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Added to MTDCNC by Starrag UK Limited on 27 June 2016

With an array of five- and six-axis machining centres demonstrated and the first public showing of the new HEC Focus four-axis horizontal machining centres, plus a series of enthralling technical presentations, there was something for every one of the 200 plus visitors to Heckert’s Technology Days.

Staged at the company’s Chemnitz manufacturing plant in Germany, the three-day open house illustrated how the range of Heckert machines are being put to good use in machining a variety of components in line with the ‘Transportation & Industrial Components’ themed event.

Likewise, the new HEC Focus (F line) machines also drew much attention, being specifically designed for general sub-contract applications and for use by supply chain partners to automotive OEMs, for example. These are the only machines that are being manufactured for stock by Heckert, to satisfy the company’s claim of providing machines that are available on exceptionally short delivery timescales and at reduced investment costs.

The F range models were literally laid bare for all to see with machines at various stages of build highlighting their impressive build features and reinforcing the parent Starrag Group’s mission of ‘Engineering precisely what you value’ with a range of new machines that will optimise production costs through reduced machining times and improved integrity of production, for example.

The designations of the three-machine F line – the HEC 400 F, 500 F and 630 F - reflect their pallet sizes: 400 mm by 500 mm (capable of accommodating work weighing 500 kgs) on the HEC 400 F; 500 mm by 630 mm (600 kgs) on the HEC 500 F; and 500 mm by 630 mm (800 kgs) on the HEC 630 F. X, Y and Z axis travels across the trio are, respectively, 650 mm by 650 mm by 680 mm, 750 mm by 750 mm by 725 mm and 850 mm by 750 mm by 850 mm.

Based on the world-proven HEC construction platform of mineral-cast or cast iron build and thermo-tolerant design principles, the new machines feature a small control cabinet (housing Fanuc 0i MF as standard; Siemens Sinumerik 840D as an option) and short chip conveyor, for example, to create a very compact machine. 

Also, 32.4 kW spindles from WEISS (a Siemens company) are employed – producing 18,000 revs/min and 67 Nm torque, ideal for aluminium cutting, on models HEC 400 F and 500 F; and 10,000 revs/min with 350 Nm of torque for heavier-duty, cast iron cutting, on the HEC 630 F model. Spindle options for increased torque to 130 Nm will be available on the HEC 400 F and HEC 500 F machines. 

A 40-tool chain-type automatic toolchanger (HSK A63 as standard on the HEC 400, 500 and 630 F models) is standard across all three machines, with options for 60- and 80-tool types. In combination with HSK A100 on the HEC 630 F is a 30-tool chain-type magazine as standard (45- or 60-tool optional).

Not only do the new machines offer users throughput increases of up to 10 per cent through reduced machining times and up to 10 per cent savings in service and tool costs but, like their Heckert stablemates, they also promise of annual energy cost savings of up to Euros 10,600/annum (based on 6,000 working hours across a three-shift system; energy cost of Euro 0.11/kW and compressed air cost of Euro .06/m3).

These are achieved via the application of Blue Competence strategies which involve, for example:
[] Energy recovery from the drive system – 70-80 per cent of the energy needed for acceleration is returned to the grid while braking; average power requirement is typically reduced by 3 kW - and the use of high-efficiency systems: 97-99 per cent frequency converters; 88-94 per cent synchronous motors; 81-92 per cent asynchronous motors;  
[] Accumulator charging circuit for the hydraulics system – for example, pressure-free oil circulation during idle times reduces base loads and energy demands; 
[] Auto switch-off and warm-up; 
[] Variable pressure limiting valve for cooling lubricant;
[] Compressed air cut-off (all HEC machines work with systems having a minimum of 5 bar).
Heckert’s new F Line machines – including the HEC 400 F - attracted a steady stream of interest  

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