Payed off in a few days

Precision parts manufacturer Burgmaier Technologies has increased the efficiency of its multi-spindle lathe by 7 percent with a 3D-printed exhaust nozzle.

2020-03-28 — The German company Burgmaier Technologies GmbH & Co.KG from Allmendingen near Ulm machines several million valve sleeves every year. In the multi-spindle lathe, two classic air outlets ensure that chips and oil are blown off the components before a robot automatically transfers the component to an interlinked testing device. »On average, however, the machine stopped five times per shift because not all chips could be removed and the testing device thus stopped the process,« says Ken Krauß, Head of Additive Manufacturing at Burgmaier.

To reduce scrap and eliminate the need for frequent manual troubleshooting, the Additive Manufacturing team set about designing a blowout duct. The component must pass through this tunnel after machining. The openings in the channel are intended to ensure that the compressed air reaches the valve sleeves from all sides and that the components are freed of chips without leaving any residues. 

machine downtime reduced to zero

Burgmaier has designed a total of six variants of this blow-off nozzle and has produced them on its own printers in the alloy AlSi10Mg and tested them afterwards. After installation, machine downtime has been reduced to zero. »This has increased the machine's efficiency by seven percent,« says Krauß proudly. He expects high five-figure cost savings per year. »A real competitive advantage and best practice example for the application of additive manufacturing in mechanical engineering,« says Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger, Managing Director of Leichtbau BW GmbH.

»We have done the math: The costs for the development and production of the blow-out tunnel have paid off within a few days«, Krauß is pleased to say. In addition, the new blow-out device is significantly quieter than the previous solution. »The cleaning result is also much better. Not only chips but also oil has been removed very well and we can save ourselves the downstream washing cycle«, says Krauß. »Burgmaier's example shows why lightweight construction is a key technology that machine and plant manufacturers can no longer ignore,« adds Seeliger.

Burgmaier Technologies GmbH + Co KG The company, based in Allmendingen near Ulm, is one of the leading manufacturers of precision parts. Over 800 employees work in development, design, production, assembly and quality assurance. According to the company's own information, about 350,000 parts leave the Burgmaier plants every day.