For many years now Schaeffler and DMG Mori have cooperated closely in a long-term partnership. Most recently, DMG MORI honored Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG as overall winner with the “Partner Award 2017.”
The two companies bundle their innovative strengths and contribute to a mutual boost in efficiency and process optimization. That is why Schaeffler has always relied on future-orientated technologies. Schaeffler already uses generative manufacturing with plastic 3D printers and the powder bed technology for prototype construction, small series production and tool and fixtures construction. In their latest cooperation project, the companies are developing additive manufacturing processes for rolling bearing components made of graded materials in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding. The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG Mori has served as the mechanical basis since May 2017.
The portfolio of the machine tool manufacturer encompasses the key generative manufacturing processes, with which DMG MORI has established itself as a full-service provider and full-liner in both the additive manufacturing of metallic components and metal cutting finishing.
Schaeffler is now expanding its own in-house area of additive manufacturing to include the powder bed process with the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG MorI, which it uses for the production of components made of metallic materials. The high build-up rate and high degree of flexibility of materials were aspects that significantly influenced the decision. In addition, integrated 5-axis simultaneous machining enables the production of components in finished part quality in a single setup, a feature in which Schaeffer sees potential for serial production.
Added value through graded materials
The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid is equipped with two powder feeders and enables targeted control of the changeover from one material to another during laser deposition welding. This results in graded materials with a smooth transition between the different material properties. The toughness and hardness of the material can be regulated in the build-up process and optimally aligned to the specific requirements of the individual application.
Schaeffler and DMG Mori are testing suitable materials in the cooperation project, with the aim of advancing the development of additively manufactured rolling bearing components in small batch sizes using laser deposition welding. Schaeffer’s focus of attention here is on realizing optimized products that offer added value for end customers.
“We are very pleased that Schaeffler has decided on a LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid from DMG Mori,” said Patrick Diederich, responsible for advanced technologies at DMG Mori and managing director of Sauer GmbH. “This strong partnership brings about fascinating synergy effects in the production of additively manufactured components.”
Schaeffler has also been active in formula E for many years and is working flat out on further improvements for electric drives within the framework of its strategy “Mobility for Tomorrow.” The use of material gradation here on the LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid results in exciting opportunities for development. Magnetic and non-magnetic materials could, for example, be combined through gradation and the properties adjusted to the component as required.
Integration in the production process
Schaeffler has expanded its capacities in additive manufacturing processes to include laser deposition welding. The LASERTEC 65 3D hybrid will also be integrated in the production process at Schaeffler, in order to optimize the production of spare parts, small series and single parts. Immediate production of such parts allows the speedy provision of spare parts while at the same time eliminating storage costs for large workpieces.