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Milling without sagging

Taiwanese machine tool manufacturer prefers complete solution from igus® for its energy supply

Large machining centre gantries are the speciality of machine tool builder Kao Ming in Taiwan. The long travels of up to 13 metres provide challenging requirements for the supply of energy and media. By choosing the guidelok from the motion plastics® specialist igus®, Kao Ming decided in favour of a system that is reliable, robust and operates without support.

Kao Ming, based in Feng Yuan City, Taiwan, is a pioneer in Asia in the development and manufacture of heavy-duty robotic milling machines. The company, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, places the highest demands on the quality of its products. This is ensured, for example, with its own research and development department and a high level of vertical integration.
 
At Kao Ming great emphasis is placed on a very strong basic machine design. The structural elements are made of Meehanite casting. On the travel axes, box guideways ensure maximum rigidity and damping.
 
 

Impressive dimensions: the X axis of the KMC-G travels over 13 metres.

Impressive dimensions: the X axis of the KMC-G travels over 13 metres.

 

The KMC-G series is one of the company's largest gantry machining centres. The system is designed around a gantry i.e. the machining table with the workpiece remains stationary. This type of machining centres display their strengths with large-volume and heavy workpieces. The KMC-G is mainly used for the machining of workpieces in the aerospace and machine tool industry.
 

The gantry machining centre KMC-G is designed for workpieces from the aviation and machine tool industry.

The gantry machining centre KMC-G is designed for workpieces from the aviation and machine tool industry.

 

The dimensions of these parts are getting larger. If the first G-series plants had a travel distance of six metres in the X axis, the current model series already has 13 metres. In addition, a customer approached Kao Ming with additional requirements. In order to be able to machine different workpieces, the manufacturer wanted to be able to machine them at different working angles and not only in the horizontal direction. For this purpose, this plant is equipped with a changing device for the machining tool so that milling heads with different machining angles can be used.
 

The long travel on the X axis and the number of cables and hoses place special demands on the energy chain.

The long travel on the X axis and the number of cables and hoses place special demands on the energy chain.

 

The energy supply is the challenge

The different axes increase the number of cables and hoses that are needed for energy, media and data and that have to be dynamically guided from the central control cabinet through the plant to the milling unit. The special modular design, which Kao Ming is particularly proud of, also increases the demands on the energy chain, since the travels are longer. In this system, additional modules can be inserted on the X axis. "For longer travels, no energy chain can be used without support. This is especially true when you consider the extra weight of the hoses and cables inside the chain," explains Kao Ming General Manager Tim Chang.
 

The pivoting roller holders allow the chain to run freely while supporting the upper run.

The pivoting roller holders allow the chain to run freely while supporting the upper run.

 

Adaptable solution with igus® guidelok

The igus® guidelok system matches the requirements almost perfectly. The special design of the supporting rollers ensures that the upper run of the chain can move smoothly and rapidly. Each roller can move out of the way when the chain radius moves past it. Thanks to this simple technical design, regular maintenance is unnecessary. Moreover, the design allows the option to have two opposite chains move within the same trough system. The travel distance can even extend to 50 metres long. Kao Ming is very satisfied with the guidelok system from igus®. So, the second system for the same end customer will also be equipped with this system.
 

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