Automatic lathe with six spindles wins gold at igus vector awards

GildemeisterItaliana S.p.A. took home the gold at the 2020
igus Vector Awards for their new multi-spindle lathe. The award-winning lathe
uses a total of eight harnessed energy chains to guide cables and hoses
reliably and safely in a very restricted installation space.

Every two years, igus GmbH bestows the Vector Awards
to honour fascinating and creative energy chain applications. The 2020 awards
program received 266 entries from 32 countries.

Reduce lead times, set-up times and the effort
required for process development and integration, and at the same time, do
justice to the increasing degree of complexity involved: the new lathe from
GildemeisterItaliana S.p.A., a subsidiary of DMG Mori AG, fulfils these
requirements. The heart of the machine is the spindle drum with six spindles
for simultaneous machining of several workpieces. The drum moves the workpieces
to the tools quickly and very precisely. It only takes 0.65 seconds for one of
the six spindles to travel to the next position. For spindles to return to the
starting position after machining has been completed in the six stations, the
drum has to turn 300 degrees in reverse. For this, the unit, which weighs over
three metric tons, only needs one second.

The biggest challenge: a safe energy supply system for
all six spindles. The solution: a unique energy supply system that rotates with
the drum and enables the linear movements of the spindle drums. A total of 8
igus energy chains, 64 cables and 73 hoses are used in the automatic
multi-spindle lathe – an application for which GildemeisterItaliana has now won
the gold vector and 5,000 euros in prize money.

and bronze go to Austria and Germany

The Silver Vector Award goes to AlpinaTec GmbH from
Austria to recognise its work on the GESTRA project for the Fraunhofer
Institute. GESTRA is a radar-based system that is used to search for and map
space debris. A complex rotary energy supply system specially designed for the
azimuth axis and a two-sided double chain system for the elevation axis are

The Bronze Vector Award has been won by
GrenzebachMaschinenbau with its stir friction welding machine. The energy and
media supply components within the welding head as well as the adjacent
construction all had to be flexible. For confined installation spaces, the
coupling of a twisterband with an R4 energy chain proved to be a creative and
fail-safe solution.

Vector Award for sustainable products

Sustainability is very important to igus. For example,
igus has been taking back used energy chains and recycling them since the end
of 2019. For this reason, the jury also wanted to bestow an award for especially
sustainable energy chain projects.

The Green Vector Award includes prize money of 1,000
euros and goes to Drop Water in the USA and the German company Huber SE. Drop
Water received the prize for an automatic machine that fills biodegradable
containers with beverages at the press of a button. The water for the beverage
does not have to be transported as the automatic machine is connected to a
water source. A harnessed readychain ensures that the cables of the linear
robot used are guided safely and reliably.

In a water treatment plant in Egypt, Huber SE, the
other winner, relies on solar energy to dry sewage sludge. Dewatered sticky
sludge is reduced in mass and volume to about a quarter by solar drying and
transformed into a granular material. The plant will be used to produce
drinking water for 500,000 people by treating water drawn from the polluted
Bahr El-Baqar canal system. For the dependable supply of power and energy to
the automatic machine, igus energy chains with chainflex cables are used in 128
units over a travel of 100 metres.

All igus products are available from Treotham.

For more information, please visit the Treotham
Automation website
or call 1300 65 75 64.

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