Friction Stir Welding (FSW), reliable, efficient and sustainable manufacturing technology for creating pressure-tight and media-tight connections between two materials. FSW is fundamentally suitable for applications involving the joining of aluminium or unrelated materials. The target workpieces for FSW currently include battery trays and inverter housings as well as all electronic components that require heat dissipation alongside high requirements for leak-tightness. Friction stir welding technology also enables car manufacturers to relocate electrical modules to the wet areas of vehicles.

The CHIRON Group boasts comprehensive expertise and practical user experience for machining these target workpieces. By combining FSW and machining, the CHIRON Group is developing a forward-thinking innovation to provide benefits for users similar to those offered by other process combinations. These product innovations reduced space requirements, shorter cycle times and higher productivity rates. The first projects using this combination are already underway at a technology partner company, resulting in the first turnkey machining centres such as the MILL 2000 machining centre that offers combined FSW and milling technology.