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Liebherr-Verzahntechnik News

Throughput times reduced to a quarter

At the Teisnach plant of the Rohde & Schwarz technology group, the PHS 1500 Allround pallet handling system from Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH automates four HF 5500 5-axis machining centers from Heller. This has not only made it possible to integrate a wide variety of parts on an interlinked production system, but has also significantly reduce part throughput times.

Kempten (Germany), 07/2022 – Rohde & Schwarz develops, produces and markets a wide range of electronic capital goods for industry, infrastructure operators and government customers. The independent group is among the technology and market leaders in its field, including wireless communications and RF measurement technology, broadcast and media technology, professional radiocommunications, cybersecurity and network technology.

The Teisnach plant is the mechatronics center in the Rohde & Schwarz group. Its products include enclosures, shielding components, antennas, printed circuit boards, micromechanical precision parts and all types of custom electromechanical products. As a center of excellence for transmitters and systems, the plant manufactures, supplies and services broadcast transmitters and safety viewing panels, as well as customer-specific wireless communication systems.

5-axis machining of complex aluminum parts

Production at the plant takes place in three shifts and – when demand is highest – up to 19 shifts per week. For the machining of complex aluminum components, Rohde & Schwarz chose four 5-axis machining centers from the CNC machine tool manufacturer Heller in Nürtingen, whose machining solutions are already widely used by the company. The HF 5500 is a powerful 5-axis machining center with the fifth axis “in the workpiece” for horizontal milling and has space for large clamping fixtures and workpieces as well as long travel ranges. With the combination of a robust machine bed, the horizontal spindle and an NC swivel rotary table with counter bearing and AB kinematics with highly dynamic torque drives, the powerful machine cuts the workpieces with precision and flexibility.

Automation solution with PHS 1500 Allround

In order to optimize the throughput times of the components with a wide variety of parts in small to medium batch sizes, the four machining centers were to be automated and controlled via a master computer. The greatest challenge here was the low ceiling height of the Rohde & Schwarz production hall: as many storage locations as possible had to be accommodated at a height of less than four meters – a job for the PHS Allround pallet handling system from Liebherr, which, thanks to its modular concept, can be perfectly adapted to the requirements and space conditions of the company in question. For this reason – and because of the positive experience Heller had already had with automation solutions from Liebherr – the partners put together a complete package comprising Heller machines and the Liebherr PHS 1500 Allround.

Simple integration of the master computer

Another criteria was that the existing host computer system at Rohde & Schwarz should be compatible with the automation system. Christian Heiler, in charge of quotation and project management for automation at Heller, recalls: “Perfect interface definition and coordination was an important part of the quotation phase. The customer already had a system with Soflex control in successful operation and wanted an automation solution that could be easily integrated.” Here, too, Liebherr was a perfect match as Soflex is one of two master computer suppliers with which Liebherr has been working for many years. The software ensures an overview of all resources and enables optimum planning of production orders, for example through prioritization and strategies for manned and unmanned automatic operation. 

The PHS Allround – modular and space-saving

The PHS Allround is a space-saving, flexible and expandable manufacturing system that automatically supplies machine tools with ready-equipped machine pallets. It reduces downtimes through setup during the machining process, and the shelf magazine allows unmanned production for long periods of time. A rotatable and swiveling lift module also allows the loading of inclined shelves or machines. During the development of the system, particular attention was paid to ensuring that it is also suitable for low ceiling heights.

“This meant that the PHS 1500 Allround was basically tailor-made for us. That would have been difficult to implement with other systems,” recalls Georg Kauschinger, head of horizontal machining at Rohde & Schwarz. “Initially, even Liebherr was skeptical about whether the system would fit in the hall,” he adds with a laugh.


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Responsible for the content of this press release: Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH


Liebherr-Verzahntechnik GmbH
Kaufbeurer Straße 141
87437 Kempten
+49 831 786-0
+49 831 786-1279

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