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04 October 2016

‘Worm screw power skiving’ development from Affolter Technologies slashes cycle times

'AF110 plus' gear hobbing machine The new 'AF110 plus' gear hobbing machine worm screw power skiving
Switzerland’s Affolter Technologies (3A Technologies) has unveiled a ground-breaking innovation, worm screw power skiving (WSPS). Intended for users in the automotive and aerospace industries, it is aimed at the production small worms with a module of 0.3 to 1.5.

Many producers in these industries need to manufacture large quantities of high precision worms and, says managing director Vincent Affolter: “This cutting-edge technology was developed by our engineering experts in an intensive R&D process. Worm Screw Power Skiving allows us to finish a high precision worm in only six seconds. If done by worm hobbing, every piece will take 25 seconds.”

The idea behind the new technology is that, unlike in worm hobbing where the hob turns much faster than the workpiece, Affolter Technologies inverted the process. Says Affolter: “The workpiece turns extremely fast, with two new [machine tool] spindles [offering] up to 12,000 rpm, while the cutter turns much slower. Only highest quality machines, like the Affolter AF100 plus and AF110 plus, can reach this speed and at the same time provide the necessary stiffness.”

The company has redesigned its Gear Line model AF110 to optimise it for the WSPS process, resulting in the brand new 'AF110 plus' gear hobbing machine. Apart from the higher speed spindles, the company redesigned the machines. Explains Affolter: “We integrated a cutting fluid filtration system and a chip disposal solution. This allows us to cope with all the requirements imposed by the workpiece up to module 1.5 and the production of large volumes of chip.”

Additionally, improved ergonomics have been achieved through a redefinition of the machine base and surrounding, as well as the human-machine interface. The flexible AF110 plus also offers a function that allows machine operation at reduced speeds with the hood open (full safety set-up mode).

Extensive test runs proved very successful, as Affolter reveals: “We achieved outstanding results in processing both steel and brass. The new AF110 plus and the WSPS technology will open completely new opportunities for our customers.”

Andrew Allcock

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