VILLA VERUCCHIO, ITALY -- The miniature “iSpindle” electronic switching box, installed on Hiteco's multi-purpose “Powertech 300” and “400” electrospindles, controls all the operating parameters to ensure the best results.
The electrospindle is a fundamental component on any machine - the link between the machine and the tool. At the same time, it guides the bit or milling cutter across the material to be transformed, and “feels” what is happening, noting - for example - the need for greater strength.
An effective industrial process, whatever the type and whatever the material, requires an awareness and the optimum management of information. A principle that Hiteco has applied to the electrospindles of the “Powertech 300” and “400” range - multi-purpose aggregates that, in the woodworking sector, can be used for both nesting and solid wood. Inside these electrospindles there is a miniature electronic switching box (a tab called “iSpindle”) able to receive all the signals collected by the sensors installed in the electrospindle itself, and transmit them not only to the tool machine control and management systems but also, via the network, to the technical office of the company or of Hiteco itself.
With “iSpindle”, all the parameters (increased electricity absorption, increased temperature of the motors or bearings) can be monitored in real time and with absolute accuracy, providing invaluable indications for optimising the production process of the processing centre. “A highly innovative solution, with clear information and a data-sharing capacity that has no rivals in the other products available on today's market”, said engineer Filippo Fabbri of the Hiteco technical office.
“iSpindle” is a powerful analysis tool that helps guarantee greater productivity and a better finish, as well as continually verifying the working conditions: monitoring the true rotation speed of the shaft in order to know the real cutting speed, for instance, means being able to raise or lower the feed speed to the optimum level, also in terms of energy consumption. And if a tool loses its sharpness, a cutting edge breaks, or the degree of removal is excessive, the new Hiteco switching box registers the fact and highlights it so that the operator can intervene straight away.
“iSpindle” keeps various data items constantly under control: the logic sensors of the tool grip or the rotation speed, the amount of current absorbed and the temperature of the motor and bearings, the rotation speed of the cooling fan, and the activation of the release key for a manual tool change.
“The possibility of registering and visualising the trend of various parameters is particularly interesting. It allows the operator to supervise the process and intervene to improve it if necessary, perhaps reacting to a temperature increase in the bearings so that the machine can work at top speed without the spindle suffering any mechanical stress. This lengthens its lifespan”, adds Luciano Valentini, Hiteco R&D Project Manager. Machine downtime is notably reduced because, thanks to “iSpindle”, interventions can be made before the problem actually arises: maintenance rather than repairs.
“iSpindle” will be available on the world markets from next October; an innovation that Hiteco will be offering to all machine manufacturers, even those in sectors other than wood and its derivatives.
Hiteco (hiteco.net) is a point of reference in the design and manufacture of electrospindles for tool machines for the sectors of wood, plastic, light alloys and compound materials. Thanks to a team of highly experienced specialists, it provides one of the widest ranges of solutions in this sector: power levels from 3 to 30 kW, rotation speeds from 1,000 to 40,000 rpm, ISO and HSK manual or automatic tool coupling, air or liquid cooling, couplings with support feet, cylindrical body or flange. In short, an answer for every possible need!
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