In its chain link production Husqvarna is utilizing three Rösler FKS 35.1 A2-So centrifugal disk finishing machines along with a fully automatic Z1000 process water cleaning centrifuge. For over 10 years these machines have reliably handled highly demanding finishing processes in a 24/7 manufacturing environment. Because of this outstanding track record and the excellent cooperation Husqvarna called on Rösler to provide technical assistance with a capacity expansion project. The company installed an additional centrifugal disk finishing machine with convincing new technical features and a second automatic centrifuge equipped with the software package “digital process water management” developed by Rösler’s Smart Solutions team. The seamless integration and intelligent linking of the new with the already existing equipment made the production of chain links more flexible and more cost-efficient. Above all, it resulted in a higher overall stability of the finishing operation.
Elimination of capacity bottlenecks in the surface finishing operation
Prior to the expansion and modernization project the centrifugal disk finishing machines were assigned to specific mass finishing processes. The strict assignment was intended to prevent the mixing of different process liquids and, thus, facilitate the process water cleaning operation. However, this rigid organization of the centrifugal disk finishing machines did not allow their flexible use. For this reason, the available finishing capacity could not be utilized in a cost-efficient manner and caused frequent manufacturing bottlenecks.
To provide more flexibility, the new centrifugal disk finishing machine is equipped with a dual dosing unit allowing the machine to be connected to two process water recycling systems. This allows running different finishing processes in the same machine. In combination with the new process water cleaning centrifuge and the resulting increased cleaning capacity the finishing machines can now be flexibly assigned to the actual processing jobs without affecting the overall surface finishing quality of the chain links.
Innovative technical features increase the process stability and reduce the cycle times
The new centrifugal disk finishing machine is equipped with a custom-engineered work piece loading system. In addition, the special design of the processing bowl offers a higher working volume. But that is not all: Special flow guide segments along with anti-slip bars, a special spinner design and an increased drive power ensure a much better mixing of the work piece batches weighing several hundred kilograms. All this brought about a higher finishing intensity with shorter cycle times, increased the overall productivity and produced more consistent finishing results.
Husqvarna was also impressed by the fully automatic adjustment of the gap between spinner and processing bowl. Manual gap adjustment and time-consuming gap measurements could be completely eliminated. The “intelligent” control system is automatically setting the gap to a size that matches the work pieces to be processed. Moreover, the control system continuously monitors the gap size during the entire finishing process and automatically adjusts the gap as needed. Rösler is the only company that offers such an advanced gap control system! Of course, with this sophisticated technology even very thin work pieces cannot get stuck in the gap. This prevents premature wear and potential machine crashes. Besides a much higher process stability the automatic gap control also increases the equipment availability by eliminating the time required for manual gap adjustment.
Complete process control and traceability
The purchase order from Husqvarna also included the linking of the mass finishing machines with a subsequent manufacturing operation. It covered not only the transfer of processing programs and process data but also the integration of the finishing machines into the existing Manufacturing Executive System (MES) at Husqvarna. This ensures not only a complete process control but also the monitoring of the equipment status and the finishing parameters.
Digital process water management – up to 50 % lower water usage and longer uptime of the process liquid
The process water cleaning process at Husqvarna is quite demanding. Therefore, the company was pleased to integrate the digital process water management system from Rösler Smart Solutions into its modernized process water cleaning and recycling operation. This innovative, interactive monitoring system for semi- and fully automatic centrifuges allows the monitoring, collection and evaluation of all essential process parameters. Suitable problem-solving recommendations are automatically issued. This helps to significantly reduce the water consumption and increase the uptime of the process water resulting in considerable cost savings. Based on a preliminary analysis the time periods between process water changes could be extended by 50 %. The resulting increase of the process water uptime also amounts to about 50 %.
On-time completion of this challenging project
The capacity expansion and modernization project could be implemented within a tight and quite challenging time frame. Despite the current supply chain difficulties Rösler not only met the agreed upon delivery date but could commission the equipment at Husqvarna two weeks earlier.
Rösler Smart Solutions – Improved surface finishes and lower reject
The Rösler Smart Solutions system is also used at the Scherdel Waldershof GmbH & Co. KG. This company produces stamped and bent components as well as parts for the automotive industry from steel alloys, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals. The mass finishing operation requires not only excellent deburring and edge radiusing results, but the work pieces must also be perfectly clean for the subsequent optical quality control. The process water is cleaned with a semi-automatic centrifuge. In the past the somewhat limited quality control procedure for the process water checked only a few parameters resulting in unwanted media and metal residues on the finished work pieces. This required costly rework, before the components could be delivered to the customers. With the digital process water management from Rösler Smart Solutions the situation could be completely turned around. The well-organized data output and the easy-to-understand action points from the “digital guide” ensure that the process water remains stable at a high quality. In turn, this produces absolutely clean work pieces. With the digital process water management system the rework and scrap rate could be cut in half.
Digital process water management improves process stability and increases cost-efficiency
At the Wegmann Automotive GmbH, global leader in the field of balancing weights, the process water from the mass finishing operation is cleaned in a fully automatic centrifuge. In principle, the operator manages the water cleaning and recycling operation quite well. Nevertheless, the company decided to install the digital process water management system from Rösler Smart Solutions. Because of different technical requirements the company recently had experienced some difficulties. Weights made from steel receive a corrosion protection in the mass finishing process, while zinc components must have a specified surface tension for a subsequent coating operation. These different requirements led to either a too high or too low compound concentration in the process water, resulting in considerable rework and large quantities of scrap parts. The customer had not considered the consequences of a microbiological contamination. In this case the interactive digital process water monitoring system from Rösler Smart Solutions produced a much more stable process and drastically reduced the rework and scrap rate.