Forged Axle Machining Takes a Modern Turn

Recently, Euro Machinery Specialists, Menomonee Falls, WI, remanufactured a 1960s vintage Snyder “three-stage” lathe machining line for Standard Forged Product, McKees Rocks, PA, for its production of rail and locomotive axles.  Owing to the change from hydraulic tracer to advanced CNC control, DC headstock to synchronized AC drive, and hydraulic to AC axes servo motion, the production of steel billets into hammer forged finished axles has been substantially improved.

“Standard Forged Products was looking for a significant productivity increase to bring the three-stage system back to OEM-level cycle times, due to punishment from many years of heavy-duty machining around the clock,” explained Euro vice president Karl Engelke. “Peak operating performance was originally about a four-minute cycle time for a completely machined axle, start to finish.  Over the years, cycle times dwindled and, when we received the project, cycle time was over seven minutes per axle, due to numerous mechanical and electrical problems and failures — therefore, this Snyder line was in need of a total overhaul and remanufacture. 

“Our overall three-year contract with Standard Forged Products for this project required complete rebuilding from the ground up,” Engelke continued. “Since the old iron was extremely sound, it was an ideal candidate for remanufacture, including everything from the key motion control package, consisting of three Siemens Sinumerik CNCs, Simotics motors and Sinamics drives at each lathe, plus Simatic PLC and HMI as the master of the entire line.” 

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