A look over the shoulder of Wafios’ developers
In May German Wafios group had held the 12th in-house show. The exhibition traditionally takes place in the years between the “wire Dusseldorf” fairs under the roof of the subsidiary in Wuppertal. Various development projects were intended to show where the journey is headed in the forming of long goods.
Five companies of the group showed their highlights: besides the parent company Wafios AG and host Wafios Umformtechnik also Wafios Tube Automation, Witels-Albert and EWMenn. Twelve partner companies and the University of Siegen were also represented with their own stands. 27 machines were in action. For the first time, wire and tube processing were divided into two halls: “Wire World” and “Tube World”. At 1,400m², the stand area was larger than at all previous in-house exhibitions of the group.
Lectures by experts in recent years had attracted growing interest. For this reason, the range was expanded this year. There were presentations on digitisation, industry 4.0/Smart Factory and e-mobility. The focus was on increasing productivity, for example through new machine concepts or so-called “cyber-equipping”. The latter is the title of a project at the University of Siegen/Germany aimed at reducing set-up times.
Wafios’ Board Member Uwe-Peter Weigmann took a positive stock: “Our enlarged in-house exhibition was a complete success. This is demonstrated by the further increase in the number of participants and the many technical discussions we held. This once again showed how important the event is for this region in particular, where wire and tube forming has a long tradition”.
Insights into development projects
With the presentation of several development projects, visitors could take to look over the shoulder of Wafios’ developers. The shown solutions were not yet available on the market. But they made clear where the journey is likely to take us. One of them was the “F2 4 speed” compression-spring wind machine. Its high-speed wire feeder with a patent-pending reeling system is intended to make it the fastest machine of its kind at up to 600m/min.
For the CNC yoke spring machine “FTU 2.5”, the designers had constructed the stripping device “FSA 2.5“ for coils of enamelled copper wire, as used by the automotive and electrical industries. The device generates start and end legs which are bare so that they can be soldered later. Wafios emphasises that the output performance of this device is unmatched so far. Both the cutter head speed of up to 35,000min-1 and the infeed of the stripping blades can be programmed. This enables precise adjustment of the lacquer or copper removal. The common control surface for coil winding machine and stripping device, which belongs to the programming system “WPS 3.2 Easy Cam”, makes operation easy. An optimised tool concept with indexable inserts with diamond coating cuts set-up times.
Another development project was the “IQ m-straight” straightness measuring system. It works with a servo-motor driven adjustable straightening blade for round material from 2mm to 12mm diameter. A camera monitors the straightening quality of the rolling bar and 360-degree scanning is performed in-process.
Machines for winching and bending wire
Wafios presented three new pressure spring wind machines: the “F30”, the “FUL 16” with new reel and the “FUL 166”. The F30 is a further development of the “Eco Coiler” series trimmed for flexibility with higher performance and an extended range of applications. The machine has the new programming system “FPS 1.2” on board, is designed for larger outer spring diameters and can be easily converted from right to left. In addition, the draw-in speed is further increased. For the FUL 16, the high-speed reel “AHT 1 HS” was developed with a load capacity of 150kg and a higher draw-in speed. Motor and inverter received higher performance data. With the modular FUL 166 compression spring machine, Wafios is launching a machine concept on the market that can be adapted to the needs of the user with various equipment variants. Apart from mandrel clamping, the machine is free of hydraulic components and therefore it’s easily to maintain. In addition, an improved tool concept reduces set-up times, for example for the feed rollers.
In the field of wire bending, there was a world premiere: the “BM 36” high-speed single-head wire bending machine, which can be modularly extended and thus flexible. The focus is on large quantities and high quality demands. A newly designed servomotor-driven feeding and straightening unit allows the production of a wide range of bent parts, for example for automotive suppliers and the furniture, electrical and toy industries.
The “WPS 3.2 Easy Way” control provides the user with an intuitive user interface. In addition, a number of IQ functions are available to further increase efficiency and availability. “IQ smartbend” for vibration reduction is available with a five-year license as a bonus. “The machine is not only an advance over its predecessors, but it also establishes a new design standard for future developments,” says Wafios spokesman Weigmann.
The “BMS 36” represents the latest generation of two-head wire bending machines. It has a CNC-controlled speed clamp with large bending clearance and is equipped with servomotor drive technology and a rotating straightening system. A new wire inserter and a device for monitoring the axis positions, both CNC-controlled, ensure process reliability. IQ bend and IQ smartbend reduce set-up time. The possibility of reading in step and Iges files allows fast programming. The BMS 36 is designed for symmetrical bent parts up to 4,000mm in length, e.g. for seat structures in the automotive industry or for frame parts such as are used in the manufacture of white goods.
Handling and bending tubes
Tube bending plays an increasingly important role for Wafios. For this reason, a whole hall was reserved for this topic alone for the first time at the in-house exhibition. The machine ensemble included a “BMZ 8” tube bending machine for brake lines. The special feature was the new automatic system for machine loading, “RVS 1”, another world first. This is a magazine for pre-assembled tube bundles with its own programmable logic controller, which automatically separates the tubes and brake lines using grippers and sensors. Pipes from 4mm to 15mm in diameter can also be fitted with screw fittings or flexible components. The system’s conveyor belt carries up to 500 brake lines from 400mm to 2000mm in length. Manual machine loading is no longer necessary.
Several “Twister²” production cells demonstrated what is now possible in the automation of tube forming. A special feature was the integration of a robot. The WPS 3.2 Easy Way programming system offers a common user interface for both plant components – forming unit and robot – enabling intelligent interaction between bending and handling. Thanks to this combination, no special robot software is required. The concept allows the flexible production of three-dimensional geometries with high process reliability, simple operation and high productivity. Based on this concept, a Wafios tube automation cell for hydraulic lines could be seen. A bending head for tube diameters up to 20mm and an end forming machine type “RU 18” were used. In addition, Wafios presented systems with bending heads for hydraulic, air-conditioning or brake lines with corresponding tool sets.
With “Twister² Twins", the group presented a solution with two coupled Twister² systems. This allows the simultaneous production of right- and left-sided parts, as is often the case in vehicle construction. The two separately operating bending systems double the output.
wire Southeast Asia 2019, booth G 29
Tel.: +49 7121 146-0