Thursday, January 18, 2024
Listen to this news
In order to achieve excellent results with CNC processing machines from Biesse, it is essential that the workpieces are held safely on the machine table. With the VCBL-B vacuum blocks, Schmalz offers a robust alternative to the clamping equipment from the original equipment manufacturer. Holzmanufaktur Dittus GmbH has been using the suction cups for six years and benefits from quickly available and inexpensive spare parts.
Wood is a multi-talented material: it is available in numerous variants and is biodegradable, easy to work with, aesthetically pleasing and currently very relevant: As a renewable raw material, wood binds CO2 and thus counteracts global warming. Holzmanufaktur Dittus GmbH in Ammerbuch, Württemberg, has been processing different types of wood into furniture and doors for 111 years. The craftsman’s business with ten employees focuses on the circuitry of retail stores and doctors’ surgeries. The carpenters give surface-critical parts such as worktops and kitchen fronts the right finish and build cabinets and tables. In addition to grown wood, they also use MDF, pressboard and multiplex sheets.
“Whenever there were problems, the contact persons at Schmalz were always able to help us quickly and easily. And the short delivery times for spare parts and the good price-performance ratio are unbeatable arguments for us.” – Ralf Gutekunst, Operations Manager at Dittus Holzmanufaktur GmbH.
Dittus uses the Rover C6 CNC machining center from Biesse. The Italian manufacture plans, produces and sells a complete range of machines for carpentries and the large-scale woodworking industry. With the Rover, skilled workers can easily produce furniture and components for windows and doors of any shape, size and thickness. A vacuum clamping system fixes the workpieces in place and the work unit can continuously rotate 360 degrees on the vertical and horizontal axes, creating even complex shapes.
Exploit optimization potential
“We are actually satisfied with the Rover, but the clamping system kept causing problems,” says Ralf Gutekunst, Operations Manager at Dittus Holzmanufaktur GmbH. The problem: the rubber seal of the Biesse vacuum blocks sits in a slot. If this joint is damaged, it is often not enough to replace the sealing so that the module can be evacuated again. “We were forced to replace the entire vacuum block. This resulted in high costs and was not sustainable,” complains Ralf Gutekunst. Another point of criticism: the support is made of hard plastics and can damage sensitive surfaces.
The procurement of spare parts also proved difficult. “The delivery times from the original manufacturer were far too long, especially over the summer. We often had to wait three to four weeks for the new vacuum blocks. And sometimes even longer, because deliveries were not always reliable,” Gutekunst recalls. This meant that the craft business had no process reliability.
At Schmalz, the joinery found the perfect alternative with the VCBL-B vacuum block. If the suction plate is worn or damaged, there is no need to replace the entire component at great expense. In just a few simple steps, an employee can remove the defective suction plate and fit the new element. The suction cup is then immediately ready for use. Another advantage: the suction plate is made of soft elastomer, which protects sensitive surfaces.
Schmalz has developed the VCBL-B vacuum block as a hose-free vacuum clamping system specially for Biesse console tables. They are fully compatible with the original equipment manufacturer’s suction cups and can therefore also be used in mixed operation. Carpenters can align the suction areas as required by inserting the vacuum blocks into the standard holders in 15-degree increments in any direction using the adapter ring. This increases flexibility and shortens set-up time. Clamping lugs on the block suction cup ring and magnets enable safe fixing in the suction cup mounting. The integrated touch valve only activates suction cups that have a workpiece on them. Vacuum blocks that are not required can therefore remain on the machine table. The button can also be easily replaced if damaged, again without having to replace the entire suction cup.
The main body of the vacuum blocks is made of robust plastics. Schmalz has specially designed the sealing edges and friction surfaces for wood working. The suction cups transmit large horizontal forces and are available in heights of 29 and 48 millimetres for 3- and 4-axis machines and 74 millimetres for 5-axis machines. Their height is dimensionally accurate to 0.06 millimetres. This ensures the necessary precision in the production process. The suction areas and working heights correspond to the dimensions of the Biesse suction cups. The interfering contours of the VCBL-B types are almost identical to those of the original equipment. This means that the woodworking experts can continue to use the existing CAM software.
Holzmanufaktur Dittus has been using the VCBL-B vacuum blocks for six years now. “We are very satisfied with them,” says the operations manager and praises the competent internal service in particular. “Whenever there were problems, the contact persons at Schmalz were always able to help us quickly and easily. And the short delivery times for spare parts and the good price-performance ratio are unbeatable arguments for us.” They added further.
Read more news on: Schmalz