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HAIMER, an innovative global player in tool management for machine tools, is convinced that production engineering will be determined by automation and digitization in the future.
This development is an established part of the company's own production and has accordingly also found its way into the product range from i4.0-capable machines to the HAIMER Automation Cube robot cell, which can be scaled according tocustomer’s request and is suitable for automated shrinking, presetting and balancing.
Efficient machining demands powerful machines and tools “as well as high-precision tool holding technology which ensures that the precision of the spindle is transferred to the cutting edge,” says Andreas Haimer.
This is the sort of statement you would expect from the Managing Director of Haimer GmbH and President of the HAIMER Group, the worldwide leading manufacturer in the field of tool holding. But it is not simply a marketing slogan – there are many years of experience behind it. HAIMER started off 45 years ago as a machine shop for the aerospace industry and soon started to develop high-precision toolholders for their own use.
HAIMER also has many years of experience in automation. The Bavarian family company made the decision to equip their first machine tools with robots for loading and unloading over 20 years ago. Since then, automation at HAIMER has advanced swiftly, as evidenced by their manufacturing facilities at their headquarters in Igenhausen or in Motzenhofen, just 3 miles away. The Motzenhofen production plant in particular, which has been operating since 2018, has been equipped from the beginning with numerous automated machining centers in recent years.
Automation is a Necessity
Andreas Haimer stresses: “If, like us, you depend on a very high level of in-house production completely ‘made in Germany’, there is no way you can avoid extensive digitization and automation. Otherwise we would not be able to keep up economically with our global competition.”
Soft machining of the tool holders is carried out in Motzenhofen alongside all precision components for shrink fit and balancing machines including accessories. Up to 4,000 rotating tool holders can be turned and milled there per day before heat treatment, followed by µm-precise grinding at the headquarters in Igenhausen. Fine balancing is also carried out in Igenhausen – using systems that have been developed in-house and are fully automated.
Not Every Automation is Complex
Back to Motzenhofen: Amongst others, HAIMER operates a fully automated manufacturing cell with several five-axis DMG MORI MILLTAP 700 machines.
These highly dynamic vertical machining centers, which were installed at the beginning of 2019, are perfect for boring and milling components such as the BT30 or the SK30 steep taper tool holders. Manfred Mayr, who completed his apprenticeship at HAIMER over 40 years ago and is now responsible for around 100 machine tools as the plant and production manager, explains:
“Here we use a simple plug & play complete solution, which includes a fully automated loading and unloading system using a KUKA robot. Blanks and the machined parts are placed in three drawers, each of which has around 78 positions. This ensures that unmanned production is possible for a minimum of eight hours up to 20 hours.”
The automation of four identical DMG MORI NHX4000 machining centers, which are equipped with a pallet pool FMS system, is considerably more demanding, as Manfred Mayr describes:
“There are twelve pallets, each with 400 places, ready to process various components. This provides us with ideal flexibility, also when it comes to smaller batch sizes and short-notice changes in the production flow.”
The machines generally work highly productively and trouble-free in a 3-shift operation, supervised by just one employee. In order to operate the machines as autonomously as possible with a large variety of products, HAIMER had the machines equipped with a tool magazine with 183 tool pots.
Manfred Mayr considers the fact that all tools for these machines are equipped with an RFID chip on the tool holder to be a key factor of success. They are read in at a dedicated station when they are changed into the magazine. This means the control receives the correct tool data digitally from the HAIMER Microset VIO linear presetter. This completely eliminates any input errors or mix-ups.
Digital Data Flow Between the Tool Room and the Machining Center
A key basic requirement for economic operation of the NHX and all other machine tools – according to the plant manager – is a perfectly operating and well organized tool room:
This technology represents a central component of our expertise. Of course we use our own products here – from shrink fit, balancing and presetting machines to tool holders and cutting tools. This enables end-to-end digitization all the way to the machine, which is an essential component for automated, economic manufacturing operations.”
This means that all tools for milling and turning machines are centrally prepared and managed in the tool room. They are mounted, shrunk, measured, and balanced – and all data is digitally recorded. This either takes place on the aforementioned RFID chips, by means of digital interfaces, such as post processors, or via a QR code. Only then they are packed onto special tool wagons as required, where the machine operator can pick them up for their machine. This eliminates extra walking throughout the shop.
“Only with optimal tool presetting room, the machines run and not the employee,” is Plant Manager Mayr’s credo.
The Tool MUST Fit into the Digital Production Environment
HAIMER evolved to become a complete system provider for tool management centered around the machine tool. HAIMER Microset tool presetting technology complements the existing HAIMER portfolio, which consists of an extensive tool holding program, shrinking and balancing technology, tool management logistics as well as 3D measuring devices and solid carbide cutting tools.
The digitization of the production processes represents a key factor for success not only for HAIMER but for every company. “As the tool with its specific data is a central component of the process chain for machining, it needs to fit into the digital production environment,” explains Andreas Haimer. This includes the consistent implementation of all digital options – from the tool itself, the tool holder including the clamping process, the balancing to the tool presetting, and the use on the machine.
Especially when making new investments, the user should ensure that every element in the tool environment is Industry 4.0 capable and can be incorporated into the digital workflow, advises Andreas Haimer:
“Our products are fully prepared for digital production. We have even developed our own tool management software, the HAIMER Data Analyzer and Controller (DAC), which establishes and manages the exchange between the actual and target values along with other tool data between the individual stations in the tool room and the company network. Our equipment in the Industry 4.0 series are prepared for automation with modern digital features and interfaces. Moreover, they have been designed to be robust with a long service life, which is a guarantee of the highest process reliability – a decisive factor for successful automation.”
HAIMER supports a wide range of automation models with its products. The range starts with individual machines which combine several work steps, such as the presetter HAIMER Microset VIO linear toolshrink.
It is capable of shrinking tools with a length adjustment on the μm scale and at the same time measuring the tool. Amongst other things, it is ideal for sister tools, which always need to be shrunk to the same dimensions. Their use in series production or in multi-spindle machines promises to increase process reliability and minimize setup times.
One Robot Cell for Shrinking, Presetting and Balancing
Just last year at the EMO Milano, HAIMER presented a much more far-reaching solution: the HAIMER Shrink Automation Cube. This automated shrink station contains a cobot, that supports shrinking and unshrinking of tools with highly accurate length repeatability.
The cell is scalable according to the customer’s requirements. This means the cube is controlled by the HAIMER DAC Tool Management and HAIMER presetting and balancing technology can be integrated in the Automation Cube. A scanner for reading out unique tool combinations and a conveyor belt that is variable in lengths are also available.
Such equipment allows the following procedure to be carried out, for example: The operator places the worn complete tool assembly (consisting of tool holder and cutting tool) on the conveyor belt and provides a new cutting tool. The cobot picks up the complete tool holder assembly and identifies it via its unique data matrix code (optionally via RFID).
It then picks up the new cutting tool and measures the cutting edge. In the meantime, the coil moves onto the worn complete tool holder assembly, unshrinks the old cutting tool and then shrinks in the new one to the required projection length. After air cooling, the new complete tool is ready for use. The old cutting tool is disposed of.
Andreas Haimer is convinced: “This automation solution is suitable for companies that perform a very large number of shrink operations every day.”
Especially if there is only limited automation expertise in the company, a complete solution like this from a single source is a good idea. Andreas Haimer also points out that HAIMER components can be integrated into almost any existing automation environment: “We are also happy to partner on larger automation projects.”
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HAIMER is a first class German Tool Holder manufacturer. From the basics of face-mill arbors and ER collet chucks, all the way up to High Precision Collet and Shrink Fit Chucks, HAIMER has the tools necessary to satisfy and exceed your machining center needs. Their product line includes the most extensive taper and size offerings from any HSK, CAT, BT, SK, PSC and KM tapers to any inch or metric size available. Their product portfolio, which also holds shrink fit, presetting & balancing machines, 3D-sensors, and cutting tools, addresses the machining process from spindle to part, giving the customer a complete machining solution.
For over 75 years, Precision Brand Products has been the benchmark for toolroom products. Our product line of over 2800 products, including shim stock, feeler gauges, key stock, hose clamps and more, has kept pace with the changes and advances in manufacturing technology and methods worldwide.
Titan from Titans of CNC visited HAIMER in Germany three weeks ago for a full day of filming and we made an in depth factory video tour (first ever with camera’s allowed!).
The official video is out now on YouTube and within 5 hours it already had more than 10,000 views, over 900 likes and 90 comments:
Omega Tool, Inc. is an extremely high precision, plastic injection mold builder, established in 1954 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. They design and manufacture small to medium sized plastic injection molds primarily for the medical, packaging and light industrial industries.
The Problem: Low Quality Tool Holders
Like any other company, Omega Tool, Inc. tried to lower upfront costs by investing in lower quality shrink fit tool holders in order to maintain competitive pricing against its competitors. However, they quickly learned saving money at first does not mean they will continue to save over the long run.
“The other brands all tend to have a life expectancy, especially with the smaller diameters,” Randy Lee Meissner, Vice President of Operations at Omega Tool, Inc., explains. “Too many times I’ve had tooling that wouldn’t release from the shrink fit tool holder. I attribute this to the competitors using inferior steel and looser tolerances.”
The shrink fit system Omega Tool, Inc. was using before involved submerging the heated tool holder in a bucket of coolant. This was also contributing to the shorter tool holder life because the coolant shocks the system and it is very messy.
The Solution: Part One - The HAIMER Power Clamp Special Edition
When Omega Tool, Inc. decided it was time to invest in another tool holder and shrink fit system, they didn’t have to look far. “I have known of HAIMER tooling for quite some time,” Randy describes.
“The reason for switching was simple…quality! There isn’t a tool holder on the market that has the consistent repeatability of a HAIMER tool holder.”
The Omega Tool, Inc. team decided to purchase two HAIMER Power Clamp Special Edition shrink fit machines.
After using the HAIMER Power Clamp Special Edition for a while, Omega Tool, Inc. started to notice how consistent the machine can set up tools, which is a unique benefit of the HAIMER shrink fit system. Regardless of the operator and their experience level, Omega Tool, Inc. received repeatable uniformity in tooling setup and equally consistent results. HAIMER guarantees < 3μm run-out at 3xD and this degree of accuracy is consistently repeatable for any number of operators from shift to shift. “The cooling time, the heating time…it is all so consistent,” states Randy.
“We consider the HAIMER Power Clamp Special Edition such a workhorse because it has never broken.”
The Solution: Part Two - The HAIMER Shrink Fit Tool Holders
In addition to acquiring the HAIMER Power Clamp Special Edition shrink fit machine, Omega Tool, Inc. purchased HSK-E40, HSK-63A, CAT40 and CAT50 HAIMER shrink fit tool holders to be used for ultra-precision machining. It wasn’t long before the Omega Tool, Inc. team noticed the HAIMER difference.
“The difference between a HAIMER heat shrink and its competitors is night and day in regards to part size accuracy, surface finish, and tool life,” states one 5-Axis Programmer at Omega Tool, Inc. “It’s not even worth considering an alternative for most hard milling applications.”
HAIMER tool holder’s slim profiles are another great feature that Omega Tool, Inc., Inc. benefits from on a regular basis. “Certain features in plastic molding application, especially gates, would be extremely impractical to cut without the use of the slim HAIMER holders,” an operator at Omega Tool, Inc. explains.
“They allow the holder to get much closer to the feature, and as a consequence, result in significantly less tool stick out.”
HAIMER uses special raw materials, according to its own standard for the tool holders, and this is 100% checked by detailed spectral analysis. The material offers high strength, high toughness and is perfect for the requirements of shrinking technology - so that you can shrink in and out with repeatable accuracy as often as you like.
“I tried to make the HAIMER tool holders fail,” Randy states. “I overcooked them, triple cooked them just to see if I could make them fail and I couldn’t.”
Perfection and Quality Always Win
At Omega Tool, Inc., being average is never an option. “Our whole shop is focused around being perfect in everything we do,” explains Randy. “The look here is as important as the product we produce and HAIMER tooling is a crucial component to make things perfect.” The company depends on the HAIMER quality in order to achieve the high standards they set for themselves.
Now when someone at Omega Tool, Inc. needs additional tooling, he simply sends Randy the HAIMER part number.
“There is no comparison to what we were using to the HAIMER product,” describes Randy. “Whenever someone asks about our tooling, at a trade show or at work, I always lead with HAIMER.”
Haimer is the world leader in heat shrink tool holding technology. There is no better time than NOW to upgrade your shop to the precision of of a Haimer Power Clamp Special Edition shrink fit machine. This sale ends December 31, 2021! We are giving away 10 Basic Line toolholders with the PC SE Machine
For fastest tool change and highest process reliability
This special promotion ends December 31, 2021. Please contact a member of our team for more information
The 3D-Sensor New Generation is a further development of our worldwide accepted and proven Universal 3D-Sensor. With a cylindrical shank and clamping flat with a reading accuracy: 0.0004 in, it's also got improved mechanics and a new and compact design.
Both short and long probe tips are available with no tool change necessary because there is no re-calibration of the sensor needed and it has an enhanced overrun distance! It's ideal for Milling and EDM machines (isolated probe) as well as for work piece-reset and length measuring in any direction approach (X-, Y-, Z-axis). And it can withstand exposure to coolant because it's IP 67 water and dust proof!
The Benefits of the Haimer Sensor
Browne & Co has been appointed as regional managers for Haimer USA. Haimer USA is a family run company headquartered in the Villa Park suburb Chicago. Haimer USA designs, produces and sells innovative, high precision products for metalcutting as well as for the automotive, aerospace, energy, rail and general machining industries.
HAIMER is best know for it's large offering of rotary toolholders in all popular interfaces and lengths, as well as shrinking and balancing machines. HAIMER is a well respected brand for their 3-D Sensors and tool presetting machines. Their 30,000 sq ft Chicago headquarters is centrally located just a short distance from Browne & Co's territory which means that shipping and delivery times are quick!
According to David Browne, President of Browne & Co.,
"Haimer USA's focus on high quality toolholders and toolholder set up equipment really meets the needs that we have in our marketplace. We have seen increased demand to balanced high speed, high feed cutting tools increasing over the past decade. Haimer is by far one of the highest quality toolholder systems manufacturers in the world. Their shrink fit holders are what they are most known for but they also have a very robust offering of other rotary toolholders, balancing and presetting machines. We are very excited to represent such a fine group of products in our region!"
Browne & CO. will represent Haimer USA in the the Kentucky, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania territories. For more information or to schedule a time for a free, on-site, balance test of your tools and check their balancing grades click the contact button below.
While we performing the balance tests, we often find the main reason for spindle damage and the source of vibrations. Because the Haimer USA balancing machines have a flexible design, we can also balance rotors (impeller, fans, housings, etc.) grinding wheels and tools of all types.
Just ask us and begin profiting from the experience of our experts! Our knowledge is your advantage!
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