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Susa, a producer of precision-turned parts, has a machine park comprised mostly of automation from lathe manufacturer Tornos and also turns to Tornos whenever an issue occurs with its other machinery.

The machine park currently comprises Tornos cam-controlled multi-spindle automatic lathes, CNC automatic turret lathes, CNC sliding headstock automatic lathes, CNC multi-spindle automatic lathes, rotary indexing machines and one CNC machining centre.

In addition to Tornos products, Susa also has a large number of machines from German and Asian manufacturers, but whenever a tricky issue arises, the company always turns to Tornos technology.

Susa values Tornos’ cooperative teamwork, competence and supply of support.

Furthermore, the Tornos product range includes a broad range of machines with an unrivalled number of axes, as well as the TB-Deco programming software.

Susa’s customers include automotive manufacturers as well as companies in the engineering, mining, hydraulic, military technology, high voltage construction, fittings, micro-electronics and telecommunications sectors.

The large range of custom parts includes special safety components such as turned parts for airbags, which are subject to special quality requirements.

That is why at Susa, quality is tested at every stage of production.

Advanced measuring technology is used to verify all customer requirements, from 3D measuring machines to optoelectronic sorting machines.

The Dresden-based company is particularly proud of the Supplier Award it received from its Japanese customer, Takata-Petri.

Meeting these high quality standards economically and competitively is the company’s number one challenge.

The product range covers simple through to highly complex parts, from 5-200mm, in lot sizes from 500 to high-volume production runs of several million units.

Only around 25 per cent of the company’s order portfolio is continuous duty production, which it processes on the cam-controlled automatic lathes.

That means 75 per cent of orders must be processed quickly and flexibly.

This poses some challenges for the production planner and setter.

Silvio Franz, team leader for CNC sliding headstock and multi-spindle automatic lathes at Susa’s Heidenau plant, is able to make a direct comparison as his department uses machines from numerous different manufacturers.

He appreciates Tornos’ simple programming and setting, flexible machine configuration and the consistency of the control systems on the different types of machine.

Other benefits are the number of axes and the wide range of specific options.

He is convinced by the new Tornos philosophy – to build machines specifically adapted to the parts.

The Tornos Sigma 32 is specially designed for heavy chip removal on workpieces up to 32mm diameter.

It inherits the successful kinematics of the Sigma 20 and extends their benefits to cover larger diameter ranges.

The kinematics are based on two identical tool systems working entirely independently of each other, for the production of workpieces of a similar complexity in main and secondary operation with speeds of up to 8,000 min-1 for both the spindle and counter spindle.

Numerous tool holders and accessories are available for machining and these are interchangeable for both main and secondary operation.

The Sigma 32 offers a total of 29 work positions, comprising 14 rotating tools and six linear axes.

Nevertheless, the machine is very easy to set up and operate, since the pre-configurable tool systems all have quick-change capability and the spacious machining area makes this a very comfortable operation to perform.

In terms of programming, Tornos offers complete freedom with both ISO code and the tried and tested TB-DECO software available for programming.

The Sigma 32 was designed to be strong, with moulded housing forming a rigid base for the machine on which the dimensioned spindles are mounted.

It is targeted at performing demanding operations, in particular using hard and tough materials.

In terms of CNC multi-spindle automatic lathes, Franz appreciates the Tornos Multi Alpha.

He claims this machine is one of the most productive around and capable of meeting the automotive industry’s need to increase quality while simultaneously reducing costs.

Parts have, up until now, generally been manufactured in different stages.

Starting with pre-machining on a multi-spindle lathe, workpieces then progress to a second machine for finishing.

This requires two separate machining operations, which in turn increases the risk of damage to workpieces while at the same time adversely affecting precision, as several fixture settings are required to perform these operations.

Tornos’ development objective is to offer integrated solutions occupying minimal floor space.

The Multialpha series can produce and finish a maximum number of complex parts efficiently on a single machine with no need for secondary operations using other production equipment.

In addition, the machine with three secondary-operation axes is equipped with up to five tool positions, motor spindles with up to 16(20)Nm torque and an integrated parts-handling system.

Franz is also interested in the motor-spindles with synchronous motors.

These are designed to ensure maximum torque at high speeds, while delivering optimal cutting tool operation.

This extends tool service life and improves the quality of components produced.

The high rate of material removal means that simultaneous machining operations can be performed together to reduce production times.

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