More than 3000 international manufacturing professionals visited Paul Horn GmbH’s two manufacturing plants, and Horn Hartstoffe GmbH’s plant, all in Tübingen, Germany, for Horn’s biennial Technology Days (TD2017) in May. Focus of the three-day event was on technical presentations and practical demonstrations of Horn’s tooling manufacturing capabilities. “We don’t see our Technology Days as a promotional event. We want to engage with our customers in order to advance technology, innovate, and pool our knowledge. This is also why the presentations are application-specific rather than product specific,” said Managing Director Lothar Horn.
Horn manufactures solid-carbide tools as well as carbide, CBN, and PCD indexable insert tools. The company produces about nine million inserts annually in batches averaging 100 pieces with 97% manufactured on automated lines. Horn has customers in several industries, including automotive, aerospace, mechanical engineering, chemicals, medical, and tool and mold making. Visitors were able to see Horn’s core in-house expertise for R&D, coating technology, carbide production, and related insert production technologies in action on guided tours. Throughout the plant tours, more than 40 partner companies presented exhibits that demonstrated how Horn products are used in manufacturing everything from high-end automobiles to medical devices.
The highlight of a tour of Horn’s manufacturing capabilities was the new 20,000 m2 Factory II manufacturing plant dedicated to toolholder production, coating, and a new automated logistics system. Horn invested EUR 70 million in the plant, production equipment and a new six-story administration building, both of which were completed at the end of 2016.
Technical presentations focused on advanced manufacturing technologies and processes and how Horn’s products are used. For example, Horn’s new Turbowhirling process roughs, semifinishes, and finishes bone screw threads with a combination of three roughing inserts and six finishing inserts. In addition to high-feed milling cutters for cost-effective titanium machining, Horn presented findings of an innovative and experimental hybrid metal removal process using an induction heater to pre-heat titanium before machining.
The goal of research being conducted at PTW Darmstadt, a university in Darmstadt, Germany, that Horn is collaborating with, is to double metal-removal rates or cut production time in half for machining titanium. Horn’s gear milling capabilities demonstrated how machining for a wide range of gears can be done with high-feed milling and traverse milling techniques. In many cases, gear cutting was achieved using one cutting tool where forme
Harald Haug of Horn GmbH led a tour of the Horn facility and the exhibits of more than 40 partner companies, which showed how Horn products are used in manufacturing everything from high-end automobiles to medical devices.
rly six tools were required. A significant improvement in chip removal for grooving and parting off is accomplished by reducing the width of the insert and the resulting chip. Also, micromachining with lathes depends on factors like clamping, substrate, microgeometry, and coating. Horn’s micro end mills feature PVD coatings that provide sharp cutting edges so important in micromachining.
Horn employs about 930 people in Germany and 400 elsewhere and does business in more than 70 countries. It has production facilities in England, Italy, the Czech Republic, and the US. Horn is committed to developing skilled workers for the future and currently has 60 apprentices in its four-year apprenticeship program with 15 new apprentices starting training every year.