IMTS Preview: Liebherr Gear Technology

With a one-table design and a new-design grinding head, the new Liebherr LGG 180 and LGG 280 machines greatly reduce grinding times for t...


With a one-table design and a new-design grinding head, the new Liebherr LGG 180 and LGG 280 machines greatly reduce grinding times for twist-free profile and generating grinding. The LGG180 will be demonstrated by Liebherr (Booth N-6930) at IMTS 2014. The machines are designed to deliver consistent high large-scale production quality in automotive applications, including conical gearing.  According to a Liebherr spokesman,  “With this series of space-saving machines, vehicle manufacturers can develop a complete production line, in which all gearing components for a passenger vehicle transmission can be ground: planetary and sun gears, bore-type gears, as well as drive and pinion shafts with lengths up to 500 mm."

The advantage to the one-table solution is higher quality throughout the entire production. There is one clamping fixture, one geometry. Every machined part is manufactured under the same conditions for the highest reproducibility. The one-table approach provides the statistical capability and reliability in continuously producing controlled µ-range finish quality for gear noise optimization. The new grinding head allows for rotation speeds up to 10,000 rpm and has spindle power of 35 kW. With this performance data, the head enables high cutting speeds and high feed rates. The new grinding machine can exploit the considerable potential of the innovative 3M abrasive Cubitron II.  Changing the grinding arbor with HSK-C 100 tool holder is a fast and simple process. Also available is a second grinding head for featuring a small worm diameter for collision-critical parts.

The machine will enable undulations to be applied specifically to gear wheel flanks for noise optimization purposes for the first time. The ability to produce sub-µ range waviness cost-effectively gives designers a whole new range of optimization options. The touch screen user interface on the machine control permits easier, intuitive programming and machine operation and incorporates an integrated webcam. The control also can incorporate substantial additional documentation, such as fixture layouts and tool mounting instructions. The LGG machines are easily coupled with Liebherr automation solutions to create a fully automated production line for the highest quality gears in the least possible cycle times.

Additionally, Liebherr Automation will demonstrate a smart part handling solution that can remove randomly placed items from a container and place them accurately in a machine or production line, utilizing 3-D image recognition system software, a robot, and a sophisticated handling strategy.  This intelligent removal of items, such as the automated picking of unsorted components, is referred to as random bin-picking. Specially developed grippers with additional axes enable collision-free access and the removal of items from the container, and subsequently allows for precise positioning of the item into a fixture or pallet. 

The Liebherr custom bin-picking solution, designed for components weighing between 1 and 50 kilograms, deliver the potential for productivity and efficiency increases in a range of parts producing industries, including automotive, aerospace, general machining, and commercial vehicles. The company has developed process-reliable solutions that achieve the cycle times and high availability rates manufacturers require.
The advantages of this scalable automation process include increased productivity, improved machine utilization rates, reduction of the need for additional machines to achieve desired plant production volumes, and more consistent production quality.

Liebherr has created complete systems for, among other sectors, for the automotive industry.  This includes the efficient channeling of non-rotationally symmetrical components which arrive randomly in a bin and can be placed into production lines and hardening ovens. The beginning of a production line is the key point where picking from the bin is necessary. 

An important breakthrough occurred with the object recognition system. The 3-D laser scanner precisely recognizes the components for picking. Outside light of any type in the production building has zero effect on the ability to pick a part. It will even recognize black, brown and rusty parts. The accompanying software segments identify and select information about items and constraints in the bin provided.

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Liebherr Gear Technology

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