CNC Retrofit - Case: Special Motors Engineering
Old CNC machines usually have a massive frame of cast steel. Such machines are a very good starting point considering modernization. The thing is that usually only the controlling, electric, electronic and hydraulic systems are at the end of their life cycle, and all these can be easily replaced with modern technology.
Considering usability and production reliability, a modernized machine performs just as well as a new one. The difference (often surprisingly) is that the energy efficiency of a retrofitted machine is staggering, even when compared to new machines right off the shelf. Also, the price of a totally modernized machine is significantly lower – approximately a quarter of the price of a new one.
We have recently carried out a modernization project we´d like to tell a bit about. The customer in question is Special Motors Engineering, residing in Pomarkku, near Pori. They had an Okuma MC 500-H machining centre from 1992. This two palette machine was totally overhauled and it now produces very demanding parts for special and racing engines straight out of solid aluminum blocks.
The retrofitted machine now has a total of 6 axes (spindle included), and it is capable of perfectly exact machining of various engine parts. One result of this total overhaul is that machining times now are only two thirds of those before.
The Okuma got a new life: the whole headstock assembly was totally refurbished, as were the hydraulics and control systems. The new servos and controls are from Bosch Rexroth MTX Advanced series. This allows the kinetic braking energy of the machine to be collected and transferred to the hydraulic components via capacitors and pressure accumulators.
Even nowadays, most machine manufacturers have not paid attention to such possibilities. Instead, the excess energy and waste heat both end up down the drain, or to further increase the electricity bill because of the needs for extensive air conditioning in the production facilities.
Do you happen to have outdated machines in your workshop? Have you noticed that their repair and maintenance costs have become unreasonably high? Is it incredibly hard to find any spare parts anymore? If yes, you might want to do a little thinking and consider giving us a call. We can give your old workhorses a new life. Modernization, retrofit, overhaul… whatever you want to call it, is a highly rational and economical solution to get more bang for the buck in your production line. Click here for our contact info
The original article was published in the magazine Teollisuus Nyt 2013. Photo rights © Lauri Lehtinen. All other rights reserved by Litemaster Oy.