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Automotive dashboard spindles produced on Tornos Machines
Automotive dashboard spindles produced on Tornos Machines
Automotive dashboard spindles produced on Tornos Machines

Automotive dashboard spindles produced on Tornos Machines

Added to MTDCNC by Tornos Technologies UK Ltd on 29 April 2015

Already equipped with some 50 automatic turning machines that includes 15 Tornos Deco's, one Tornos EvoDeco and 32 Escomatics, Swiss manufacturer Polydec was an early customer take on the Tornos SwissNano machine. One year later, it is only a lack of space in its facility that is stopping the automotive, electronics and watchmaking supplier from purchasing more.

When reviewing the market for a turning centre that could meet the constraints of the watchmaking industry, Polydec CEO Mr Claude Konrad says: 'With the SwissNano, we have found a Swiss made machine that meets our requirements. The constraints of the watchmaking sector are constantly increasing, especially in terms of precision. We have always been very pleased with our Deco machines, but they are getting quite old now. Our comfort zone on these machines is around 4 microns, but nowadays we are often required to produce within a tolerance of 2 microns. The SwissNano makes this much easier.'

The Bienne based company has its machines in production 24/7, machining a wide variety of components that include an annual production of over 250 million micro-axles for use in automotive dashboards, supplying five cars out of every ten cars globally produced. The company also manufactures turned parts for diesel injection systems and actuators whilst its medical industry involvement includes the production of insulin pumps, hearing aids, dental tools and endoscopic instruments. Highlighting the almost microscopic dimensions of its annual production, Polydec SA machines micro-components such test probes for use in electronics. These may have an outer diameter of 0.30mm and an inner diameter of 0.25mm, with a wall thickness of just 0.025mm.

Discussing the performance of the new SwissNano, PolyDec's CNC bar turning manager Mr Domenico Di Iullo is very satisfied: 'The results are excellent, the precision is perfect and the dispersion is very low. After a change of setup, the machine does not need to be preheated, the first part comes out perfectly and precision is consistent throughout production. Because the machine is very rigid, it produces excellent finishes and tool wear is minimal.'

An efficient design

Although the CEO appreciates the attractive design of the machine, he is convinced that the success of the SwissNano’s design is also due to its ergonomics and the quality of the machine itself: 'The advantage of the SwissNano is its ergonomics – it offers a fully integrated solution. Moreover, it is well-designed, perfectly clean and  watertight. And these aspects are particularly important in a workshop like ours. The 80-cm gap between machines soon becomes insufficient if the machines are equipped with devices that extend beyond the body of the machine.'

For CNC bar turning, Polydec has Tornos Deco machines with nine axes to produce complex parts and other machines to produce simpler shaped parts. The SwissNano machine integrates both. It combines complexity of parts with greater precision. In the words of Mr. Konrad: 'If the SwissNano machines had been available a few years earlier, we would probably have more now. For new parts, choosing a machine is simple; for very precise watch parts, the first-choice machine is the SwissNano, then the complexity determines if it is possible. The specialists at Tornos told us that the aim of the SwissNano is to cover 80% of needs in the watchmaking sector. Obviously, sometimes we would like to have more options, but the machine offers an excellent compromise.'

What about watch parts?

The first parts produced on the SwissNano are pins in three different diameters with a tolerance of just a few microns. Then there are the double plates and setting. These are all finished on the SwissNano machine with hobbing and stamping operations also completed. The Polydec CEO continues: 'Nowadays we can produce parts that were beyond our means before the arrival of the SwissNano. It has really opened up new markets for us.'

Simple and intuitive to use…

The workshop manager appreciates how simple the machine is to set up and use, as Mr Domenico Di Iullo continues: 'Although the tool systems are not as modular as on the Deco, the setup is simple and quicker. Even special operations such as hobbing or stamping pose no problem. Another advantage is that the machining area can be accessed from all sides, although in practice it is rare to need access from the back. The size of the machine also makes it great to use. It is very compact and at a perfect height for us. The housing is watertight and everything is integrated.'

'Furthermore, we are used to TB-Deco and ISO programming with the Tornos TISIS system. Tornos offers a tool that combines both. It is an advanced editor  that enables us to perform classic ISO programming but also offers us information and help that is inspired by the best TB-Deco tools.'

In conclusion, Mr Di Iullo added: 'It’s always easy to criticise and to comment on what is not right, but since everything is fine and we are very satisfied, there is not a great deal to say. That’s how it is with the SwissNano. We are relocating to a larger facility in 2015 and it is highly likely that Polydec will equip its workshop with more SwissNano machines.'

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