Automation and cycle time optimization of a precision machine tool

Project description

Our engineering technology division’s task for this customer involved the automation and cycle time optimization of a precision machine tool for cutting profiled bars from special materials. The core technology is the six-axis control by means of a Simodrive servo controller with absolute position encoder, as well as the control of the cutting and grinding wheels by a frequency converter.
Together with the operator and the machine manufacturers, the desired processes and boundary conditions were developed and described in a specification sheet, along with calculations and designs.
The operator places up to 30 profile bars on so-called prism holders in the staging area. The number, profile and length of the bars are also captured here.
The machine removes the work piece in the most efficient way and transfers it to the machining area. Here, after a special pre-treatment, the bars are moved one by one to the machining station by means of a portal pick-up system. Speed-controlled synchronised cutting and grinding wheels precisely slice and mill the bars according to a selectable recipe. Laser light barriers monitor the machining process for possible breakage. After machining, the samples are rinsed and dried. Selective status displays indicate the status of each individual bar. Once the whole of the first batch has been machined, the process repeats with the next batch. The panel system selectively records and archives data on the workpiece and tools, recipes, handling times, material use and operator interventions for each batch.

Scope of our services

PCT planning

  • Design of safety equipment including specification of certified switchgear
  • Specification of installation components for the switchgear such as power supply and power and motor outputs, including frequency converter and field device connection.
  • Procurement management
  • Layout drawings and circuit diagrams with EPLAN CAE system
  • As-built documentation

Automation and process control technology

  • Implementation detail specifications
  • System design and configuration for Step7 and WinCC flexible, S7-300 control system with CPU, Profibus connection of Festo valve manifold, electronic key system for user identification, mobile touch panel for manual operation/set up mode, servo controller, frequency converter and industrial PC with 15" touch panel.
  • Project planning of control and visualisation levels for automatic and manual operation and set up mode.
  • Bar-selective batch management
  • Tool, measured value and event recording during the machining process applying audit trails according to title 21 US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 11
  • Export function for tool data, settings and measured values
  • Operator's manual
  • FAT at machine manufacturer premises
  • Commissioning
  • Functional testing and optimisation for operation
  • SAT at operator (end customer) premises
  • Operator training

Switchgear construction

  • Construction and delivery of control cabinets


Elektro Kreutzpointner GmbH
Burgkirchener Str. 3
D-84489 Burghausen
Tel.: +49 8677 8703-270

Automation and cycle time optimization of a precision processing machine