Schaeffler and DMG MORI are continuing their successful cooperation, expanding it to include the development of additive manufacturing processes for rolling bearing components. Additive manufacturing is a strategic focus in Schaeffler’s development roadmap.
Both companies signed a cooperation agreement at the 28th Japan International Machine Tool Fair (JIMTOF) in Japan. In addition, the marketing partnership that began in 2016 has been extended. Schaeffler thus remains DMG MORI’s marketing partner worldwide for rolling bearings and linear technology.
The basis for the joint development work will be a DMG MORI Lasertec 65 3D—a five-axis machining center including a laser metal deposition welding unit—that will be used at Schaeffler. The goal is to develop the additive manufacturing technology of what is called laser metal deposition welding so that it can be used for the flexible manufacture of rolling bearing components for prototypes and for small batch sizes.
The focus here is on process issues as well as on the materials used and their suitability for the process. In laser metal deposition welding, a material is simultaneously melted and applied to a surface. In this case, the material is metal powder. The heat source is a high-performance laser. This additive manufacturing process is combined with conventional five-axis machining in the hybrid facilities developed by DMG MORI so that the resulting components can be finished immediately afterwards.
At the JIMTOF in Tokyo, Schaeffler and DMG MORI also presented the “Machine Tool 4.0” innovation project jointly with other partners. The project links existing technology with new digitalized components from sensors to the cloud. Two prototypes were set up based on the fourth-generation DMC 80 FD duoBLOCK universal milling and turning machining center. Additional sensors for measuring vibrations, forces, temperatures and pressure have been integrated in nearly all bearing positions relevant for the machining process in the prototypes of the innovation project in order to obtain optimum information about the machine condition.