Wire processing

10th Wafios in-house exhibition

August 2015 — The highlight of the events calendar for German Wafios is the bi-annual in-house exhibition at its Wuppertal-site. May 2015 the enterprise was in good company with numerous fellow exhibitors and partner firms. Alongside world premieres, Wafios itself presented innovations for optimising processes, improving quality, and boosting production.

One of the highlights, the “FUL 36” spring coiling machine, enjoyed its world premiere at the exhibition. Compared with the “FUL 35” - its predecessor model - this high-end machine boasts an extended working range from 0.5mm to 3mm, an increased outer spring diameter up to 65mm, and increased feed speed up to 180m/min. Moreover, it bridges the gap down from the FUL 56 and 86 models that are already available higher up the range. The new “WPS 3.2 Easy Way” programming system was presented in the FUL range for the very first time. Seasoned FUL operators looking to upgrade seamlessly from the “WPS 3” system will appreciate its similarities with the new system. Customers who are using the FUL 36 for the first time will soon find their bearings thanks to the modern design, the new intuitive menu with transparent display, tab selection, and the multi-touch operating concept. The 24-inch flat-screen monitor is a familiar feature. The FUL 36 boasts numerous features to help and assist machine operators in their day-to-day work. These include Easy Tab table-based programming as a replacement for macros for simple axis corrections and axis run commands, contextual help providing direct explanatory information about a selected input field, or simplified spring input on a screen page.

The Wafios vision system“WVS”, a camera system, is another new development. Developers have integrated the WVS directly into the WPS 3.2 Easy Way system so that a second control panel carriage is no longer needed for IQ-control “in-process spring-length measurement”. Everything is operated from a single screen, both the standard camera and IQ-control. The production page can be freely configured for maximum transparency and direct access to all significant parameters. The interactive video assistant guides the user through the setup process step by step. The roller tensioning system, for which a patent is pending, enables the camera to be used to measure short springs by combining narrow feed rollers with a slim-line tensioning system. Thanks to the central nut, tools can be changed quickly and setup times are shorter. As a result, the production machine is able to achieve high levels of availability.

Speeding up the production

Software improvements speeding up the production of high quality springs also play a key role in the high availability and process accuracy of the spring coiling machine. By entering the reference values of the pre-defined spring, the following machine parameters can be taken into account when calculating the spring pitch: machine (for example straightener), tool setting, wire, and initial tension. Taking these parameters into account significantly and immediately increases the dimensional accuracy of the first spring, and it improves the precision of geometrical corrections. Moreover, the FUL 36 premium spring coiling machine boasts the outstanding properties that have come to be synonymous with the new range, including zero-error production through process control (IQ- functions), exceptional application possibilities thanks to the availability of options such as PTP coiling fingers, 3D former, automatic R/L changeover, torsion cut, and “Multi E-Cut”.

In the area of straightening machines, Wafios presented an innovation for use in machines working in smooth steel applications in the form of the adjustable straightening rotor“ASR” for the “R 45” type. Driven by a servomotor, the rotor adjusts the straightening dies during production and boasts a number of impressive features. Synchronous adjustment of the dies ensures that the straightening rotor is ideally balanced and adapts the down-feed as appropriate for the wire material to be straightened. The settings can be saved and called up on the control panel. This significantly reduces downtimes during wire threading.

A comparison of the conventional “manual” system with the new servomotor-driven system reveals a time saving per coil of approx. 14min when changing coils. On average, this is corresponding to a potential saving of up to 40% compared with the conventional technologies on the market until now (manually adjustable rotor approx. 33min, servomotor-driven approx. 19min).

With IQ-temperature, Wafios presented a new technology for “G series” spring end grinding machines. It supports in-process measurement of the average spring temperature so that the down-feed speed of the upper grinding wheel can be regulated. This enables the machine to operate safely at the limit of the process window for the permissible spring temperature. Previously, machine operators were only able to assess spring quality on completion of grinding. This ran the risk of Not-OK-parts not being identified as such during visual inspection, since the formation of annealing colours was masked by the “firing-out” process. IQ-temperature allows the process parameters to be put to optimum use and increases both production capacity and product quality.

Wafios AG
Silberburgstrasse 5
72764 Reutlingen/Germany
Phone: +49 7121 146-0

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  • ICFG – International Cold Forging Group
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  • IWMA – International Wire & Machinery Association