Examples of successful applications in the machine tool industry


You can find an overview of application examples with igus products in machine tools

Application examples by challenge:

CNC machines: overview of applications

CNC (computerised numerical control) machines are indispensable in today's material machining processes. Using computer technology in industrial machining, not only enhances precision and manufacturing quality in workpiece machining, but also greatly increases productivity. Today, CNC-supported machines are used in a wide range of applications. This is a selection of CNC milling, drilling, grinding, turning, cutting, polishing and bending machines which use our energy chains, linear guides and plain bearing systems.

Welding system

Hanging, standing or in linear travels: our closed energy chains have proven themselves through years of operation in Cloos welding systems.

Combination machine for milling and drilling

For energy supply to the main spindle of this milling and drilling machine, the manufacturer uses especially leak-proof RX energy tubes.

Horizontal lathe

This turning machine uses a guidelok e-chain on a travel of up to 20m. It is perfect for long unsupported travels in swarf areas.

Machining centre

We have supplied ROMI, the market leader in the Brazilian machinery and equipment industry, for 15 years. Our e-chains and chainflex cables are being used in a new machining centre.

Multi-spindle lathe

A readychain system with a total of eight energy chains ensures reliable energy supply to all six of this Gildemeister Italiana S.p.A. turning machine's spindles.

Compact milling machine

These compact CAD/CAM milling machines work quickly and precisely, delivering high-quality prototypes. Fifteen drylin miniature guides and dryspin lead screw nuts have been installed here.

Milling machine for bicycles

One milling machine uses 15 e-chains – in the stroke cabin, the tool changer, and all of its track axes. They ensure long travels (up to 50m).

Adverse environmental conditions (use of chemicals, high incidence of dirt, flying swarf)

Aggressive environmental conditions usually arise when metals are abrasively machined. Metallic swarf and lubricating oil collection affect elements such as cable guidance and linear guide systems. To operate machines with as few interruptions and as little downtime as possible, closed energy chains or energy tubes are often used to protect the cables inside them.

Heavy-duty lathe

Swarf and dirt in this system run by FAT HACO, a milling machine manufacturer, necessitate the use of closed energy chains with a long service life.

Cutting unit

The environment is characterised by especially dirty, abrasive conditions in Messer cutting systems. e-chains are used here in combination with an autoglide system.

Milling machine

This CNC machine primary mills styrofoam, which collects on all surfaces and in all spaces. The customer therefore uses drylin linear units today.

Polishing machine

This polishing machine is used in prosthetics. During milling, fine dust collects on the linear guides. Today, drylin linear units can help.

Lathes and milling machines

The spaces in the threaded rods quickly fill with dirt. The cleaning function of the special dryspin lead screw nuts maintains machine performance.

Flame cutting machine

3D energy chains, which can move in any direction, allow endlessly pivoting axes. They have proven resistant to heat, flying sparks, and extreme dirt accumulation.

Machining centre

All components in this CNC machining centre must be resistant to temperature and chemicals. The centre uses special e-chains that repel swarf.

Portal milling machine

A robust high-temperature energy tube is used in this milling machine. It repels chips at temperatures of up to 850°C.

Tight installation spaces and minimal bend radii

In refining machine tools, design engineers are always looking for ways to combine more powerful systems with space-saving solutions. This not only allows reduction of the overall system dimensions, but also provides considerable savings potential for the energy costs arising in ongoing operation. For instance, energy chains in such contexts must allow tight bend radii at high travel speeds and accelerations.

Servo stamping and bending machine

Our energy chains and chainflex cables are used to provide power to the fastest servo stamping and bending machine in the world. They travel in the especially tight space inside the machine.

High performance turning machine

In the vertical EMAG turning machines of the VMC series, single-core chainflex cables are used for the spindle power supply.The challenges: Limited installation space, high chip volume and oil.

Drilling machine

Up to fifty servo axes in a small space, high dynamics, high demands on service life and small bend radii. These are the requirements of this automatic drilling machine for our energy chains and chainflex cables.

Gear grinding machine

Realising a vertical lift of over 1m and a pivoting range of 270° in a confined installation space was made possible in this application in the grinding head of a gear grinder.

Multi-spindle machining centre

This application involves a two-spindle horizontal machining centre equipped with exceptionally quiet and low-vibration energy supply systems.

Press automation system

This press automation system requires extremely space-saving energy supply at high speed.

Heavy-duty portal machine

Here, a simple trick was used to save space: there was only 20cm of installation height, which was too low for a conventional e-chain solution.

Machine tool for metal machining

In a machine tool operated by Yamazaki Mazak Corp., a machine builder, two e-chains run side by side, supplying energy in a very tight installation space.

Stretch-bending machine

This lack of installation space necessitated forced guidance of the energy tube in this CNC inclined-bed turning lathe. Here, energy tubes ensure three-dimensional media supply.

Milling centre

This application is a swivelling head for a milling centre. In a very tight installation space, energy chains supply a number of media to the milling head.

Long service life in continuous operation

During machine tool development, the focus was on high availability. Downtime was to be reduced, allowing customer operation that was as economical as possible. The high-quality systems would frequently be used in three-shift operations, seven days a week, and had to handle these demands with no problems. The customer focus for the following application examples was on energy chains, linear guides, and plain bearings that remained reliable under the high, constant movement loads.

Milling machine

The DMF 200|8 milling machine from DMG Mori achieves milling speeds of up to 20,000 rpm.Energy chains of the E4Q series reduce vibration in the machine.

CNC automatic multi-spindle lathe

Each lead screw in this Schuette automatic lathe must be supplied with energy, signals and coolant. And that with more than 4.5 million cycles per year.

Large processing centre

These machine tools for machining large components are often used for 20-30 years, during which their availability must be at least 95%. Energy chains and chainflex cables are used here.

Cutting machine

This cutting machine uses an E6 e-chain. It must have a planned machine service life of seven to ten years at high workloads under continuous operation.

Turning and grinding machines

Excellent condition even after nine years – pre-assembled energy supply systems are used in these precision machines under aggressive environmental conditions.

Friction stir welding machine

A closed R4 energy tube is in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH friction stir welding machine.

Positioning systems in electronics manufacturing

This positioning unit uses a readychain system to reliably guide drive, measuring system, and compressed air lines – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Concrete pipe cutter

This milling machine ejects aluminium swarf, wood chips and fine dust from composite materials. It uses energy chains and bearing technology that must function reliably.

Machines for micro-assembly

These micro-assembly machines manage millions of work cycles each year. Energy chains and chainflex cables have shown themselves to be reliable system components under this constant load.

Quick, simple assembly

Modern machine tools require several months from assembly to commissioning. To get to normal operation faster, the highly complex systems will ideally be ready to go within a few weeks. Well-thought-out modular products, competent consultation and supplier base reduction contributed to this goal for the following applications.

Machine tool series

To save space, weight and time when finalising their machine tools, DVS Universal Grinding GmbH counts on pre-assembled energy chains.

Grinding machine

An extremely smoothly running chain allows this CNC machine to operate precisely. A simple design minimises installation and maintenance costs.

Portal milling machine

The company gets everything from one source and directly from the manufacturer with pre-assembled readychain energy supply systems. This reduces installation time and costs.

Machining centre

The E4/4 light energy chain offers compact external dimensions and has a very robust design. The readychain system greatly facilitates installation, saving the customer time and money.

Gantry machining centre

The energy supply for this machining centre was designed to minimise the number of interfaces. The pre-assembled complete solution ensures that installation requires little time and money.

Grinding machine

The linear guides and polymer plain bearings used in this grinding machine require no maintenance or lubrication and ensure an especially long machine service life.

Other user reports

General machine tools

Replacing metallic bearings with iglidur polymer bearings allowed Deckel Maho Gildemeister to reduce the costs of its machine tools by more than 50%.

Water jet cutting system

This XXL water jet cutting system has considerable dimensions with a 32x5 metre travel.Energy supply systems support the precise movement of the two 3D cutting heads.

Toothed belt unit with guide system

Parker EME uses drylin guide systems in its "LCB" linear actuator. They are extremely robust, have optimum wear and coefficient of friction properties, and require no lubrication.

Wire-bending machine

The SPEEDMAX bending machine series combines extremely high cyclic performance with minimum strokes. Because the load is so great, the customer uses robust iglidur plain bearings.

Machining centre

In today's machine tools and machining centres, lightweight, robust, lubrication-free polymer bearings are installed in a wide variety of locations. They function reliably despite the many machine movement cycles.

Laser cutting machine

This laser cutting machine is remarkable for such features as high travel speeds and accelerations. Energy chains in this application are dynamic and robust in their function.

Woodworking machine

Trima Triebeser Maschinenbau GmbH installed an e-chain® with extender crossbars for the 300mm suction hose for a woodworking machine. The aim was to implement a cable-friendly and robust guidance over a long travel.

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